I should have been a fisherman. All this netting is rather a tangle and an obsession. But it feels like the right time to haul it out and try and get some structure into the vegetable garden.
I haven’t seen any deer at all this spring, but I just know that as soon as I plant out precious little juicy seedlings, then it will be Murphy’s Law that the animals turn up the same night.
So out came the big poles for the climbing beans, and I tied like mad and tried to make them even and straight. Never an easy thing when nothing on this farm is exactly straight. You can line things up by the edge of the house, or the barn, or the pool, but it never works out as you want. I just rely on lush growth to baffle the eye later in the season.
And then I decided to make good on a promise to Leslie. To repair the huge cloches that I use to cover up the crops and prevent marauders. I have been using enviromesh, which keeps out cabbage moth butterflies, and deer and anything in between. But it does look, ahem, like net curtains. Not really fetching in a garden that is striving to become more than just utilitarian.
So I have managed to find pond netting that might do the trick. It certainly improves the look of the garden. And I’ll trial them for a season to see if they keep out the butterflies. I love insects, but find the yuck factor of having to squish caterpillars off cabbage plants in mid summer quite high.
To change the location, I mulched the grass cuttings on the other vegetable bed. This is the fun part of mowing: making use of the left overs.
And it hides the weedproof fabric I still have up at this vegetable garden. It also helps to keep the area tidy when the raspberries are groaning and heavy and liable to flop to the path.
But that’s a while off. The raspberries are just a promise of summer right now.
What else did I do today? It was a long one. Ah, yes, I planted the thyme plants on the steps of the uncovered calabert structure.
These are from Andrew via Beth Chatto’s nursery, and they are supposed to flower white. It might be a good ground cover on this part of the steps that have a bit of bare earth. That won’t last for long if it rains, so I’d rather have a scented carpet of thyme to walk over, rather than brambles.
It’s a baffling picture, but it makes a change from green.
And then to finish up I planted out all the little santolina plants that I stuck from cuttings last year. It’s an absurd boast to say I succeeded in making new plants from bits, but I am proud.
They all took off and I nursed them through the winter and finally planted them out in the gaps of the rocks today. If all goes well they will be as strong and tall and mounded as the lovely ones that Andrew (also) gave me last year. And I will continue to take cuttings to make new plants. When it works it’s a dream come true.