Thursday, October 28, 2010

Swiss Efficiency

With Labour Weekend approaching, and in-laws arriving, several good gardening days were lost to cleaning: the oven, the fridge and the shower. There was no point surprising anybody with an actual tidy up; they might come to expect it, but we had somewhere to put the food, I could cook it without embarrassment and the shower was a bonus for us all.
Yesterday, possibly my favourite task of the year, planting tomatoes. Now the Swiss family have arrived and buoyed by assosciation and absorbing those vibes of order and system, I gave free reign to my own meticulous aspirations and cut a peice of bamboo 60cm long.
This measured out the strings for the plants, each to have its own generous and equal share of the bed. Thank you they breathed, or not. For once I sowed basil at the same time as the tomatoes, see the tiny plants running down the middle of the bed. The tomato is Pink Brandywine with a leaf so broad it could be a bean.

The lettuce on the left is in transit. I just want to show off the rootball the size of a softball, the size of the softball that fell into the drainpipe, the drainpipe that blocked and was dug up by hand for miles until the offending ball was found and blame apportioned, correctly alas... but I digress. Had to move a few lettuce to make way for the courgettes (Striata Italia). Lettuce are on a diet of manure tea and haven't looked back.

To interpret the photo, pile in foreground is predominantly couch with a top salad of thistles. This is the bed where turf was turned, cow manure, pea straw and anything else piled up and now the grass is growing through. It is a slow but satisfying job tracking couch runners, all the easier because there are both moisture and worms in the soil whereas elsewhere it is parched as usual. This time I've stuffed the lot into a barrel of water to rot, with a lid on tight. Might as well put it all back later, much later.

Some surprise gifts this week including a Potentate and a Roma tomato. Now to recap what I have planted: Pink Brandywine, Moneymaker, Grosse Lisse, Black Jack, Beefsteak, Heather's tomato, plus 2 makes eight. It may be monoculture in there but a variety of ethnicities. Quite which remains to be seen as there were some labelling issues. The pen and tabs went missing at a repotting moment and trays were mixed up. Found them later and wasn't it worth it. The girls have made a little garden, see the stone fences and labels. Amongst a household of boys this is something I never see but recognise immediately. I know they've had a great day.

Here's  rich (?) and famous music people rubbing shoulders with Louis. Ah the giddy heights of fame and now we have the award on display, and the song on the computer to play to visitors and we can supply the balancing depths of ordinariness for free. Could you ask for anything more? 


  1. Well Miri it seems you have been busy as usual. There's nothing that tastes better than a home grown tomato and it sounds like you've got plenty to choose from. Hope family has a great trip - I'm sure the food will be excellent, and the shower, I understand, clean.

  2. Louis looks right at home with the rich and famous- fame suits you Louis!
    I too crammed my tiny garden full of stuff in the weekend- beetroot, purple beans, potatoes, rocket, and a nice dollop of mulch and sheep poo on the top of it all. It looks so *tended* I am really quite proud of it.
    I can't wait to see all those tomatoes, especially those black ones you were talking about a while ago.