Grow Your Own- A Cruel Summer

The sad demise of The January King

There are lessons in life for all and from all things, however the lessons from trying to manage my new garden seem to have turned into something of a beating.

It’s all going wrong.

The sad demise of The January King

The WTF tree previously thought to be an apple is now heavily endowed with bright and utterly rotten plums, oozing with sticky juices and grim blasts of mould. Even the wasps stay away from them. Study shows that this is a fungus issue best treated at the blossom stage by thinning out flowers to allow airflow between the eventual fruits. I’ll see you in April 17 to test this theory.

The cabbages have been stripped down to their sad skeleton by what I believe to be a infestation of black fly that took up residence in the lettuce patch. They weirdly didn’t seem to eat the lettuces just live on every single inch of them while they weren’t eating cabbage, that is. This has also rendered the lettuce inedible as it is so hard to wash the buggers off without shredding the leaves as they cling so well. In a somewhat tarnished silver lining this has left me one glorious, unharvested and almost four foot high lettuce which is now flowering.

I started a small planter of radishes, they grew really quickly then the black fly struck, there is a small and sad amount of leaf area left so we will see how they go.

The oregano is really dead from the overwatering incident and the potted mint is also dead due to a case of me never eating mint and forgetting it was even there. The Rosemary struggles on but doesn’t look happy.

The onions are towards the end of flowering and are very, very small.

Some of the figs looked like they were starting to ripen though we are yet to find one not at one extreme end of the scale that runs from rock hard to pink mush. Also, we both hate figs.

budding blackcurrants

Before we all just up and invest in a concrete pourer, there are some bright spots left. Remember that frothy pink bush from the spring? Now covered in young Blackcurrants which will hopefully harvest around the same time as the heavily burdened and fungus free pear tree for some jam and/or crumble. I’m also confident that the diggings of Moby Dick the Phantom Crapper have left me one single but monster sized carrot.

Let’s talk about that bastard cat quickly shall we, although there is not much to tell other than that he gives me condescending looks from the roof of next door’s shed once in a while. Note the location- next door. I don’t see him cross our borders these days and we are a poo free zone since installing my new supersonic motion activated flashing screaming solar powered cat scarer. Quite possibly the best seventeen quid I ever spent.

Best wrap up here, on a high note as it were. Maintaining a garden is bloody hard work and even if you weed and water and throw around bone meal mix like it’s going out of fashion, nature happens. Sunshine and water kill the same stuff they feed. Pesticide free produce is likely to get eaten by pests. Several months of planning, planting, thinning and scummy fingernails feels like too much work for the net effort of a small and uninteresting salad.

I don’t know where I go from here, maybe a successful pear harvest will perk me up. Maybe I will try another run of cabbages and test the theory of a light misting of washing up water to put off the rogue eaters. For now, I’m going to enjoy the sunshine and my as yet unscathed BBQ patch and marvel at just how loud the masses of bees that hang out in the non farmed end of the garden are. So much for the great British bee decline, we have loads of them and many butterflies too which really add to the simple joy of having a quiet, green space all of your own. Who knows maybe we will level the veg patch and swap it for a hive!

Until next time.

happy bee visiting the french lavender

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