Everything’s coming up radishes...

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TRISH TAKES FIVE: By Trish Burgess

I’m not good with plants. I usually kill indoor ones , albeit unintentionally, and have a habit of ignoring outdoor ones. My mum told me that once my child had flown the nest I would take an interest in horticulture, as she did when I left home. She explained that she needed something to nurture and, with kids gone, it was enjoyable to tend to plants and see them flourish.

I think she might be right. I have a sudden urge to start potting things: I planted herbs last weekend and am now about to become all ‘Tom and Barbara’ with a vegetable patch though, as Dougie pointed out, I’m very much a Margot at heart.

I’m having guidance for this Good Life transformation from our trusted gardener. We’ve had help once a week since we first moved to Holbeach and struggled to manage our garden. Moulton’s answer to Monty Don has watched, and frequently shaken his head, as Dougie and I have blundered our way through the seasons, pruning trees when we shouldn’t, planting things in the wrong place and, in the case of Dougie in particular, hacking at things willy-nilly.

He has recently constructed a raised bed in which to plant our veggies. I wasn’t entirely sure about this at first: it was rather large and, once full of compost, looked more like a plot for my own future interment, never mind a few radishes. I was reassured it would look better once it had some greenery in it.

Over the weekend, we took advantage of the warm weather and made a start. I bought a trolley full of seeds and bedding plants whilst Dougie tried to stop me being waylaid by a latte and a wodge of Victoria Sponge which is my default reason for visiting garden centres.

Back home I was faced with the job of planting tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, peas and spring onions together with slightly more unusual choices of pak choi, orange beetroot and a melon. It was technical stuff, working out distances apart and depth of planting. I took out a tape measure out at the beginning to ensure I was accurate but by the end of the afternoon was far more relaxed about the whole thing, flinging seeds about like a frisbee.

It’s just as well it was good weather on Saturday as it was World Naked Gardening Day. I wasn’t too sure about embracing this unique way of communing with nature, especially with Dougie so slapdash with the secateurs, but, my goodness, the people in Baytree were certainly surprised.

You can follow Trish on Twitter @mumsgoneto and read her blog at www.mumsgoneto.co.uk