11046933_10153218149044248_6847294062337096062_nWarmth in the sunshine, the sound of the merry Ice-cream van and the topless convertible cars are driving around town.  It’s finally arrived, the start of spring.  After such a dismal winter, illnesses being spread around and cooped up in doors with the central heating on.  The first breath of spring is more than welcome.  Bodies more relaxed and not rigid from the cold.

It’s time to get out doors and look at what needs to be done outside.  I started the last weekend with my clear out with a skip. Meanwhile my neighbour has already done her first grass cut of the year.  I’m not quite as enthusiastic as that.  The first cut always reminds me that it has to carry on throughout the year.  I don’t actually cut my grass but I pay out for a gardener to do it so I do enjoy not forking out during the winter months.  That’s one good point about winter, the grass doesn’t grow!

However, I am not lazy and I do enjoy a potter around the garden and very much enjoy flowers.  There is always something uplifting seeing flowers.  Many like to see them cut in the house.  I love cut flowers too but they are quickly dying.  But there is something about seeing flowers grow and bloom in the garden.  To me they symbolise the start out and growth of life.  They give such pleasure.  I love nothing better than to flick through a gardening book or walk around a garden centre, admiring the sights and the scents of the wide array of flowers or herbs.  I always end up finishing the book or coming back from a garden centre with great ideas.  However, as a busy single mother of three children my dreams are never quite reached. One because of lack of funds and two because of lack of time.  So I’ve learned to just do something.  The first year that I moved into the property, I bought a few plastic pots and planted them up and planted some herbs at the bottom of the garden.  It was as far as I got as I had a lot of fence to paint.  Last year I bought a few more herbs and a friend of mine donated lots of plastic pots to display plants.  But when I got them it was a bit late to start.  This year I hope to go a little bit further.  With the help of Aldi, my budget is barely touched. A hanging basket for £5, a mini propagator £1.99.  Packs of seeds just 33p… I’ve bought Tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and sunflowers. 6 cottage garden plants for just £3.99 is a bargain… I’ve always loved Delphiniums and Lupins.

It’s the look and the feel of traditional cottage garden plants. They always feel so homely and inspire me creatively. I love to be in a beautiful garden writing short stories. This is my favourite way to spend an afternoon. When my two sons were younger they would help me in the garden and I remember my eldest being two years old and he knew exactly what a Lavender plant was and a marigold. And watching basic vegetables such as lettuce, tomato or cucumber grow encourages them to try to eat them. To watch something grow from seed is a learning experience for them. With young children a herb garden is a good idea because you do not have to worry about them eating anything and they can awaken their senses with the scents. I’m a big believer in fresh air for young children and introducing them to nature, it’s the start of their education.

This year, I’m not sure whether my two teenage son’s will be interested in helping their Mum in the garden. They are growing up and becoming typical teenage boys, obsessed with their computers. But I know that my daughter will be enjoying herself in the garden helping out. I’ve spent less than £20 with Aldi on a new project that will enliven and brighten the garden up as we move into summer. I’ll keep you all posted on our progress.

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