Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Hope springs, in patches

Every year I have great hopes for the garden.

I plant nasturtiums in the shady, barren place underneath the hawthorn hedge. Can you see them?

They're there in spirit, I'm sure.

This year is the Year of the Veg. Here are my tomatoes. 
They are the two (barely) surviving remnants of an entire tray that I planted with Littlest. 
(Do not mention, if you see her, that her two-year-old apple tree sprig has finally given up the ghost.)

Many, many strawberries were meticulously pinned into pots last year. Many of them. 
I lovingly tied them down with sparkly pipe cleaners nicked from the craft box.

I have few of them left, either.

Underneath this veil is the beginnings of a single post-apocalyptic carrot,
the last of its kind after the flies came.
It is now fully protected against predators. And sunshine.

But for every plant you try to grow, another one is thriving despite you. 
Year after year, I have tried to kill the prickly blackberry bramble. 
The fruits are nice, but it was out of control and threatening to pierce the bouncy castle.

I finally lost the will to fight this year, and I wound it round a ladder.

This California Poppy has no concept of colour-matching.

It's not just plants that turn up uninvited. This is a lovely garden roller, but it isn't really ours.

A few years ago, the man who laid the turf for our lawn borrowed it to roll the ground flat. 
It was so heavy it nearly killed him and Mr Coffee, who had to lift it up a set of stairs.

He never returned for it.

This post is for Emma, who reminded me that a list of tasks isn't the only thing you can find in a garden.

Thanks to the Random Number Generator, the winner of my Kelloggs giveaway is Nick at Not Fit for Purpose, who has a bag of baking things on their way to him. Nick isn't just any blogger, but an old boyfriend I went out with when I was at university. Which just goes to show, ladies - there's no need to worry if your husband is chatting to his ex on Facebook! No need at all! In fact, you might get a nice new Rice Krispies apron!


  1. hey... you have MORE flowers than me, so be happy! there's always a garden more barren than yours... unless you count footballs and rugby balls and cricket balls and basketballs blah blah blah...

  2. Arrr yes, the wonderful fool proof nasturtiums - the most easy to grow flower in the world. But can I bloody well get them to grow? (the leaves taste nice in salads)

  3. I am cheating this year and buying seedlings. I am death to any seed packet.

  4. The roller is actually very impressive and decorative. And I am very fond of blackberries although obviously NOT on my bouncing castle.

  5. It is a very beautiful roller...

  6. Right. I need a ladder. A ladder for the terrifying tayberries, so that I might emulate your extreme weaving. Could you please post a tutorial?

  7. All irony aside, that garden roller is beautiful.

  8. nasturtiums. oh yes that was the packet that children love them they grow so fast. or not.....

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  10. Wow! You're nearly as good at gardening as I am.

  11. We did a blitz turning-over-the-soil on our allotment, to fool the Council Inspectors that are threatening to send us off. No matter that there's still a million bramble roots hiding one inch under the surface, and I'm not even going to think about the bindweed. I've planted decoy tomato plants, and French beans, and it looks mightily pretty. I took photos for posterity, because in 3, 4 week's time it will all be completely overgrown again. Pulling up little bramble shoots doesn't make any impression on them; they just come up again and again. Laughing. But that's fine, we will have fooled the Inspectors, and we will have another year of sitting around picknicking and eating blackberries and thinking about what we'd like to do. That's what we're hoping anyway - fingers crossed please!

  12. the roller is a lovely quirky addition to your times I am overwhelmed with mine, there is so much to do.

  13. I'm so sad that the apple tree seedling perished. I will keep my mouth shut if I see Littlest.

  14. It comforts me to know that someone else has a garden as bountiful as mine.

  15. Still trying to make sense of that garden roller. And yes, I echo what dottycookie said.

  16. Hmm. I like the roller. Whatever those purple things are -- columbines? -- they seem to be doing well. And a California poppy! I'm impressed by that. Strangely, I could very easily have nothing BUT nasturtiums in my yard -- every year they try to strangle everything in their path. Which makes me think it's just a matter of figuring out what wants to grow there, besides blackberries. Although blackberries do have their virtues -- i.e., they're edible. Plant more of those purple things!

  17. I do a very nice line in weeds - and thistles - we have an incredible crop of large(and very prickly) thistles in the flower bed in the front garden - though I think there might be some other plants in there somewhere too... (I should mention it is in fact slightly embarassing as we live 2 doors from my children's school - and EVERYBODY knows that it is our house....)


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