Yesterday I picked some elegant yellow tulips from the plot, at home I put them in a green vase. Today they are open showing their faces, so different. Wide and expansive, black centres pointing like small explosions.

Yellow seems a happy colour, of sunshine and warm spring days. But what comes into my head is a song I learned at girl guide camp all those years ago about being sick: ‘Green and Yeller’. Is this the pandemic influence on my mind? The colours of jealousy and disease. People are reading plague diaries again. This is my plot diary, my daily writing. On a walk with Refugee Tales last year, I picked up and saved an oak gall to make ink. In the paper today, the country diarist describes how he has pounded his jar of galls to a powder, mixed in gum arabic and some iron to produce blue black ink, a permanent ink, he says that Leonardo would have used to sketch.


sorrel leaves picked 3 April 2020

Plenty of sorrel today, clean leaves without slug and snail holes, good for a mixed salad or steamed with other leaves. Oxalic acid in them means don’t eat too many on their own.

They are a mid green with red stems. Green is the colour of growing. Verdant, verdure, natural, fresh, young, grass green.

So many words for the colour green, many associated with plants: apple, moss, juniper, sage, fern, olive, grass, avocado, leaf, pea green.

A green can be a field or a park, a playing area. Green is associated with environmental concerns. It can also mean inexperienced, naive or innocent. And strangely it can mean uncultivated, ungrown, immature or childish, half-formed even artless. Tenderfoot is a gentle word, a word to keep in mind as I walk around the allotment, taking my time to look, to stop, to examine and wait, to choose my next move.


Here is blossom on the pear tree. Two years ago this tree had two pears. Last year I fed and trimmed it and it produced fifteen pears.

The dwarf quince branches are reaching for the sky. It was planted last year and gave fourteen quinces.

There is blossom also on the old nameless plum tree and on the Victoria plum planted in a dustbin.

So I think about blossom, bloom, flower. These words can also mean to flourish. The plot is a place to open and develop. The plants flower and so can I.