Between bouts of moaning about the weather being too dry (most of May); too wet (all of Spring Bank Holiday weekend); too hot (two days last week); too windy (as shown by the angle of the stems here of the poor ol' garlic) or too cold (virtually every other sodding day for the last month), I have been getting things done at the Hill.
My progress is aided by drawing up Lists which are concise & manageable, & by going to the Hill in the evenings when I am less likely to end up chatting for far too long & bumbling around doing half-jobs which just fill the time available - thus managing to avoid thinking 'I've been there five hours, I'm knackered, & what have I actually done?' on the way home.
An exception to the do-and-go was yesterday evening, which was sunny & tranquil & an utter delight, & when I'd finished the List - which read...
- Plant out petunias (bargain! 2 trays of 6 well grown plants for £3 from Morrisons Supermarket on Friday last)
- Pick broadies for tea (picked two dozen perfect pods with fingernail sized beans)
- Furtle under early potatoes (grubbed about to find two sizeable 'charlotte' potatoes)
- Pick any ripe strawberries (ate half a dozen on the spot)
...I hung around to watch the blackbird digging around the beds, watched by the robin; listened to the woodpecker thumping away, & strolled down to the bottom to see what everyone else was up to. Lovely.
The first batch of peas are overwhelming the wigwam & I've had to run an outer string around the plants to keep them in check (the pods are long, but still thin); & there are buds on the sweetpeas.
The running Plan that I keep of what's-planted-where shows that having planted out the climbing & the rest of the dwarf beans, the squash, cougettes & sweetcorn, there's only two thirds of a Miscellaneous bed unplanted on the whole plot - which gives me a headache as to where to plant out a bargain bag of shallots bought from the Focus DIY closing down sale.
I bought a tray of brussels sprouts & one of purple sprouting at the same time - they should be planted out after the peans & beans, but according to my guru John Seymour, they will come to no harm being grown on in a nursery bed until the ground is clear. We'll see - I've not had the knack of winter brassicas to date.
Weeding is ongoing, of course, but let's hear it for raised beds which make the job (almost!) a pleasure.
And absolutely nothing can compare to the first of the new potatoes!