Monday, July 19, 2010

On collecting the manure dividend

I harvested the first of the peas tonight. Which is the first of the vegetables. If you discount the spinach, which I planted in a crappy wet part of the garden to see how an 'above the ground' crop would do. And then really ignored, because even though I could see from the deck it wasn't doing so well, I don't like spinach enough to put the effort in.

I ignored it and ignored it, and then half-heartedly checked on it, and realised the tall ones were in fact dandelions, and then trudged over to the shed for the hoe (which was broken) and then didn't buy a new one, and, well, you get the picture...

So I have a lot of spinach gone to seed, which Bunny likes to nibble on when he's bored of dandelions.

And some peas.

I went out with a bowl, and even though I only had to go through one gate and not the two that led to our garden at home, suddenly I was nine again and it was Sunday after 10 o'clock Mass on a breezy summer day and I was picking peas for the Queen Mum to go with the roast beef dinner.

My fingers touched every pod and there was that old satisfaction when I found one that was bursting with goodness, straining against the pod.

Twist and pull. Just like Paddy showed me.

It was all I could do not to sit on the back door step and shell them immediatey, stuffing most of them in my mouth.

But Himself is working nights down on the waterfront this week, so I will leave them for him to enjoy when he gets home... seeing as he designed and built the special stands they are twined around.

There is nothing that man can't do with some 2 x 4 and a piece of netting.

If he decides he wants to, of course.

After a lot of work, and some sunshine and just enough rain our garden is starting to make progress.  The potatoes and corn are very vigorous, so I am hopeful.  The pumpkin patch had about a 10 per cent success rate, which is not too bad considering we were making it up as we went along. 

We only need enough pumpkins for Hallowe'en anyways... I can't eat the stuff.

We are on our second round of cucumbers as Bunny likes them too.

And the tomatos are succeeding against all the odds.  Just when they needed to be tended I took a huff with the garden and ignored it for about two weeks straight.  Then got a rush of guilt and watered the bejaysus out of the little seedlings three nights in a row.  It appears to have worked, we have about fifty sturdy plants now.

I can't wait until the greenhouse smells of tomatos... it is the best smell in the world.  Better than cut grass even.

This year I managed to get a bit of formal gardening done as well.  I put in a new small bed, and cleaned up the SEVEN beds we have found around the property. 

Holy of holies, it's exhausting though.  And back-breaking.  I have been to the massage therapist so often this year he's been reading up on gardener's elbow.  Basically what happened (I think) was that a woman who used to live here designed and planted all the beds.  Then she split up with her husband and they sold the house.  Before they left they mulched the beds. 

Seven years passed and nobody disturbed them.  Then along comes I, all vim and vigour last year and took out all the mulch. 

Twenty six years of pent up weedlings saw their opportunity and SPRANG FORTH AND MULTIPLIED.

I am getting there.

It will be manageable in about five years, I reckon.

I've decided to plant lots of Asians so there will be no ground cover underneath.  Hydrangeas, rhododendrons, wigelias, that kind of thing.

Starve the little bastards out, you might say.

A garden truly is a lifetime's work.

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