I'm very attached to this particular basket of mine, which I bought almost twenty years ago in a hip decor store in London, and brought it back to my minimalist black, white and gray that remained my favorite look for many years. This was a time in my life when gardening and digging in the soil couldn't have been farther from my mind. I filled it with store-bought dry flowers, my first step towards a new decor and lifestyle that has ended up far, far away from that minimalist London apartment (though I still do love black!).
It did take a long time for this basket (and its owner) to come anywhere near a garden, but when it finally did, it stayed. And although I have a couple more baskets that I use in the garden, this remains the one I use most: even if it came from an interior design store in a big city, it was clearly made for gardening, and is perfect for carrying hand tools and fresh-harvested vegetables. You've probably have seen it many times in my garden photos.
But years of hard use had taken their toll on the wicker. The handle, especially, was giving way.
One day, without any clear plan, I took some hemp rope and started wrapping and knotting it around the frayed-out handle.
And I was so surprised to see that in the end, I'd successfully and effortlessly repaired - and refashioned - my twenty-year-old wicker basket!
Off I went to do some gardening, the first time this year. After a difficult winter and a tough period of family illness, it felt so good to be out there, in the company of my London basket and my few faithful hand tools, digging out old roots, and planning new growth.
My farmer's calendar does warn that it's not gardening season yet, and not to be fooled by a few days of sunshine in February. But just as you can't judge the garden-worthiness of a wicker basket at first glance in a store, maybe this little primula I found while hoeing is a sign that you can't always judge the season simply by looking at a calendar.