Friday, 18 February 2011

Spring envy

The waak tae grannies a tapestry print I own by a lady on Orkney at the Hoxa Gallery
I've been away 'sooth' - couple days to see Grannie, a bit more than a walk (over 700 mile)! I'm happy to report that I have seen a bit of 'spring'! For most folks, you see this season every year. For me, unless I travel down 'sooth' it's often a later start for me, happening late march or early April. Our seasons tend to be a bit more compressed - with a dip into spring briefly before we launch into summer with very long days (hardly dark at all for a lot of it) and we briefly dally with the hint of autumn before launching into gales and trees devoid of their leaves. So this trip has been most welcome. But, I definitely have Spring envy, just like I had autumn envy in October. Best to plan trips at these times of year I think!

A cheery robin at a garden centre down 'sooth'
We even managed a sneaky garden centre trip - feasting eyes on witch hazel in full bloom, snow drops nodding and dwarf iris delighting with gorgeous colours. The most amazing thing about that trip was the lack of seeds which made their way into my sticky mitts. Which is, for me, a very noble act. It's been nice to talk gardens, think about which veggies I'll grow this year and have a laugh/groan about the fact that whilst grandad managed to grow lots of beans in the allotment last year (2kg jingling delightfully coloured tub of various bean seeds are evidence to that) I have NO hope of growing any type of bean outdoors here apart from broad beans which are hardy enough to grow out in our weather here. Well, sometimes in life, when faced with the ridiculus adversity of silly weather, you have to giggle. I'll manage to grow a few if I get my tunnel up in time, my house is just far too exposed - and the climate isn't kind.

Excuse the [previous] lack of photos [edited some in now at home....I need to learn to use my iPad...] - I'm sat in an airport - the only plants in view are in the gardening magazine I've got to read later. Airport travel always sounds so glam, but for us it's like hopping on a bus or a train. Whilst my green concious feels very uncomfortable with the carbon issues, when needing to do a dash 'sooth' it's really the only method. I grow a lot, I'll grow more to help counteract my galavanting.

Our local 'buses'..........
I've taken a book on the trip I've really wanted to read for a while, but lifes distracted me. Anyhow this trip I've managed to get 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle' by Barbara Kingsolver read. It got me thinking prior to reading about how much we could possibly grow/source locally. Having read the book I'm more inclined to try and put a plan in place to give it serious go. Id like to source/grow as much at home as I can. Whilst I'll struggle to grow coffee, bananas and nuts - I can begin to plan what is possible. Well, if I can't take home a 5ft witch hazel on the plane (no point it would die with us anyway, as tempting as they were) - I'll have to think about the edible things I can grow to feed us instead.
A very good read...........Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


  1. Hope the trip 'sooth' went well and good luck with the home & local produce planning. You could always set up the Orcadian branch of Frugaldom and get more of the islanders roped into expanding their veggie plots. :)

  2. I used to live in Maine in the US---same thing, no spring. I grew up and now live in Pennsylvania where spring lasts for months. I loved Barbara Kingsolver's book. Enjoyed your photoless essay. Carolyn

  3. Hi Fay, glad you had a dose of Spring even if you will have to wait for your own version. Am VERY impressed that you managed to resist the lure of new seeds! I'll watch with interest how you get on growing and sourcing locally. I long for space to keep chickens (we're not allowed up at the allotment and anyway I'm already pushed for planting space) and have a secret hankering for pigs, but I think that is pie in the sky.

  4. Frugaldom - thanks for the comment - we've a lot of growing and gardening here - and a lot of local producers of fish/meat cheese. I do need to get myself in the know - and see where there are gaps - good idea!

    Carolyn glad you've extended spring now - I guess the compromise is big skies and wonderful breathtaking views. I am off to see where your area is!

    Janet - I thought you'd be impressed by the lack of seed purchases! I did have a few in my sticky mitts but I put them back. Sad you can't have hens - I'd love a couple piggies too - very good life - never fancied a goat though. We are lucky with the amour of local food which is grown and reared here - I'm going to make a list of what I can't get - that be easier I think.......mainly exotic fruits and coffee maybe.......

    I'm back with a bang to force 8 gales 45-55 mph winds and sideways rain - another 'indoor' gardening with me again.......nice to be home though :)

  5. Hi Fay! That's a terrific idea and something we are working towards as well. It makes sense doesn't it! Also impressed you didn't buy seeds :) I can ne er resist...

  6. Hey there Fay,
    I hope you had a good trip.Spring is getting here slowly but Saturday was freezing and we had a 'bare' wind, so I'm guessing it was a stones in the pocket day for you.
    Enjoy your indoor gardening this weekend.

  7. Hi Fay, I guess that you were further sooth than Aiberdeen, still not very Spring like here either. Itching to get going properly,Begonia tubers will be set out in trays in the greenhouse in about ten days time.

  8. Hey there Alistair no in England not your way, only briefly stopped in there on the plane. Goodluck with the begonias. I've not planted a single seed yet for anything, but its only a matter of time now!

    Julie - Bare wind - brilliant word!!! Hope you are OK!

    Mrs Bok - welcome and thank you for stopping by - off to have a look if you've a blog - I am a bad girl for seeds normally but having catalogued them - I had to stop - too many!! The local debate is high in our minds - you're right it does make sense doesn't it?

    Thanks for the lovely comments - sorry for the lack of photos..............about to edit some in now!

  9. Glad you enjoyed your taste of spring! I just finished that book recently; it was very interesting & enjoyable!