It’s started again – the season of hoeing and sowing, of visions and delusions, the triumph of hope over experience, when visions of carrots no larger than my middle finger and scarlet as a guardsman’s tunic, beetroot the size of plums, earthy and sweet, and multicoloured salads sit in frothy lines across my veg beds, dance in my head.
The potatoes (Sharp’s Express and Kerr’s Pink this year) have gone in. So have broad beans (Stereo, Crimson Flowered and Matlock) and peas (Unwins Onward And Magnum Bonum – a proper name, that). Zucchini (Romanesco), cucumbers (Paris Pickling, Diva), and tomatoes (John Baer, Mexico Midget, Sungold, Orange Peruche, Costeluto Florentine, Noire de Crimee) have been sown in pots indoors. I spent much of Monday on my hands and knees sprinkling the seeds of radishes (French Breakfast and Sparkler), lettuces (La Grosse Paresseuse), beetroot (Crapaudine and barbital di Chioggia), and carrots (James Scarlet Intermediate, Manchester Table and Long Red Surrey) in neat rows. And there are plenty more to come.
It’s an absurd range of varieties in three small plots, but what the hell. A man may dream. My two greengage trees are in full bloom, and blizzard of snow-white blossoms, an exquisite promise of summer bounty.
But hang on a sec. Are there enough pollinating insects around to turn flowers into fruits? Will there be an unseasonable late frost? Will the birds simply take the lot? Oh, heavens to Murgatroyd. Anxiety, worry, nerves. The price of a healthy crop of anything is constant vigilance.
I suppose the one consoling thought is that I will be enjoying the fruits of my labours long after Brexit has been Brexited, one way or another.
Or will I?