On a Sunday lunchtime in London, what better thing to do than visit the flower market at Columbia Road? The main part of the market is on Columbia Road itself, a parade of Victorian shops off the Hackney Road. The market stalls are located in front of the shops, and the big crowds mean that it can get very crowded as everyone’s trying to walk through the narrow space in the middle.
We squeezed in among the crowd as the various sellers tried to attract attention by shouting about how their flowers were “fourpaaandabunch” and “freeefratenner”. We went for some early spring flowers – miniature daffodils, irises and snowdrops – along with bulbs for bluebells, crocuses and anemonies. Those last ones look like dried pellets of some sort. “You’ll need to soak those overnight,” we were told.
A couple of days later, I was out planting them in the front garden. There’s a part by the wall where the ivy wasn’t entirely cleared, so that job came first, along with cutting down a couple of bushes that had got out of control (one of which I hadn’t bothered with last year; it’s now a set of stumps) and some weeding in the flower-bed in front of the house. Let the 2016 gardening project commence!
The front part, which has some ground-cover that itsn’t grass but which can stay because it’s ground-cover, now has the flowers and the bulbs, apart from the anemonies which are in the flower bed. The front garden’s looking bright already, and soon it’ll look brighter still.
At the back, some vegetables have already been sown while the rosemary and mint plants have been trimmed back. Next to those are some radish seeds in the ground, while the black plastic troughs have been sown with broad beans and peas – in time, these will hopefully work their way up the trellises.