Friday, July 24, 2009

Cabin fever

Looks like another day of kicking my heels indoors - I've come to the conclusion I'm a fair weather gardener, but for Heaven's sake the rain over the past few days has been torrential. When it hasn't actually been raining anything I might want to weed or till has been sodden and unappetising too. In lieu of getting dirt under my fingernails I've been drawing a map on the computer - gaining an intimate knowledge of every pixel on the screen. There must be an easier way.

During a break in the clouds I recorded this month's garden. It's certainly greener now.

I've harvested the autumn planted onions - which are drying in the garage. The garlic will be next. Hopefully both will store until next year's crop is harvested. I've only bought 3 onions in the past 3 years - a statistic I'm quite proud of. Once the bed is cleared I shall plant out the brassicas - ideally I would have given the land a little rest but the pressure for space means I haven't got that luxury.

The broad beans (Express) are coming into their own - young, sweet and tender. Abundant too - we could eat them every night. Our nightly suppertime dilemma is cabbage or beans? Beans or cabbage? Both are ready to eat now. In another week we will have peas - the vines are hung with a mass of flat pods and I anticipate the popping of pods. Perhaps peas are at their best eaten on the hoof, in passing, pod popped with a grubby finger and its contents greedily snarfed and savoured - a sweet crisp sugar burst.

The soft fruits are ripening. I'm picking raspberries and shoo-ing birds off the black, red and white currants. The fruit cage is almost a waste of space, trapping more birds than it deters.

In the greenhouse? It's a jungle in there. A round of applause for peppers and (the) cucumber. Basil? Better late than never I suppose. The tomatoes are beginning to turn colour and the Trelystan melon harvest does look promising for once. We've managed a melon larger than a tennis ball (a personal best in the past) and have 4 looking like this:Growth does seem slow this year - the courgettes have hardly kicked off - yet 800 feet lower, down in the valley, I've seen courgettes well on their way to marrow-hood. Perhaps it's an altitude thing. And squash - another of my favourites, along with onions, for storing? Don't mention the squash. Diddly-squat squash. Bah.

The borders are looking lush and overgrown - I need to be amongst them with a machete. Sweet peas, shooting up their canes in a reasonably orderly fashion, are heavenly. I pick them and they reward me with more flowers. Theirs is a short life but a fragrant one. We won't talk about grass. Suffice to say it's growing and the rain precludes mowing. The Glam.Ass. has retreated to his shed muttering. (Another trug anyone?)

Now I can hear thunder and the sky is battleship grey. There's a rumour that this will all clear up by tomorrow. Tomorrow is Trelystan Church Fete........

Me? Right now, mouse in hand, I'm going to chase pixels. After that? A few moments looking out a raincoat for tomorrow's stint on the plant stall might be time well spent.


Wipso said...

That all sounds so familiar. It's all growing well down our garden but it's just too wet to get down to harvest. Tomatoes are ripening in the greenhouse and we have had French beans but our courgettes are looking sad too. The only one that reached a descent size was snaffled by the slugs!

Preseli Mags said...

Diddly-squat here too. No squashes or courgettes. Is it altitude? The runner beans are sulking (can't blame them). At least we've had many raspberries and a good crop of (rather slug-attacked) potatoes. I've come to the conclusion that I don't know how to garden with the sort of weather we've had for the past three years. Before that, no problem. At the moment, though, I'm hopeless!
Your garden looks beautiful.

rachel said...

It always amazes me, this difference in what grows when in the same small, wet, cold country.... My courgettes are just starting to be pickable; the beans have barely begun to flower, and the cabbages are home to a million slugs. Everything else is just fit for the compost heap; I am so in awe of your garden!

elizabethm said...

Am suffering from cabin fever too, too much rain, too much painting, too little gardening.
We have courgettes now and peas, chard just starting and cabbages nowhere. Raspberries were great except for one new row which tasted of water and weevils - eurgh.

Twiglet said...

Your garden sounds wonderful - its so good to eat your own grown goodies isn't it. My little raised beds have produced a few dwarf beans, rocket and spring onions - not a lot but satisfying nevertheless.

Nikki-ann said...

It looks like your garden is doing very well! I persuaded my Mum to pull up one of our carrots... it was tiny! They obviously need a lot more time... or maybe space... to grow!

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Oh drat - we have missed the fete -I shall get there one year! Meanwhile we have eaten courgettes and lettuce and picked sweet peas from Steptoes Yard so I must be doing something right for a change

locksparkfarm said...

Shades of the last two summers. But your garden looks a picture and your greenhouse sounds delicious.
Maybe when the 40 days of rain have rained (it rained on St Swithin’s)we'll get back summer again.
Hope it came right for the fete.