Monday, November 22, 2010

lost for words

Well it doesn't happen often, but I don't know where to start.  Start with Johnny's tenth birthday and his new tub. He has strawberries on the right and a cottage garden mix on the left. The sticks are for a lone sweet pea. Gotta foster that interest.
My own garden is in transition and I haven't quite worked out where I fit. One of the things I hadn't anticipated about a wealth of help was that I would no longer be making all the decisions and have a hands on relationship to everything. To some degree I have been a bit on damage control tactfully fixing things that I wouldn't have done myself and which have proved to be not working...

My respect for good management continues to grow in its absence. Suddenly I need an overall plan to effectively use the help available, something else which has been missing until now. I've been surprised at my own ambition when I keep bringing out plants that I have tucked away. How did I ever think I would have  time to put them in but in they go, a tray of thyme, red and white onions, and the beetroot and parsnips to boot.  Anyway with the chance to garden at home on my side, I have converted the last of my compost, on site, to a little pumpkin patch or at least a pumpkin plant.

Notice how loose the strings are on the beans below. And a nice loose knot around the ankle. This is especially important for the tomatoes where the stem will easily double in girth after it has been strung. Complacency here results in a tomato garrotted, and the twine cuts present a wound for infection. The advantage of having plants at different stages has meant that I can do this job a row or two at a time, likewise pinching out laterals and winding the strings. 
This is the peabean below which next time I will space and train differently. I can see it will grow quite tall; there are a few feeble bamboo sticks framing the inside of this tangle.
Actually my gardening week has borne no resemblance to these pictures. The first zuchinni are being picked, and basil at last and many questions have been answered (yellow foliage on potatoes was 245T contamination, shhhh - must have come in on that load of horse manure from a different source). Correctly diagnosed the yellowing on pot bound tomatoes as nitrogen deficiency and fixed it with some manure tea and a handful of sheep manure.
 Also had the welcome visit of that rare beast, a fellow enthusiastic  gardener which has left me with lots of great ideas.
I guess the question is, 'Do I plan the garden I want, or the garden I can manage?'  Posted by Picasa


  1. Always the garden you want, that's my take on it. You can always cull the "want" to the "manage" but it's hard go the other way. Whether its want or manage your garden looks amazing from here!

    The kids like that slice, and so do I, thanks.

    Love J

  2. I like Johnny's tub - I bet he'll get a kick out of all the different things growing together. Cottage gardens are great like that. Also I agree with the above comment - go with the garden you want, and scale it back if you absolutely have to.

  3. My kids have requested their own space too and so I have reluctantly relinquished a wine barrel to be sawn in half. My garden is bigger than what I can manage properly but slowly getting more efficient/putting in better systems and it's getting better over the years. Or perhaps I'm just neglecting the kids more.