Tuesday 21 June 2011

Some days are just not on

I arrived at the plot a bit earlier than usual, between 19.15 and 19.30 and it was quiet. Soil was ok and I managed to do some digging while having some banter with the neighbours. All good, except that suddenly I could not hear them any longer and I realised when I came back from wherever I was, just before falling face forward, that I had almost passed out. Ok, I am quite tired, I know, maybe low blood pressure.

But then I understood why it felt so quite: no bumblebees whatsoever - none on the phacelia, nor on the sage and not even on the borage that has started flowering. Quiet as death: it was horrible. I love insects, alive, going about their business and keeping me company. No idea where they all were.

While wondering about bees, my eye fell on the garlic: it had died back. So I had a look: most of it had not even grown,. and all was rotting in the ground. I planted three times more than last year just to be on the safe side, and my crop might turn out to be ZILCH. I'll try and dry up whatever is left and see how it fares, but I'm not too hopeful.

Not the best of evenings. I thought my ROI is very low, would I ever be able to make a living out of my gardening? If anyone ever tells me that - having gardened for a few years - they are an expert, I will laugh out loud.... How long does it take to learn?

Mr Tod was running after crows on the football pitch outside the alltoment.

Sunday 12 June 2011

My new friend Mr Tod

I have been to the plot a couple of evenings this week, and befriended a fox.

A sign of my loneliness, or possibly to exorcise my fear of him scaring the living daylights out of me by jumping out of nowhere, I started talking to Mr Tod when he turns up just before sunset. Running away or ignoring me were his first responses.

Yesterday, though, he was a bit more sociable, and even posed for me, at a safe distance (bigger pictures on Flickr).

I think we like him, as we have a hope he might chase rats away.

Besides the fox, wildlife is thriving, I even spotted a striped bumblebee I had never seen before!

Although I spend a comparative little time on the plot, the experience of the last few years seem to have resulted in more going happening: I have veg at all stages of development: from the brassicas who have just germinated, through the broccoli white eye that I potted on last week, the courgettes I planted out yesterday and the tomatoes and aubergines that, outside and in the tent respectively, are growing on, to my successionally growing salad.

Fruit also provides a varied landscape: from the wines that are prolifically flowering, through the strawberries that are overwhelmingly being prey to birds despite the cover, to the almost ready gooseberries and the raspberries, whose first few we enjoyed this week.