Spring Clean

I am a predictable creature, every April the desire for spring cleaning begins and by the third week a juice cleanse begins. No exceptions this year, the green juice detox began yesterday, three days of juicing and minimal eating, I am allowed oat-bran porridge with dates and rice milk and a soup with a home-made veggie stock base. Day Two is always the hardest, I am tired and lethargic today but looking forward to being bright and energetic in a few days time. All the leafy greens are collected fresh from our garden, there is dandelion leaf, sorrel, land cress and two types of kale. They make a very intensive green-ness and both my liver and spleen are very happy about it.


image of a cow parsley flower
The umbel is a most pleasing blossom structure. Described as a flower consisting of many stalks which emanate from a single point rather like umbrella ribs. From the humble cow parsley (pictured above) to the delightful elderflower, the Hertfordshire hedgerows are currently awash with umbels. Floating cloud like on long stalks, creamy white in a sea of green. Beautiful.


A croquet match on the lawn on a sunny Sunday afternoon
On the afternoon of Sunday May 1st 2011, Victor and Sarah Crew hosted the first annual Folks & Crows Croquet Tournament at their house in Essex. The guests wore white, many a cravat was spotted, the lawn was mowed and the bar well-stocked beside it. Play began about 3.00pm and after a number of friendly encounters high tea was served. Play resumed after tea and the Wood family swung their mallets to victory, taking home the trophy after the formalities were complete. Congratulations to the winners and to Sarah and Victor for such a delightful afternoon. We will be practicing our croquet strategy and technique in preparation for next year’s competition.

Spring Clean

Spring greens for spring cleaning
I have found myself with a strong desire for spring cleaning this week, I love when this feeling arrives, it means the winter is truly over. So in the last week of glorious sunshine I have washed all my winter woollies, overhauled and tidied my loft studio (its warm enough to go up there again) and started juicing and eating foraged greens from my garden. My world is cleansed inside and out. Very pleasing.

10 Signs of Spring

Evidence of Spring - magnolia in bloom and Michaela French's compost pile
A list of evidence suggesting that spring is truly and finally in the air in Hertfordshire, I feel much cause for celebration:

1. The magnolia tree across the road is in full bloom
2. I have dug the compost pile and spread its bounty over our vegetable beds
3. The plum tree is blooming after a somewhat brutal winter pruning.
4. The daffodils are everywhere.
5. Our peony has bravely shot up two new, very bold shoots.
6. Our pond is alive is with the annual frog breeding extravaganza.
7. My hair and fingernails are growing fast.
8. I wore shorts and a singlet in the garden all day on Friday.
9. The sun is shinning and the air is warm(ish).
10. It is 6.15pm and it is still broad daylight outside.



At last it seems the spring might really be here. We have our first iris blooming and the sun is shining warmly, we even ate our lunch in the garden this afternoon. To me it feels like it has been a long long winter and this brightness is surely welcome. It feels like its time to get a haircut, start planting and begin being a sociable creature once more. Here’s to a beautiful season.