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Landscape (UK) - - Contents - Rachel Hawkins Ed­i­tor

MARCH BRINGS A much an­tic­i­pated pal­ette of up­lift­ing colour, as the sub­dued greys and browns of win­ter are painted over with the pas­tel yel­lows, pinks and blues of early spring. Bare branches, buds poised through­out win­ter, will grad­u­ally open, their leaves a ver­dant green that only ap­pears at this time of year. This new growth is fa­mil­iar, but nev­er­the­less the joy of its ar­rival and the an­tic­i­pa­tion of what is to fol­low never di­min­ishes. Dur­ing the colder months, I filled the longer evenings mak­ing com­fort­ing blan­kets and gar­ments to layer against the chill. My tools were knit­ting nee­dles and cro­chet hooks; now, they are my trusty hoe and spade. Passed down from my grand­fa­ther, these are sharp­ened and worn with age, their wooden han­dles shiny from the pres­sure of hard­work­ing hands. It is with these tools that I re­turn to my al­lot­ment, my head full of plans for the year ahead and my pock­ets bulging with seed pack­ets, their tiny con­tents bear­ing no re­sem­blance to the flow­ers and veg­eta­bles they will soon be­come. I take my time, pre­par­ing the beds with care, en­joy­ing mak­ing a new home for my pre­cious crops. But it is not all work: tea breaks are just as im­por­tant, giv­ing me time to watch blue tits dart­ing be­tween the ap­ple trees and crows skip­ping from plot to plot sur­vey­ing the ground for any­thing to pinch. Soon there will be plenty for them to choose from, and for the most part I am happy to share, so long as they stay away from my lunch…

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