Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Lazy Blogger, Busy Gardener, Glorious May!

This post is an apology for not finding the time to blog properly and a thank you for all your kind comments that have, unforgivingly, gone unanswered recently. I love the month of May. We've been eating al fresco, without the annoyance of high summer wasps, driving with the top down, rediscovering summer shorts at the back of wardrobe, lazing under parasols with the Sunday papers and everything in the garden is, literally, rosy! The vegetable garden is on the verge of being magnificent, which I've photographed and will be posting soon (feeling particularly chuffed about managing single headedly this year) and we stand a good chance of being self sufficient by June. So, just a few photographs of the garden flowers to tide you over until I can give you my full and undivided attention, in the meantime, I hope you are enjoying your own variety of "that lusty month of May"

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Double Dated and Still Stood Up (Just)

I had a special date in my diary for 19th May 2009, Chelsea Flower Show Member’s Day, which sadly fell though due to a misunderstanding and delayed action (by me, I hasten to add), so to partly recommence for the loss, I booked my sister for a day, as fellow photographer at Kew Gardens (thinking, deviously, it would be empty of visitors as they would have all been quicker off the draw for the RHS Chelsea tickets!) but again, the visit has been postponed (by me, I hasten to add, again). I cried off, as I’ve been restless and sleepless for many nights and just couldn’t face the storms predicted along with the endless and exhausting high winds we have been having here for two weeks, which have seen me rushing around trying to protect all my newly planted seedlings in manic mode. A strong wind on a sunny day is my idea of glorious weather usually, but these winds are so damaging and relentless, they have had the better of me and even the rough and tumble bully-boy black bamboo is struggling to right itself. It must have been a worry trying to put a show garden together while battling this whirling turmoil, my hat flies off to them;-) At least I can participate in the virtual Chelsea, albeit with a certain amount of grimace, due to some, well most, of the BBC presenters and too much time spent on the show gardens and not enough down-to-earth plantsmanship in the pavilions. If you would like to take a tour around the grounds and find a world of everything gardening, lose an hour or two here. Five episodes available as I blog and another four days coverage to come and that's enough for the keenest gardener, hardly leaving enough time to actually get out there and do it!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Gardening Un-coordinated (A love Letter)

I was so surprised and delighted, when, after all the years of self-sufficiency-dreaming on my behalf, Nick took to gardening when the opportunity presented itself. He had his own style, of course, totally juxtaposed to mine, which, as always, is to be expected. Nevertheless, he embraced it as a new and pleasurable pastime, which could be enjoyed outside, basking in his beloved sun-stoke-inducing weather and rewarded with an ice cooled gin and tonic as the sun hit the yardarm. Weeding was out, (well, how convenient!) nature was all. And, of course, there was the idea of maybe being able to grow a drink or two!

He also re-found a childhood mania for digging holes. Not just any little ten or twelve inch planting holes, but serious here-comes-Australia holes! (Yesterday, a house painter came to size up our windows for a quote and asked me how we grew bamboo as thick and tall as we do. I had to describe the hole Nick dug for the root ball. I don’t think he believed me!) Anyway, what ever turned him on was OK by me, as long as we could do it side by side. (With constant know-it-all comments from both parties.) When he suffered his back injury he was amused to find himself telling the physiotherapist that amongst his ‘hobbies’ was gardening. It took him by surprise, which was more than a little ironic, as that’s what brought him there in the first place.
Well, the truth is, despite the endless banter of ‘my way is the only way’ that we both indulge in, I miss him along side me. In fact, I’ll go as far as saying gardening is a duel process for me; it’s the interplay that keeps me interested and feisty. To get to the nub of the blog and problem, suddenly I’m on my tod and I hate it. Yesterday, I spent four hours slogging at the allotment planting beans, erecting poles and ploughing through general maintenance, which would have seemed like half an hour in his company.
Here is a quick roundup of the varieties of bean and tomato I’m growing this year, with an apology that I’m not blogging as much as I would like due to fact that I’m flying solo so far this growing season. Hope he’s on the mend soon and comes out the other side still retaining his enthusiasm for the task in hand, albeit in our separate camps! Love you, miss you!

Fagioli Rampicanti (Yard Long Beans)
Fagioli Nani (Cannellino Bush Beans)
Borlotto Rosso (Dwarf Beans)
Borlotto Centofiamme (Climber: the Mystery Bean see previous post)
Triofo Violtto (Climbing Purple French Bean)
My own breed of runner beans (a show stopper)

Orange Queen
Green Zebra
Russian Prune Noir
Noire De Crimee
Des Andes
Anna Russian
Purple Calabash
Ox Heart
Costoluto Fiorentino