Boy I have been working really hard in the garden. After I considered and then quickly discarded the idea of hiring a bulldozer, I sat down and wrote myself a list – a very long list, of all it would take to return my garden to a state I could be proud of and in the process restore my passion.
It has taken what feels like an absolute age to whip it back into shape, although the wind still makes its presence felt, although not at the great velocities of those early January days. But we have a new summer problem to contend with… The boffins are now beginning to claim their earlier guesses as fact and we are now entering a drought. We haven’t seen rain now for weeks and the temperatures are high and the ground is opening up with great chasms that I’m sure go down to the centre of the earth. Maybe that is where some of the heat is coming from?
This is where I bless my soggy boggy swamp soil. While dreadful in winter, in summer it clings tightly to any moisture that comes its way and so my plants don’t need as intensive care as they would in other soils. The up side of this is I don’t have to spend most of my summer days on the end of a hose, and the plant roots dig down deep for some of the hidden moisture. So despite the hills around us turning from a vibrant green to an amber brown shade, my garden is still thriving.
The harvest is beginning to come in thick and fast and I knew it was a mistake to plant so many bean seeds. But they all looked so pretty I just had to have a couple of each… now the beans are coming in I find that despite each bean looking different with their purples, pinks, yellows and greens, they all still taste like beans. I guess I was hoping maybe, just maybe one of them would have a flavour that would excite my taste buds but alas no.
The tomatoes are starting to ripen, but I’d hardly say thick and fast… yet. The bushes are laden and one day soon I will have way more to deal with than in my wildest dreams. (Gardening is such an obsession for me, it even invades my dreams). The gherkins are once again being super prolific, I seem to be preserving some every week and we haven’t even finished eating the ones from last year yet!
So far I have had a bumper year for spuds. I started digging up the gourmet Jersey Bennys on Christmas day and the wonderful new potatoes lasted all of January and were perfect for summertime eating and salads. They came to an end at the perfect time to dig up the next row called Heather which have a lovely ruby red skin. I push the fork into the bed as close to the edge as possible and speared two large spuds! Opps! So I dug the rest out by hand and was rewarded with a large barrel load of huge sized spuds that will be perfect for stuffed baked potatoes, which is good as the description says it’s a good general all round cooker!
The Hungarian Wax peppers and the Anaheim chillies are starting to come into their own, to the delight of the heat seeking Hubby the Un-Gardener, who always bravely tastes my chillies, but eventually they leave him racing for the milk! Wait until the tabascos come ripe, hehehe!
I could go on with a blow by blow list of all that is good about my garden but we’ll be here forever. So I’ll just say I have regained full control, it is looking fantastic (if I may say so myself) and all that blood, sweat and tears and worry has now received ample compensation and is all but forgotten.
Come again soon – the garden is beginning to reach the exciting climactic stage – the full harvest!
Sarah the Gardener : o )