Man Get Out

May 1, 2022

With various work, family and campaigning responsibilities easing somewhat, this weekend finally saw me get some much-needed time in the garden. Sadly too late for some of my mangetout seedlings, which had suffered from a lack of regular watering in a sunny greenhouse.

Mangetout seedlings, some shrivelled

Hopefully, my bottle cloches will keep them safe until more permanent rabbit defences can be erected, which in turn will hopefully be before they have climbed out of their own accord. The problem with gardening as a busy person is that it’s time sensitive, but never sets a hard and fast deadline, and you never quite know when you’re going to tip over the line between ‘just in time’ and ‘too late’ …

Mangetout planted under plastic bottles.

Meanwhile the wee hare – not so wee, these days – remains the most chilled leveret we’ve ever had the privilege of hosting. Although it will startle out of its hiding place if approached too close, it doesn’t generally run too far but tends to stop and look at the interloper before ambling off (quite charming our substitute postwoman one day, who asked if it was a pet). This time, it decided that even though we were both busy in the garden, its hiding place in my forget-me-nots was good enough and stayed put for the morning while we took elaborate detours around it.

I mean, if you looked this cool, would you move?

Hare nestling in forget-me-nots

Thickety-Boo

August 12, 2014

We’re all about the casual gardening style here but I think I may have overshot the boundary between ‘deliciously informal’ and ‘inconvenient mess’ with my mangetouts, which have now formed an impenetrable thicket.

impenetrable mangetout thicket

There are mangetouts in there if you know where to look but finding them involves bodily picking up the entire tangle and rummaging around in it. As with all veg harvesting, it takes at least three iterations to even begin to feel you may have found them all, and even then you can guarantee you won’t have (see also: potatoes), which is why every time I go up to pick the next lot I find some which have clearly been beyond ready for weeks and have to be podded like conventional peas

mangetout thicket close up

Anyway, we were going to have mangetouts in our fried rice this evening but it was still hammering down and playing hunt-the-legume did not appeal, so perpetual spinach it was. Next year, I swear, I shall grow my mangetouts in regimented rows, like a proper gardener. I think I may make this resolution every year at about this time.

And talking of hunt-the-legume, the dinosaur eggs have produced dinosaurs.

mystery bean pods

Recipes for something resembling borlotti beans welcomed.