We’ve had a glorious, warm, bright couple of weeks, so the plants are really moving now. Six weeks ago, they were as unsteady toddlers, and I the concerned parent/ guardian, coaxing and encouraging them onto their two feet. Now they are running away, and I struggle to keep up with them, and their incessantly spiralling demands for food, drink, space. ‘Can’t wait until they leave the nursery nest and start making their own way, in our ground once conditions are right,or other peoples’ once the main plant stalls kick off in May.
The first generation of salad beds on the west Bank terrace are built and planted up with sorrel, beetroot leaf, wild rocket, “Red Oakleaf” lettuce and green manures. We’ve pressed the first early potatoes into the mound that the swale displaced, at the top of the Entrance Field, the highest point of the site. You plant spuds “eyes up”, so from up there they can watch over the blue sea of the Lea Valley reservoirs that meet the misty grey rocks of London Town jutting and leaning back into the vanishing point.
Roger disappeared into a crevice amongst those crags on Tuesday with the first of our plant deliveries: beans and corn to the wonderful Somerford Grove gardening club in Dalston, a stones’ throw from where the Angry Brigade once seethed, dreamed and plotted.
In the glasshouse beds the young cucumbers “Marketmore” and melons “Hales Best Jumbo” have been planted, each with their own climbing frame of polypropylene string, which they can run up to their hearts’ content in gleeful pursuit of the big blue sky. Well, until they get to six feet anyway, then we’ll have to pinch out their tips. Even libertarian guardians have to draw the line somewhere.