Babbitty Bumble literally buzzed right past my nose, a black and yellow ball of fuzz, too busy to stop for me. A fat tubby thing with stubby wings, humming as he went. He is the first bee I have spotted this year on a day of sunshine, when it was still cold enough for coats and hats but lovely enough to open the windows of the house and let in some fresh air, to push out the stale musty air of winter. I stopped for a little while to listen to a blue tit, a welcome change from the harsh croaks and caws of all the rooks and jackdaws which roost in our limes.
I yearn for change – mostly for spring, but also within myself. Don’t we all? I have begun by sowing the first lot of seeds – with some help from the little people. I have opted for quality over quantity this year from the Real Seed Catalogue – there are no hybrids or genetically modified seeds, but varieties that grow well, taste great and many are rare heirlooms. Plus they tell you how to save your own seed for next year. I guess the proof will be in the eating.
I have opted for the usual favourites, beetroot, courgette, carrots, squash, beans, peas but also mixed it up with some sweetcorn, fennel and edible flowers. As long as I can save them all from the bastard pigeons and mice. Don’t get me wrong I love wildlife I just don’t love them eating my vegetables. I will be out everyday looking for the first signs of germination and growth from my little seeds.
It is two days since wrote the opening paragraph and wandering outside today the garden is noisy with birdsong and it will continue like this until summer – a cacophony of trills and warblings, the boys trying to impress the girls. I spotted another bumble bee and I can smell the sap rising. At bedtime on the day the windows had been open, I could still smell the outdoors inside and I felt hopeful.