May is here, so it’s time to get growing

May, the month to make the most of it. Soon, sunset will be after 9pm, and sunrise ever closer to five.

Long days and two long weekends.

We are late this year with home window boxes. The never-ending debate about whether we will again buy hanging geraniums like that time we saw them in the Alps in summer. The usual debate about colour: which shades of red and will there be dark blue hanging lobelia? There will be a short tussle, which I will gracefully lose.

Late, too, with the plot this year thanks to near endless isolations, and Howard is nursing an injury. We will break the back of it this week (hopefully the soil, not Howard or me). Some peas and beans are already in trays. And more seed than a man should admit to is thrumming impatient in multiple packs.

We are later, too, with early crops. I’m feeling a need to get spinach in soon. We’ll be sowing beetroot, chard and amaranth and hardier salads outside. We’ll start corn and courgette in root trainers on the terrace.

The pea sticks and sweet pea structure need to be set. The poles, too, for French beans, in yellow and blue – though I’ve yet again been lured by a pretty speckledy packet.

I have a yen to return to a deep morning glory. Higgledy Garden climbing nasturtiums will wait until the peas are over. Calendula are sown, of course, and I will replenish through the summer.

About to go in: fast-growing radish (we’ll start with ‘French Breakfast’) and rocket. Other leaves soon, perhaps even a few early autumn Italian chicories. Soft summery herbs: chervil, maybe basil (I am still undecided), parsley, dill, some saved coriander as much for the delicate flowers and for Indian memories as flavour.

The starting flag is raised. Summer is raring to go. I wish you all good growing.