Having a holiday in the middle of the growing season is possibly the craziest thing that happens to gardener. But we all do it. – Well most of us. We set up irrigation systems to make things easy for the minder and offer any veggie that come ripe to the temporary caretakers of our seasons work.
But the only person who is truly passionate about a garden is the one who sowed the seeds. A casual garden guardian will water as per instructions and remove veggies that look like those in the supermarket, however there is more to gardening than this. Although it is the best you can do in the circumstances and off you go on holiday with the constant thought rattling around in the back of your head as you lie on the beach “I hope my garden is alright.”
We returned to some pretty prolific growth and it is this I use to count my blessings so the horror of neglect doesn’t break my heart too much. A well-meaning helper accidently took out a hazelnut tree in an attempt to clear the orchard of the weeds. But the sight of all the pear and plum trees with the mankiest of leaves that have been completely destroyed by a pear slug was too much to bear. If you have ever come across this nasty beasty you’ll know what an ugly slimy, disgusting creature it is, and it has ruined my trees. I should have been there. I could have prevented it. I could have sprayed at the first sign. I would have saved them from such brutal destruction. But shoulda-coulda-woulda is of no help. I just have to get stuck in and spray now and pray the fruit on the trees will make it to become fully ripe without the leaves to provide the trees with nutrients and to some degree hide the fruit from the birds. The good news is the apples are ok and the peach leaf curl is noticeable by its absence. Blessing one and two in the orchard. I guess things are equal.
The veggie patch is not free from problems, although the biggest problem is perceptual. The grass is overgrown and so the whole thing just looks like a disaster. A quick mow should sort this – once I get over my tragic sadness. I mean the poor kale – it’s been decimated by some kind of leaf miner and it’s beautiful frond-like leaves look like they have been dragged through a hedge backwards. They are definitely not edible and we haven’t even had so much as a baked chip from them. If I was there I could have stuck out some sticky yellow traps and prevented the disappointing destruction.
The rest of the garden isn’t actually that bad, but please allow me this moment to wallow in my melodrama as I mourn the loss of the vitality of living things that I brought into existence and failed in my duty to provide adequate care. OK that is being a bit over dramatic, but when it is added to the final disaster of a years’ worth of produce accidentally defrosted in a freezer, you can begin to understand why I began to toy with the idea of hiring a bulldozer to “take care” of the lot so I would be spared from further heart break.
But the tomatoes have been slow to grow this year and so I haven’t actually missed a single rosy red orb, the peppers and corn are looking amazing and are a sight to behold. The carrots are ready and the cucumbers are going great guns and I have flowers. Loads of beautiful flowers. All is actually ok with the world, especially when you have flowers.
Good things always come from things that are bad or sad. I shall buy a new tree and I shall plant it not just to replace it, but also to remember my Nana who after 95 wonderful years left us yesterday. Gardens are good for things like that.
Come again soon – Like a phoenix my garden shall rise from the ashes of holiday neglect.
Sarah the Gardener : o )