Columbia Road Market 69
While the weather outside remains capricious, I am able to enjoy my indoor garden of Spring flowers in old pots upon the dresser every day. Now that Spring bulbs are coming into flower in the garden, the end of the season for potted bulbs at Columbia Rd means a large variety are available for as little as one pound a pot. Consequently, each week, I have been carrying trays of these back to Spitalfields and replanting them into my collection of old bowls, that I have amassed over the years from the market, to create an abundant display in my living room.
I cannot plant bulbs in my garden without squirrels simply eating them all, but I have found that if I plant out these Columbia Rd bulbs once they have flowered, they come up again next year and the squirrels do not touch them. Last week, I came back with a tray of late-flowering Pheasant’s Eye Narcissus, to replace the first wave of miniature Daffodils which have already flowered upon my window sill, and also five pots of Grape Hyacinths that I potted up indoors – all these were a mere one pound a pot.
The first Auriculas are in the market now, also at just a pound a pot and, each year, I can never resist these plants – with their exotically artificial-looking flowers – which are said to have been introduced to Britain by the Huguenots. Finally, I bought a coral-coloured Primula, which evokes a specimen my grandmother had of this exact shade when I was a child, and which I recall her showing me with great pride. Even though she died in 1991, when I see these plants each year, it always gives me a shock of recognition and I feel they belong to her. It is a tender reminiscence for the expenditure of just four pounds.