Hmm. I knew there was a reason why we don’t normally go anywhere in May … Or indeed anywhere at all during the growing season (although truth be told, the veg plot can get out of hand even when I am around). Apart from the rampant weeds, quite a lot of what I planted out rather hurriedly before we left has not done well: basically the french and climbing beans, mangetout, pumpkins (which was always a bit of a gamble, to be honest) and basil are looking ropey (that’s ‘ropey’ as in ‘largely dead’, but I’m trying to be kind to myself). Meanwhile the leeks and fennel which were in the greenhouse are okay but desperately leggy so I’ll have to hack the jungle back as quickly as I can to have space to get them into the ground
To that end, I have decided to give up pretending that I have trodden earth/gravel paths between my veg beds and rebrand them as grass paths (with *ahem* a few weeds). The purchase of a nice sharp set of shears has transformed almost two thirds of the jungle into something resembling order, and very satisfying it is too (I do have to proceed with caution to avoid snipping any of the resident frogs, toads or other resident wildlife in two as well … there was definitely something make a swift getaway as I worked the other day). Grass paths have their own peril, mainly the fact that they encroach on the veg beds, but the weeds were doing that anyway, and at least this way I can see over the buttercups. The real danger is that – as the saying goes in the IT world – once you’ve got a new hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. … I’ve already found myself googling the ‘Chelsea crop’ and other satisfying uses for my slicey new toys.
But it’s not all been about wanton destruction, fun as that is. I also got myself down to the guerilla gardeners’ plant swap last night and managed to come away with some gem squash plants and a mystery baggie of beans (oh okay, just dwarf french beans this time). Not a bad swap for a Brompton basket worth of spare tomato plants, chilli plants and leeks, and a chance to fill in some of the gaps from this cold spring.
Amazingly, the spare spare tomato plant even survived its slightly unorthodox transport. And I got an even more amazing amount of room from the passing cars…