Early spring in the potting shed

There comes a time in early spring every year when I can no longer avoid the mess.

The poor potting shed has endured months of me just opening the door and flinging things in. Teetering piles of pots and bags and random bits of wire.

This weekend I decided to have a jolly good sort. And clean. And generally make it camera worthy again.

Well, ignore the Virginia creeper vines on the ceiling. They might spring into bud anytime soon.

Or they might be dead. I’m not yet sure.

One thing that isn’t dead is the cat. Despite this rather adorable pose. She has her fleece lined box. And her manky cashmere spot for the hour when the sun is just so on the box of compost beside her bed.

But she requires absolute silence and solitude to enjoy this state of bliss.

A blundering human wielding a broom and flinging things about sent her into a tizz.

It was Not Her Best Day.

But the shed is mine and she settled down. After a few hours.

I had to put the plastic propagator lids over all the seedlings to stop her stomping.

My, she was cross.

She doesn’t think much of the pot stack next to her bed either. I get slashed if I lean in too close.

Here are some of the seedlings already up: rocket, coriander (rescued from the asparagus bed) an edible agastache, dill and leeks and a few random things I’m squinting to recognise in this shot. Looks like a tagetes of sorts.

Plus lettuce (merveilles de quatre saisons) which I am bringing on indoors (they were self sowing outside in the raised beds) and mint and the lemon verbena pots which, yes, look dead.

Ah, the frisson of early spring for the gardener.

What on earth made it through the cold months? The lychnis look fine. And the Szechuan peppers look to have buds.

Actually it hasn’t been that cold this winter. And I did rather miss three weeks of it on the other side of the world.

But luckily David pricked out some of my seedlings while I was away. Let’s hope this year the orange capsicum seeds I saved from the only edible crop that didn’t set my mouth on fire will stay mild and not have been cross pollinated with a hot chilli pepper.

And top left Swiss chard, Calendula touch of red, gomphrena flowers, craspedia billy buttons, kalettes, kale, tagetes burning embers, strawflower salmon rose. I think that’s it.

I have to keep those lids on to save them from the fanged and slashing one who Doesn’t Like to Share.

Here she is poised to stomp on my gaura seeds.