Down among the veg

staked liliesTonight I’m doing what the rest of the country is doing: watching France play against Mexico on the World Cup. Well, I’m listening as it is played on the goggle box in the living room. I am ensconsed in my office doing a spot of tidying up.

This afternoon I finished the seedlings and rather went off the boil in the pretty flower department. Well, I staked the lilies in the planter next to the front door. They were drooping slightly and looking crooked.

But mainly I went at the vegetable garden, hammer and tongs. Or in my case, trowell and gloves.

paltry beetroot bedThe poor old beetroot bed is rather bald. I removed the radish rows to try and get some light into the beetroot seedlings. They are not thriving. And I have searched and searched, and cannot find anymore seeds to re-sow.  So this bed will have to stay bald a bit longer until I can get more up and germinating. And if that fails, I plant the dill and fennel here and give beetroot up as a bad thing.   I remember the first year that the deer ate all the seedings before they had a chance, and the second year they failed to germinate at all. Third year lucky? We shall see.

What you can’t see in this second cloche is any daylight between the plants. Rows of lettuce and swiss chard all looking plump and lovely. Most of my evening meals comprise the prunings from this one tiny patch of land.   Last year the deer (and a visiting hare) did the pruning for me in this bed: we had so few swiss chard leaves that I rather went overboard in the sowing and growing department. Half way through the year already and I haven’t lost a crop to four legged pests. and lettuce

I also decided to tidy up the edges of the broad beans and pea bed. Not out of any real guilt about the creeping weeds; more out of a quest to find my missing pair of scissors. I know I brought them down the first night to snip broad beans off their plants. But I can’t for the life of me locate them now. Did I drop them on one of my forages between the peas? You have to crouch somewhat to duck under the netting, and they may have dropped out of my pocket.   But a careful search, and munch of the peas as I went, didn’t reveal the missing kit.

broad beansNever mind. They will turn up. I even did my first turning of the compost bins wondering if I hadn’t accidently tipped them into the bins with a big bucket of weeds. But nothing turned up but big fat worms and lots of lovely compost.  It’s quite sporting hanging about the compost bins right now. The euphorbia hedge just above it is in full exploding seed mode. So you feel you are in a slow motion rice bubbles bowl as you work. Snap, crackle, pop.

I had thought to lift the euphorbia seedlings that resulted from this activity last year. But remembered that it’s best to plant in October rather then try and nurse young transplanted euphorbias over the summer. They don’t like summer watering, and they are protected under the canopy of huge parent euphorbia branches right now. So I put it on the to do list and went back to weeding.

potager tucked upAnd here it is: a lovely potager all tidy and neat. An early finish tonight as I have a full strimming and hefty log work day tomorrow. And I wanted to prune the thyme plants on the steps down to the garden before dinner.  I need something to do while I watch the footy.  And what could be better than laboriously stripping the tiny leaves off all the thyme plant prunings?