Thursday, 14 June 2012

Alpha and Omega

Supper this evening consisted of the very last home-grown bacon joint alongside the first of this year's new potatoes, broad beans and parsley.

The old with the new.
A fitting transition.
There is always new, isn't there? New life. New growth. New experiences.
All good.

And there are no photos because it has all gone!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012


To be said in one's best Tim Curry voice!

The hungry gap is always a frustrating time. The only edible things available to eat from the garden are a few herbs, a mass of rhubarb and some tatty spinach left over from last year. Sure there are plenty of greens available in the wild - sorrel, jack-by-the-hedge, wild garlic and nettles - but is not quite the same as that first harvest of the year.

Everything is so tantalisingly close to being ready.
It is time to cover the strawberries. As soon as the first hint of pinkness appears, the blackbirds start paying them rather too much interest for my liking. This year I WILL eat them myself, rather than donating them to the wildlife.
The first sowing of peas was eaten by something (probably mice or voles) before they had a chance to get going. The plants look delicate, but are as hard as nails if I can get them through the first couple of weeks with their heads out of the soil, so the second sowing was made in a length of guttering in the greenhouse and then planted out. And there are third and fourth sowings almost ready to follow in their footsteps.
I don't think it is possible to have too many fresh peas.
Broad beans of course. Dwarf varieties only this year as the yield is pretty good and the plants don't need staking, which is always a bonus up on this hill.

I have really been enjoying my garden this year. With two of us tackling it, the place is starting to get straight again. Robert likes the bits that involve petrol-driven machinery, so the hedges look tidy, the woodpile is full and the lawn gets mown more than once in a blue moon. Which leaves me with time to plant and weed and pot on - and to take pleasure in them, rather than simply rushing to get everything in.
Not having chickens scratching everything up helps too. I miss the chooks - and the eggs and manure - but not the frustration of finding a couple of hens dust-bathing in my newly-planted seedlings. I'm sure there will be chickens in my life again, but they probably won't have quite such free rein as was the case in the past.
The lettuces are almost ready too. It's a shame that the sun has disappeared temporarily, but I'm sure it will come back eventually.

The Spring planting frenzy happens every year. I always worry about being too late, so I put in the poor tender seedlings too early, then a late-May cold snap turns up with the result that they sit in the ground and sulk until mid-June.
I know this will happen because it is always the same. My old-boy neighbours tut despairingly over my hastiness, and offer me their leftover plants just in case mine turn up their toes with the cold. And the late-planted seedlings always catch up with the early ones, and often do even better. But I just can't stop myself doing it - the first sunny day in May, I am out there putting in those little plantlets and hoping that I will have got it right for once.
But it never happens, and the first couple of weeks of June are always spent pacing up and down, waiting to harvest something.