Shielding, Seedlings & Spring

The sun is out. Spring is kind of here and a letter arrived this week from the Welsh government to let me know that the Shielding programme is officially over. Hurray! It’s almost two years to the day since we stepped into this strange world from which it seems there is no return. Shielding was not even a word that held any meaning for me two and half years ago, and now the thoughts and feelings it evokes are so complex I have to be careful how I navigate them. That’s not to say they are all negative: There were many good things and happy times that would not have occurred without that interminable house arrest. On balance though, I would not wish to repeat. No thanks. Happy to say good bye to that. One of the good things that happened during shielding where I live was a seedling swap. On that app called ‘nextdoor’ we had a thread, and people let you know if they had seedlings going spare. Then you put what you had to swap on your doorstep and like magic something different would appear. I can’t tell you how fabulous this was: It’s actually making me well up now. If you can imagine not going out or seeing people (at a distance only) for a REALLY long time- well I’m sure you can, we were all in it together after all, although you might have buried the memories (I have). For months and months and months this went on for me and mine and this seedling scheme really cheered me up. I would put out… I don’t know four baby lavenders lovingly grown from cuttings by my husband and lo-and-behold, a tray of carrot seedlings would appear. And before you say you cannot transplant carrot, I can tell you they were fine and grew up to be very tasty. We gave away all sorts and received calendula, leeks, Hebe even gladioli bulbs. I felt connected- even a little to my community, and that’s what mattered even if I didn’t see some of these people. It helped. So if you are having a surplus this Spring, share the love, it is after all what makes the world go around.  



Spring is here Or is it? I’m confused, the bees are confused! What is going on? One minute I’m thinking I should put my shorts on the next I’m looking for a jumper to put over the one I’m already wearing. Just when I think we can have a really good look through all the hives , the temperature drops again. I have planted my seeds though, I just couldn’t wait any longer, and they will figure it out, nature’s like that- or they won’t and I’ll have to start again, I’ll find out one way or the other in a week or two! I took this photo (at the top) of the magnolia in my local park. It's a fabulous time to check out  your local area for magnolias, they won't be around long and they  are  so amazing. You can eat the petals - did you know? Try them in salads or pickle them for later.  

My seedlings in the kitchen are another matter, should I put them out to harden off or not? I think they are going to be in-out-in-out driving my husband crazy probably. Since our (already recycled once) greenhouse blew away in storm Eloise and got even more knackered I don’t have a toasty place for them. So what can you do? Let me know – all ideas welcome. I must remember to plant the next lot of seeds I am hopeless at the succession planting. In fact perhaps I’ll do some now.

Til next time

Lidi & The Bees