Finally, I can put down my trowel and stop lying awake at night worrying about the increasingly leggy plants growing in pots rapidly becoming too small. Everything that can be or needs to be, has been planted into the garden. The beds and my heart are full. The garden is done, and it looks wonderful.
I don’t know what it was about this spring. It was my intention to have it all done earlier than usual. Not only did I want to test our frost free spot by gradually opening the growing season ever so slightly earlier each year until I find the threshold, but I was supposed to be away from the garden right now. I should have left a few days ago and would have been gone for 20 days. However, the current situation meant I wasn’t going any interesting at all – just here, at home. I haven’t even been up the road!
I think the first delay was the wonderful rock garden took longer than I thought it would and while I don’t regret a moment of it as it is a beautiful space, there was some time lost there. The weather also played a hand in the delay, and probably for good reason. We are now in November, and it is still a little cold. Not winter cold – but cold for these days. Aside from these excuses, the strange world we find ourselves in creates a bizarre malaise where some days feel like you are wading through treacle and nothing much of anything gets done.
A lot of things took a lot longer to get around to than they should have but they just weren’t much of a priority. I had a memory pop up today that said this time last year I was BBQing peas in their pods. If you haven’t tried that, I suggest you should – the wee peas are steamed in their own juices and are so sweet and delicious. But this season due to late planting and bird attacks my poor peas are nowhere near flowering, let alone BBQing.
I also dropped the ball over the winter and didn’t keep on top of my routine of tending to each sector each week, no matter how little attention they needed. So, for the sake of 10 – 15 mins a day keeping weeds down and keeping the garden tidy and organised, I left myself with a bit of a hard slog to catch up from.
The garden planting plan was pretty much stuck too, which I’m pleased about. Although maybe a few extra plants got squeezed in here and there. I discovered I’d accidentally given away all my celery seedlings, thinking I had held some back only to find they were all celeriac, so now I need to buy some celery seedlings!
The tomatoes got planted twice. To help defeat the problems that have plagued them since we moved here, I reduced the number of plants – almost by half, so they would have more room to themselves. And then I planted them in one row instead of the usual two only to find myself sat bolt upright in bed in the middle of that night realising I’d given them less space, not more. The next day I replanted them in two rows and feel so much better about them. Although my next move is to get some insect netting to keep the Tomato Potato Psyllid away.
The okra is still in the greenhouse as it really doesn’t like the cooler conditions and will drop all its leaves if it isn’t happy. So, when it warms up outside then I’ll plant them out. The peanuts failed me and rotted in their pots so I’m now trying the damp paper towel in a zip lock bag in a warm place technique as a last ditch effort to fill the space allotted to them.
There are still all the spares to take care of in the interim – in case I need them. All I really need to do is keep them watered and alive. Although some look so good I’m toying with the idea of popping them in pots and having a little extra on the side.
I feel liberated from the self imposed burden of getting all of these plants into the garden, so I shall bask just a little longer in the lack of urgency in my days and then begin the task of tidying up after myself. I may even wash the used pots now instead of in the winter…. Nah, probably not. Then I will look about for the next project to squeeze in before the harvest begins to inundate my kitchen.
Come again soon – its time for a tour once I tidy up a little to reduce the shame factor
Sarah the Gardener : o)