Is there a more rewarding time of year in the veg garden? I just love hanging around in the evening, musing, hose-pipe in one hand, hoe in the other, bee identification chart in my pocket and the chickens on the far side of the fence telling me about their day.
There’s a tangible energy in every verdant row. The parsnip leaves are looking particularly exuberant after a rain shower. Below ground their less glamorous roots swell in secret.
Papery onion skins are splitting to expose creamy corpulent flesh. I want to hurry their leaves to wither... I’ve got cabbages waiting to fill their space.
The broad beans are finished already, I ripped out their holIow stems to give a good home to some orphan cauliflowers. My mother couldn’t bear to throw away her surplus seedlings and I had neglected to sow any, so we’re both happy.
On reflection, I should probably have given away some of my cucumber plants. I was insuring myself against the slug attack that never came. But that’s the lovely thing about abundance, I can always find a friend delighted to receive a giftwrapped cucumber!
Lots of veg means lots of weeds. With the soil baked and trodden hard, I’m afraid shears are the most effective tool for clearing the paths. Topped with a good layer of grass cuttings however it feels as though I am stepping on decadent carpets as I pick the beans.
The ghostly silouette of a lone cabbage white drifts silently by, perforating my reverie... and my Brussels sprouts!