I love having a garden. And one of the best things about a garden – particularly at this time of the year – is the anticipation, watching all the plants coming up after the dormancy of winter. I like planting seeds and watering them and feeding them pricking them out and weeding them and watching as they grow and flourish.
I love reading gardening books and looking at photographs of other gardens, and the gardening columns in the weekend supplements with their photographs of wonderful plants, old and new, and deciding which ones of them would go best where in my new plot.
I’m a sucker for plant and seed catalogues and garden centres and I find it hard to walk past even the smallest and least promising display of seed packets without having a browse through to see if there’s anything I’d like to plant. I’m a sucker for plant sales at village fetes however scruffy and unpromising the wares may be. I even rescue those pots of herbs from supermarkets and thin them out and keep them going on my windowsill the way other people rescue battery hens.
Above all, I love the planning of a garden – like photographs, they’re always better in your head – and the realisation of a coherent theme: all white plants, perhaps, or medicinal ones, or drought-tolerant, or just something with interest all year round.
Here, though, I think my theme has been selected for me.
This year, I shall mostly be planting things that deer and rabbits don’t eat.