“A lettuce for you, “ said D, whose bountiful allotment supplies most of his neighbours with vegetables throughout the year. “And would you like some runner beans?” Five minutes later he was back, but not with beans for our dinner. Not today’s dinner, anyway. He was holding a small pail with three healthy-looking plants in it. “There you go, plant ‘em in a sunny spot and keep ‘em well watered.” I have an idea there’s some kind of conspiracy afoot, a plot to turn me into a serious gardener; after potting and planting all the bedding plants my mother was given for her birthday, I got a tomato seedling from another neighbour. I feel rather as though I’ve been entrusted with someone else’s babies: honoured and flattered that the parent considers me responsible and competent enough to assume the task, but at the same time a little apprehensive that I may not really be up to it. I
t’s a long time since I grew any kind of vegetables in my garden, and in fact even that was in a sense cheating, because I didn’t do the donkeywork. We moved house one year in July and inherited a garden full of lovely flowers and fruit trees with a vegetable patch, a greenhouse and some cucumber frames at the bottom. It also had a shed, a compost heap, a rainwater butt and a garden incinerator. There were potatoes, carrots, radishes, lettuces and I don’t know what else in the vegetable patch, cucumbers and marrows in the frames, and tomatoes in the greenhouse. The lady of the house had been the gardener and she gave me a 2-hour crash course in how to look after it all, before disappearing to Australia. I reaped the fruits of her labours, and truly appreciated the luxury of cooking and eating food that literally went from garden to pot within minutes.
Did I do all the things you are supposed to do with a vegetable garden in the autumn and winter, so as to provide a fresh harvest the following year? I have absolutely no recollection, but I think we also had fresh vegetables the following year so I suppose I must have done something. The year after that, we emigrated too. And that was the last time I had a vegetable plot.
Now, three little beanstalks aren’t in any way comparable to a whole potager. But they are arousing my maternal instincts, so I’ve actually taken the garden fork, dug over a little patch of weeds that were pretending to be ground cover, added half a bag of compost and planted my babies. I feel like their surrogate mother. I finally understand the term “plant nursery”.
I chose this spot because it has trellis for the plants to climb up, and they are actually in the bed that always produced a tangle of lovely sweet peas until last year, when only one sweet pea stalk appeared. Will there be sweet peas among the beans? We’ll just have to wait and see. I think I may have to buy some slug pellets …
Once again, my thanks to Fourth Generation Farmgirl http://fourthgenerationfarmgirl.com for setting me this challenge. Today I nominate Judith at I choose how I spend the rest of my life who takes delightful photos and always has plenty of original thoughts..
“Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.”