Tag Archives: potager

No! No! No more snow!

Not so much a blog post as a tirade. I have tried to write a rational, reasonable post about recent weather, but, since the weather is being neither rational nor reasonable, why should I be? Thanks also to the weather, there will be no photographs (see note 1 below). If you don’t like rants I suggest you leave now.

Q1: Have I worked in the garden nearly all day, nearly every day for nearly five weeks without a complaint?
A1: Yes, yes, yes … and no.

Q2: Have I cleared all the weeds from Wisley (see note 2)?
A2: Indeed you have.

Q3: Did I split the phlomis into lots of bits and plant it in drifts in the aforementioned Wisley and did it look a treat?
A3: Yes and yes … and yes.

Q4: Did I move loads of lupins from the nursery, even though they were getting a bit big, to self-same Wisley, without killing a single one?
A4: You did indeed, O Wondrous One, although that one on the right doesn’t look too happy.

Q5: Were the honesty, astilbe, verbena bonariensis (AKA as Argentina by The Womble), verbascum, clematis Ernest Markham, flag irises, aquilegia and two rose bushes that I planted growing well or were they not?
A5: Get to the point, woman!

Q6: Did I not drag wheelbarrowsful of manure from the orchard track to give them a good start?
A6: It was only just the other side of the hedge, but yes you did.

Q7: And did I not plant innumerable artemesia babies in drifts throughout the Herb Circle (see Note 3)?
A7: Yup.

Q8: … And water them every evening for days and days and …
A8: Yes!!!

Q9: Which reminds me: didn’t I carry water from the water butt, all through the herb circle and up those steps to Wisley umpteen times for the new plants?
A9: S’pose so. (yawns)

Q10: And didn’t I weed the southern sector of the Herb Circle to within an inch of its chickweedy life then tastefully plant up with swathes of artemesia, solidago, bouillon blanc (verbascum), saponaria, bronze fennel, nepeta, angeli…..
A10: You did, you did, you did. It all looks lovely. What IS your point?

Rant 1: My point, Sir, is that, while I was doing all this work, the weather was getting hotter and hotter and drier and drier and the plants were growing faster and faster in the sun and drooping faster and faster in the drought and the water butts were getting emptier and emptier and it was only blasted April, for crying out loud!

Q11: And do you know what happened then?
A11: Earthquake? Volcanic ash cloud? You broke a nail polishing your halo?

Rant 2: Watch it, Smarty Pants! What happened next was – it snowed. It’s May and it snowed! Ten inches of the horrible stuff. I did all that work in Wisley and the herb circle, and bits in the kitchen terrace, not to mention the potager and all those strawberry plants I transplanted. I’ve got asparagus freezing their tips off, I had lilac blossom for the very first time, my very first apricots just forming, pears ditto, Victoria and Quetsche d’Alsace plums likewise, I have a greenhouse full of plants bursting to be planted. I could go on …
Rantee: (aside) I thought you were.
Ranter: It is just so unfair.
Rantee: No-one …
Ranter: Do not tell me that no-one said life was going to be fair. I know that. I know snow is an insulator. I know most things will be fine, next year if not this year. I know that by July I won’t be able to tell the difference….
Rantee: That’s good …
Ranter: SHUT UP! This is MY blog, MY garden, MY rant and it’s NOT BLOODY FAIR!

End of rant. You can all come out from behind the sofa now.

Epilogue:
Ranter: That was quite cathartic.
Rantee: You’ve gone a funny colour.
Ranter: Put the kettle on, there’s a love.
Rantee: There’s some of those custard creams left that Jane sent you, the ones she calls ‘those awful biscuits’.
Ranter: She’s Irish, she doesn’t understand these things.
Rantee: Here’s your tea.
Ranter: Aaa…rrr…hhh.

Notes:
1. Thanks to the dreadful weather the phone reception is awful and I can’t upload photos.
2. Wisley is an 18m by 12m rectangular garden inspired by, but unfortunately looking nothing like, the long walk at RHS Wisley, the one that goes up the hill to the statue. In reality it is a lawn surrounded by herbaceous borders, but it does look very pretty in summer when it overflows with colour.
3. The Herb Circle is 16m in diameter, comprising a 6m inner circle, a circular path and an outer ring. It is predominantly herbs, although I do cheat a bit occasionally.

4. Please note that no ear-drums were perforated in the making of this blog.

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Do I blog or do I garden?

I set myself the target of posting a blog each Monday morning and so far I am not doing too well. The ghosts of university essays and grovelling apologies are rising from their graves and pointing their bony fingers at me.

Last week’s excuse was that ‘the iPhone ate my blog post’, this week’s is that I am too busy. I know – it’s pathetic, there are bloggers out there doing full time jobs, raising families, keeping their gardens in perfect condition and producing umpteen posts a week. I know who you are and I hate you all.

The simple fact is that I am a rubbish gardener. I never do anything at the right time and hence am always chasing around trying to catch up, and never more so than at this time of year.

Spring has not so much sprung as catapulted this year and, as well as the usual seed sowing and general tidy, I am desperately trying to get rid of all the weeds that would not be here if I had been doing my job properly last autumn. Just to prove how bad it is (how bad I am!) here is a photo of part of the potager – most of the greenery you can see is weeds.

Incidentally, that picture was taken from just outside the potting shed and thereby constitutes the first ‘view from the potting shed’ as requested by some readers. Now if you will excuse me I have Mea Culpas to say and weeds to pull. But I’ll be back later in the week.