At the weekend on a rainy camp site in Herefordshire I witnessed the relentless optimism of the dedicated camper – a man washing up a pan used to prepare porridge – he clearly had wanted a hearty breakfast – while the rain slatted down a few feet from the narrow shelter provided for washing up. It was cold, wet and miserable. Yet he was not too downhearted at the prospect of his remaining four or five weeks touring England and Wales – whatever the weather.
Gardening sometimes calls for similar optimism; when I arrived some of my precious plants had been knocked down and broken by the heavy rain. Others still bear scorched leaves – scars of the searing wind we experienced a few weeks ago. The past few summers have been washouts and we all hope for better, but it may not happen. Nevertheless I intend to remain positive, and continue planning and planting, tending and watching.
However the good news is that precious harvests have begun. This year we are growing a few annual veggies in pots and they are starting to yield. We don’t need to buy any lettuce or salad rocket for the forseeable future. Carrot thinnings are small, but big enough to eat and add to a salad.
In the perennial veggie polyculture I would have hoped to have been harvesting different greens from early in the year right up to June and onwards. But most of the established plants died in the big freeze from November to January and I am allowing all of the remainder and this year’s newcomers to put on a good amount of growth before starting to harvest. However the Daubentons kale was among the weekend’s casualties and we can eat the leaves that broke off. There may also be a few baby broad beans in the pods of a plant that keeled over and snapped.
Whatever the weather I love the garden. I love seeing it all grow. I love anything that I can get to eat from it. I love watching nature build up things up almost over night, and if she then takes some down again in the wind and the rain who am I to grumble?