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JANUARY in the beginning

January 4, 2010

The first day of the new year was physically something of a write off.  However a day spent mainly in bed, glumly watching the sun make my yellow curtains burn with a weird cold heat, did give me a chance to ponder, to think about what on earth to do with the outdoor appendage.

One wasted day tends to lead to a more productive one and on the 2nd January I was out on the roof early – it was bathed in low sun and I was well wrapped in a thick coat.  I did some tidying, moved things around, re-familiarised myself with the roof’s spaces and corners as my hands slowly turned blue.

I swept leaves and gathered up old bits of string.  I stacked empty pots and bunched canes into neat groups.  After a grumpy couple of months staring mournfully at each other through condensation covered windows, suddenly the hanging garden and I were friends again.

This year I’m a girl on a serious budget.  I’m writing more and earning less and so the roof project has now become both more of a necessity and more of a challenge.  A necessity because I really could do with saving money by growing my own and a challenge because, although I’ve done all my gardening fairly cheaply so far, this year it’s simply got to be even cheaper.

In this spirit I’ve started eyeing up other people’s empties.  Some neighbours have been clearing out old furniture and I scored this strange ladder/shelving unit thing that I’m very excited about.  I have no idea what it was but, with a bit of creative wood work, I can see it becoming a brilliant planter for salad and herbs.  My very own ladder of leaves.  Perfect.

So far I’ve decided 2010 is the year I grow baby carrots in a pair of leaky red wellingtons and the year I grow potatoes in a big old sack.  It’s the year I install a section of guttering to grow lettuce in and the year I have much more success with courgettes and radishes.  It’s the year I consider compost more and wonder whether a wormery would work.  It’s the year I work my very hardest to convince at least one person I know to get chickens.  It’s the year the roof becomes twice the jungle it was last year.

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