Some time in my own garden

Today I finally spent some time on my own garden. Am I unusual, as someone who earns a living gardening, in that I have to force myself to work on my own garden? I really don’t seem to have the spare resources (energy more than time if I’m honest) to keep on top of it and it’s really not very big.

On a more cheerful note I harvested the onions and garlic:

Last year I had loads of garlic  and it got wasted; this is a more reasonable quantity for the two of us and should keep us going for a fair while. The onions are ‘Red Baron’ and I grow them mainly because they’re pretty in the garden and I like red onions. I heartily agree with people who don’t bother growing onions because a sack from the farm shop or even (shock horror!) the supermarket will do just fine, but I actually like growing and using them, so I do a handful every year.

Earlier in the year I posted about my makeshift net frames designed to keep the cats off the garden and they’ve worked well in that respect, but they also keep me off the garden. It only takes a couple of moments to lift the net up and peg it out of the way but that seems to be enough (blimey I’m lazy). When we first decided on the little raised beds part of the point was that I could wander round with my cup of tea after work and just yank a weed out here and there rather than being all And Now I Shall Weed The Vegetable Patch. That extra bit of work seems to take it into Doing Work territory. I’m not sure there’s another solution to the cat problem though. And if we do it again I’ll use butterfly netting as they can clearly get through to the sprouting brocolli. Also there is the problem that my somewhat lax style of veg gardening doesn’t go well with such neatness as netting:

That beautiful nasturtium is growing through the net. Also, note the somewhat constrained courgette on the left of the picture. Courgettes are big plants, I know that, I’ve grown them before, but these two seem to be more even more monstrous than usual. Next year I shall have to look out for plants advertised as ‘compact’, or maybe I’ll investigate the climbing ones (which I think are actually just trailing ones you tie up a tripod – lazy buggers can’t get a grip by themselves).

I discovered the reason my beans have failed utterly:

This is a mere fraction of the snails I saw today. They were everywhere. At least they’re prettier than slugs I suppose.

And to venture outside of the veg patch for a moment… let me introduce you to a favourite of mine. Clematis tangutica:

It sits at the back of a horrendously neglected border and does its beautiful thing. Little golden bells from early summer and Old Man’s Beard style seedheads from mid July onwards, so for much of the summer it has both. I love Clematis and when looking for them for myself I do prefer to have ones with the Old Man’s Beard seedheads. The wild Old Man’s Beard (Clematis vitalba – a bit over enthusiastic for most gardens) is something I’ve grown up with in hedgerows and woodland edges so for me the sight is an autumnal treat.


14 responses to “Some time in my own garden

  1. Is it me or have thee been huge numbers of snails this year but not many slugs? I’ve lost count of the snails I’ve acidently stood on just outside my front door but haven’t seen a single slug in the garden!

  2. That is a lot of snails. I don’t see them that often. I don’t even have as many slugs as I usually do.

  3. I rarely see a snail and you are right, much, much better looking than slugs. No oooh factor with a snail, unless you have to eat one I guess.

  4. I thought I had a slug/snail problem until I saw your pot !

  5. We covered our cauliflowers etc with netting because the pigeons got them last year. I couldn’t really be bothered lifting the net to weed etc. All of them bolted! Would they have been fine if I had lifted the net from time to time and weeded?! Your onions and garlic look good and that’s a fine crop of snails!

    • I’m so glad I’m not the only one. Maybe next year I’ll have to use the ‘forest of canes stuck into the ground’ technique instead. I’ve never tried growing caulis – I’d love to give them a try but I’m not keen on eating them so it seems a bit pointles!

  6. Too many slugs in the spring. Would rather see the snails. I too look at the garden with all the weeding and chores and then I find other excuses for not gardening. I have decided to tackle each little bit as I can and try to enjoy it. Lovely garlic. We grew 24 heads and gave several away. I also use netting to keep the rabbits and wood chucks at bay. It works but it does take time for mine to be taken off.

  7. Snails are posh slugs I guess. Nice blog only just stumbled over it a few days ago, brilliant!

  8. Glad to see someone else has cat problems – I too net over my beds but the cats just poo on top of them. Drat!

  9. Pingback: Bye bye 2011 | The Sproutling Writes

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