Spending my afternoons puddling about in thick clay as I try to turn the area around my metal swing seat into a scented garden. Hacking out old hedging shrubs that have been banked up with the excavations for a greenhouse that has long since disappeared: bricks, flints and bits of rusted ironmongery, all clagged together with lumps of yellow subsoil.

It’s a strangely relaxing – and exhausting procedure for just a few hours every afternoon, as I dream of what I’ll plant (akebia, eleagnus angustifolia, sweet peas, and magenta-coloured shrub roses), and imagine myself sitting in the sun. The image is completed with an imagined flock of Orpingtons. Every time I garden, I miss sharing the excitement of the turned spade, though the job is easier without darting beaks.

I’m hoping that Kent College will lend me a broody and some of their hatching eggs. Their provenance (mums and dad seen above, and borrowed for the day) can be seen in an article I’ve written for this month’s Gardens Illustrated, in some gorgeous pics by Andrew Mongomery: Henkeeping for Serious Gardeners. Can’t wait!