‘What I don’t understand,’ said my gardening friend as we peered at the cossetted handful of carrots I had managed to produce, ‘is how they manage to sell them so cheaply in the shops.’
I had been explaining to her the process by which I had – through diligent chitting, growing on, planting out, covering under cloches, losing most to slugs and repeating several times – raised precisely a dozen carrots. I have not pulled any of them up because, if the last lot of carrots is anything to go by, they never ever look as good as they do when they’re still in the ground and you can’t see what devastation lurks below. And it’s not as if I even like the things. I really should remember that when the seed catalogues are weaving their dangerous magic.
Next year, I swear, if I so much as hint I’m planning to plant them again, you have my full permission to come round and hit me with a stick until I come to my senses. Think of it as an intervention.
See also: tomatoes.