Wow – what a glorious weekend of sunshine it’s been here in the UK. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have.
Of course, all that sunshine has the usual side effects – major red skin for me (the kids and Mr G all tan easily, I burn at the slightest hint of a ray!), BBQ’s, paddling pools, water slides, shorts – all of which mean I had to venture outside to the garden and face the fact – it’s a jungle out there.
In theory I do like gardening, in so much as I like a beautiful, well tended garden to admire and home grown vegetables make me feel virtuous. In reality, it’s hard work, time consuming and hurts. But I set to this weekend with a little enthusiasm, aided by a large jug of Pimms.
In previous years I have gone all out on the veg front – well, I was on maternity leave and had more time. Baby Botboy parked up asleep in a pram meant I could put more thought into growing our own. I ‘encouraged’ Mr G to set me up some raised beds, I researched crop rotation and delved into about 20 different types of veg.
These are my raised beds this year! Impressive, don’t you think?
Perhaps I was a little optimistic in my hope that I would be naturally green fingered. The whole lot required constant weeding, everything got covered in caterpillars and I discovered the only root vegetable my family will eat is potato.
Each year I do manage to grow one thing quite successfully. I love tomatoes. They ripen in July-August. I sit outside with my book and a drink and eat them straight from the plant. This year I decided to try pot grown veg and kept it down to a manageable few – cucumbers (delicious picked straight from the bush, very sweet), beetroot (I think I may be meant to thin these out) and carrots (no reason, just carrots).
I am very proud of this little recycling effort. Sackgirl was complaining that the rabbits and birds always eat her strawberry plants, so this year I put this together using a broken garden table, some chicken wire and netting. Voila – one rabbit and bird proof strawberry pot.
My mum came by to visit which meant an obligatory trip to the garden center where she advised me on the type of plant that are easy care and therefore suited to me. (My mum is green fingered. Which means she is a keen gardener, not that she has a bizarre, disfiguring disease.)
I promptly ignored all advise, choosing as usual the plants I think are most interesting – which does usually go hand in hand with delicate, expensive, requires intensive care . . .
Firstly I chose, this. It’s bright, multi-coloured and called Wizard. Yes, I do chose my plants based on the name. I also got something called Solar Power for Mr G since he is so eco-friendly, completely ignoring his total lack of interest in the garden or flowers.
As for this – it’s weird and feathery. And almost day-glo. How fab is nature!
Still, it meant I had to weed the bed to make some space for them. Well – half the bed anyway.
So today I am working outside in the sun with one very hot puppy and admiring my tidy beds (and resolutely keeping my back to the other half of the jungle behind me.
I’m pretty optimistic that this year will be the year my veg grows well and my plants stay alive! Got to keep trying – right?
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