Each day I inspect my seedlings and give them a little spray of water. I count how many have germinated. I am particularly excited about the growing number of leek seeds that have germinated. They have taken their time, but there are now more than thirty! I have transplanted many tiny seedlings from modules into their second stage pots so that they can grow on. Some have graduated from the heated propagator to the windowsill and some have now been put into the greenhouse. 

Work on the allotment is not progressing quite so well. February was non-existent for me as far as outdoor work was concerned. But I have begun to clear ground of weeds ready for later in the month when I hope to sow potatoes, salad leaves and plant out broad beans. I am lucky enough to have some purple sprouting Broccoli to harvest. 

I often try to see parallels between my gardening and the rest of my life. Here are two that seem relevant. First, during my weeks of illness I have been well cared for. It has been a struggle but the tender attention I have received has eventually led to my recovery. I needed some days in bed, other days when I could get dressed and potter about the house. On one or two occasions there has been a short walk to the High Street and a coffee shop!

The second is the experience of watching the film, The Personal History of David Copperfield. It was entertaining and enlightening. I had a very limited knowledge of Dickens’ novel beforehand, so the ups and downs of Copperfield’s early life were eye openers. The fact that these experiences were a reflection of much of everyday life in Dickens’ time and that he was attempting to change society by writing about them was a strong message within an amusing storyline. I might add that Dev Patel in the title role was excellent. 

There are other parallels that occur to me as well. The many people who are suffering from Covid-19 need tender care too, particularly those who are already vulnerable. They need all the help we can give and the huge number of medical staff who are looking after them is a testimony to our human capacity for loving one another. 

My role as a trustee also goes through challenging times, and though progress is being made, it does appear that a long time of gentle care is required. I am not always sensitive enough in every case, I am sad to say. I know from gardening that not every seed will germinate, and not every seedling will survive. But it is hard to accept the failures when they happen. Still, I keep on sowing and transplanting and hoping that there will be a good harvest. Experience tells me that there will indeed be fruit and vegetables, flowers and herbs to enjoy. Hope, too, germinates and is transplanted and reaches fulfilment.

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