It's been snowing all day, yet again, but I am in denial. I am not listening. I am reading seed catalogues. One day it may be spring again, and chez Hinsliff there is - no really, there is! - going to be a veg patch.
It's not going to be the kitchen garden of my fantasies (brick walls, box hedges, mysterious absence of slugs and snails, me wafting about in river cottage-fashion picking homegrown peaches, etc). And I'm resigned to the fact that most of it will obviously die.
But hey, growing vegetables is the big downshifting cliche. I can't not have a go.
What I want is edible stuff that is idiotproof, quick-growing, of interest to toddlers (we may struggle to inspire a passion for gardening by way of courgettes) and can be grown in pots on a patio - we're househunting, and I don't want to have to leave it all behind if we move. Can just see my husband's face when I tell him we need to cram rows upon rows of snail-ravaged stumps into the removal van.
Ideally I'd also like to grow stuff that's expensive to buy in supermarkets, although (see the Great Potato Debacle of last year), in my experience growing your own tends to involve spending a small fortune on materials in order to produce one weedy runt that would be rejected by Lidl.
So far I'm thinking salad leaves, especially rocket; tomatoes (haven't got a greenhouse, but have a sunny back wall); blueberries (my one sad, nonfruiting bush is going to get a mate, even though it's supposedly selfpollinating). Have done Chinese mustard leaves before which were good, so would like to have a go at pak choi or some sort of vaguely stirfryable greenery.
I'd quite like some sort of bean - I grew borlotti beans last year, which were fantastically poncey and very pretty but I had no idea what to cook with them: maybe broad beans this year?
And I'd quite like raspberries, which will allegedly grow in pots, although I'm not sure how well. But as you can tell, I am mostly clueless. Does anyone out there have green fingers?