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March is a month of considerable frustration

"March is a month of considerable frustration - it is so near spring and yet across a great deal of the country the weather is still so violent and changeable that outdoor activity in our yards seems light years away." - Thalassa Cruso

Believe it or not, that quote was chosen before we realised how difficult this month/year would be for us all.

Yes, we have had a violent and changeable month so far. Gusty winds, heavy rain, frosts, but some sunshine too. March is named after the Roman god of war, which seems quite appropriate with some of the weather we have had. It’s seen as the start of spring, when we get going in the garden and sow seeds at home. But the weather has been holding us up a bit. Despite that, we have many bulbs in flower and shrubs blossoming. Some in unusual places. The garden seems to be able to burst into colour without our help.

The full moon this month was on the 9th and is given names like ‘plough moon’, ‘wind moon’, ‘lenten moon‘ and ‘chaste moon’. Some names refer to jobs to be done in the month, such as ploughing in the light of the full moon, probably in gusty conditions. Luckily we don’t have to plough. Lenten refers to it being in the period of Lent. And chaste may be derived from an Old English word for ‘spring’. Actually the 9th seems a big day for many. It’s the Buddhist celebration of Magha Puja Day. It’s the start of Holi, the Hindu festival. It’s also known as one of the best fishing days, with fish biting around moonrise. And it’s a supermoon, where it is nearer the earth than usual, so very bright. What a day!

Volunteers haven’t been able to garden much so far this year because of the weather. And now the issue with not passing on the coronavirus means that it’s not possible to meet up inside or outside, with social distancing and self isolation now in place. For the time being we are pausing all our group based activities, and concentrating on what we can do at home. When safe and sensible, we will be popping in to weed, if we can.

Incredible Edible Runcorn has been expanding. As well as a corner of the Bloomers garden and the planters at the Railway Station, we now have planters in the compound at Unlock Runcorn. The first veg have been planted there now. With lots more to come. I have been busy producing new labels for all three areas. It can be fun thinking of the pictures to illustrate each veg.

The garden still has the last of the veg to be picked. Spinach, chard and winter lettuce. Despite the weather, it looks like our bugs have been leaving Bugingham Palace. I’ve found several cabbages that have great chunks eaten out of them. Next month I will be preparing the containers for the summer veg seeds. So there will be even more for them to eat. But they will probably have to compete with the slugs….

Today we made the decision to clear away the toys and empty the book tree, so that we are doing are bit to encourage social distancing, and keep everyone as safe and well as possible.

For any young Bloomers we are asking them to grow their own seeds at home. Boxes from M&S are being left in the book tree for our young visitors to take.

The Blooming Old Gardener

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