It’s been a real mixed bag down at the Potager Garden this month, but overall there is a real sense of optimism poking its head out of a rather grey cloud.
Perhaps the arrival of spring has given us all a little extra spring in our step, proving that we shall always emerge from the depths of a dark winter to bloom brightly once again.
Most significantly, we have taken a huge step towards to the creation of the main three-acre potager garden.
Having dug out almost 200m of trenches, we have laid the electric cables needed for the first phase of the groundworks.
After protracted and disappointing hold ups, thanks to the council and Covid, it does feel we’re getting somewhere at last.
Meanwhile, there is a genuine feeling that we’re finally emerging, rubbing our eyes, rom the darkness of Covid.
It’s fantastic to see the Potager restaurant and Cider House pizzeria bustling again, to have the hotel full with guests and people coming and going.
It has really given myself and Jason a renewed impetus to get the grounds bang up to scratch, and I feel we’re getting there.
And we’ve also started harvesting – a splendid kilo of tender stem broccoli has already made its way to the kitchens, with many more on the way.
Sowing has started in earnest, from chilis to marigolds (in fact only this morning the marigolds were breaking the soil surface, a sight that still gives me a buzz).
Elsewhere, we’ve had secateurs in hand to prune the rose bushes and summer flowering shrubs, as well as showering our beds and borders with a good dose of Growmore to give the returning herbaceous plants that little extra boost.
However, there has been some rough times too – Storm Eunice took our greenhouse away in quite violent fashion (I saw it go, and was very relieved not to be the path of the shower of glass that flew over the shed).
We managed save some of our hardwood cuttings and the sweet peas, but we lost more than we saved.
It’s a shame, but let’s be honest, given what is happening elsewhere in the Europe, it’s nothing.
Right now it feels ludicrous to complain about anything, and while there is very little we can do to help those in Ukraine on a day to day basis, I know our fantastic bar staff have been working on a special one-off cocktail from which proceeds will go to support refugee families fleeing the war.
So raise a glass, and show Ukrainian’s they will emerge from the cold, dark and heavy clouds of war to be stronger, more united and an overwhelming inspiration to us all.