Since reading the post from Tales from the Village about March in the Garden and seeing the photograph of new life springing from the crowns of rhubarb, I've been desperate to get out in my own garden and see if my rhubarb had survived the freezing winter. I was praying for good weather this weekend and although Saturday was pretty grim, Sunday in Shropshire was gloriously sunny.
My poor husband is still recovering from his chest infection, but not so incapacitated that he couldn't watch the little ones leaving me free to concentrate on an uninterrupted gardening session.
The first job was to sort my shed out. I have my own little shed and my husband has a workshop probably four times the size of it. Despite all his extra space, he still manages to dump stuff in my shed. There had been so much dumping going on I couldn't get through the door. It didn't take long to reorganise things properly and once I'd swept the floor it started to look quite welcoming.
Now I had access to my tools again, I could actually get on with something involving plants and soil.
I'd forgotten how much I love getting my hands dirty. I tidied, I swept, I weeded. I restored order. I found Taylor's missing drumsticks and a barbecue brush that had both overwintered in a flower bed (neither will ever be the same again). I breathed in the smell of damp earth and felt the warmth of the sun on my back. I stopped for lunch.
My husband made fried egg sandwiches for everyone and the baby boy had his first experience of al fresco dining.
After lunch, I tackled my vegetable garden. There is plenty of work to do there but I made a start. I weeded around my strawberries and raspberries and prepared a seed bed ready to sow spring onions.
As the shadows lengthened and the time came to call it a day, I felt a real sense of achievement.
My body had been put through a workout as challenging as the ones I do at the gym. I felt that lovely sense of connection to nature. The garden was looking so much better. The only downside to it all is how tough it is on my hands and especially my nails.
They may look pretty shocking but a nice soak in a hot bath, a generous dollop of hand cream and a pampering manicure later and they are good as new.
As for the rhubarb that had me donning my wellies and digging, it is bursting with new life and the promise of crumbles and pies to come.