April 20th, 2019
Early Morning Light
Olivia took this photograph last week. It was early in the morning, she was out with her dear dog Bert who enjoys a swim in Haweswater Beck as it runs past our garden.
The sun was just coming up and it illuminated the greenhouse. Olivia liked the scene, took the photo which she was pleased with. It looks as though there is a party going on in the greenhouse, all warm and bright in contrast to the frosty scene outside.
The greenhouse is packed to the rafters with tiny plants I’m bringing on to sell at the little stall at our gate and at the markets which I attend. Currently there are hundreds of plants which will make their debut at the 3rd Bampton Plants and Produce Fair in aid of Hospice at Home. The Fair is on 19 May in the Bampton Memorial Hall and promises to be a great event with all the plants, an astonishing array of home-made baking, sweet and savoury, crafts and art, flowers, a brand-new range of lovely beauty products and other artisan offerings from the very talented people of our valley. The Café at the Fair is always a great hit, serving up delicious home-made soups, sandwiches and more of that gorgeous baking. The sheep’s wool, bracken and fell pony muck compost (all peat-free) from Dalefoot Composts will be on sale, always hugely popular.
But it’s still April and there is much work to be done to get everything ready. The hard frost in the photo gave way to a heatwave over Easter, but I always worry that Mother Nature will throw another final cold snap at us before the weather finally settles properly into Spring. Bampton is in a frost pocket, and we can have an attack as late as the end of May and as early as the beginning of September. Tricky.
With the vagaries of our local climate in mind, we had the greenhouse extended. We bought the original version some years ago from Woodpecker Joinery and two excellent fellows from the firm came to fit the extension, it all looked so easy, they removed the end gable from the original structure, fitted new wall and roof glazed sections and then refitted the end gable, adding roof finials and additional guttering. Job done.
So, for now, the baby plants are cosseted in their glass nursery, I talk encouragingly to them each day and they listen to Radio 4, a nice carry on for them while they wait to go out into the wide world and get their feet into the earth, meeting the worms, the bees and the butterflies. Hopefully not the vine weevils, the greenfly and the caterpillars.