• Kim F Vaughan

The purple shoots of recovery

How purple became the new green

During Covid-19 lockdown, many of us lucky enough to have a garden have been taking particular delight in watching out for milestones that indicate ‘normal’ things happening.

The daffodils have been wonderful. At the time of writing, the bluebells are on their way to full flower. The house martins have been to visit their nests. Pots of tulips, planted in hope at the end of last year, are in full bloom already thanks to many days of sunshine and uncharacteristic seasonal warmth. Almost as if nature knows we need a break this year.

But the most eagerly-awaited sign of hope is the arrival of our first asparagus tip of the season. Whilst commentators talk about the green shoots of recovery, we are focused on these small purple stalks. At first, they are easily confused with small stones, causing false alarms and crushing disappointment.

Our first purple shoot of recovery (pictured) appeared on 9 April 2020, bringing untold joy and celebration. We hope to get more than 100 spears this year before the traditional end of the picking season at the summer solstice, beating last year’s 87. It is a very small bed, after all. I will let you know if we make it!

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