There’s a definite feel of spring in the air. So that means it’s time to prepare the greenhouse. Last year was the first I used it since I moved to this new house and I managed a successful crop of tomatoes despite a late threat of blight. After that it became a constant battle between controlling the spread and nurturing the healthy tomatoes to fruition. This year, I’m being a little more adventurous. I’ve yet to cleanse the interior but so far I’ve removed last season’s dead plants, grow bags and general rubbish, also repositioned a workbench to maximise growing room. By doing so, I’ve made another side accessible, so now I have two sides and a rear available. With shelves, the workbench and small plots that’ll enable me to plant directly in the ground, the whole interior should be a hive of self-sufficiency come midsummer. The intention is to grow not only tomatoes but peppers and broccoli. Two additional foods I love, peppers for stir fries and broccoli for broccoli’s sake! Already, propagators are lining the office window.
All that’s left before I can start again is to make a few repairs to the glass. Several panes were cracked and smashed, thanks to the neighbourhood kids playing football. Not that they got away with it lightly, oh no. I collared them, kindly remarked that their behaviour was a bit unfair considering that I never objected to them playing and so confiscated their ball. I asked if they wanted it back, they should wash my car. I was surprised with the response. Later, about five kids appeared. The eldest mentioned they only had twenty minutes but that was adequate to give my car a quick clean, prevent them from playing further and learn a life lesson in cause and effect. Not bad, considering I’ve no kids of my own, therefore no parenting skills. Maybe I’m a natural?
I’m looking forward to nurturing this year’s crop. It’s very therapeutic, keeps me focused and keeps me upbeat. Something that’s been difficult since the year started. Post Christmas is notorious for being an identified time to be weary of, a low after the high of the festive season. To slither into a depression would be the easy option. Fortunately, some time ago, I learnt skills to help. Common sense stuff really but often it’s necessary to have it spelt out, which I like. Too often folk skirt around subjects for fear that being forthright may be seen as antagonistic. It’s also good to see certain folk close begin to acknowledge difficulties and talk through efforts with maintaining stability of mood.
Hence the encouragement for using the acquired greenhouse and probably the reason behind this morning’s astounding question from one individual of ‘what’re you writing at the moment?’ Hang on a sec. Where did that suddenly come from? Isn’t it taken for granted that I’m a peculiarity, misfit, enigma, figment of possibly a deluded imagination as I’m the only serious creative person in my corner of the world? Dad maintained a healthy level of interest and encouragement that folk like me need from time to time. Since his passing, it’s disappeared. I miss that as much as I miss him. To be asked that question was like hearing him speak again. It was a welcome display of projecting positivity. Something these days I should squeeze out of most situations for fear of the worse, like nurturing the last tomatoes from a dying plant.