Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bloatermog A Gardener's Lot: In September 2007, Mrs. B decided to go all 'Tom and Barbara' and enjoy 'The Good Life' by digging up part of the back lawn, and planting it with veg. Well, not Mrs. B digging it up you understand, so who else is there? Right, Joe Muggins. And it took a while, the stamina is lousy after the heart op, I get puffed out easily and lifting too much / too heavy causes the solar-plexus to crack; but it fuses together again after a while, doesn't it.
By early November a patch big enough to fit 48 broad bean seeds was ready. Local wisdom decrees that the broad bean should be planted during the week Poole Fair takes place. There are two reasons for this: 1) The plants are advanced enough in the Spring so that the shoots are no longer tender, and therefore don't attract the dreaded black fly aphid, and 2) Local custom has proven that it usually persists with rain during Poole Fair week, and more often than not it has been a complete washout. When we were kids we would go and enjoy splashing in the puddles and wading around in the mud in our Wellies; much to Mum and Dad's annoyance.
As time went on, the area was gradually extended with occasional bouts of slow digging, and it ended up being planted with: a wigwam of Sweet Peas, three rows of spuds, a wigwam of runner beans, three tomato plants a friend at work gave her, and a row each of carrots, beetroot and spring onions grown from seed. And of course, with human nature being as it is, when the stuff is ready to be harvested, it's cheap and plentiful in the shops, there's oodles more than a small family needs so you start giving it away, and you get fed up with eating it meal after meal.
So, if this stab at 'The Good Life' was going to be continued, owning a chest freezer would be a good idea, thus enabling ones own crops to be enjoyed with Sunday lunch throughout the Winter months, and even as a family treat for Christmas dinner.
But it was unanimously decided that we were no Tom and Barbara.
And although it was common practice to provide almost everything for the table when we were growing up, times have changed; and in recent years we had rarely eaten broad and runner beans, anyway; and there we were with an absolute glut of them.
So by now the plot has become overgrown with weeds, and Mrs. B has mentioned from time to time how scruffy it looks; which, in the telepathic language couples seem to share after a few years together, translated into "when are you going to dig it over again and put it back to lawn?" "But last year you wanted a 'wild garden' for all the ladybirds and moths and wildlife to nest and have babies in!"
But that phase has also passed, and that excuse didn't work, so I'm forking out the weeds rather than digging it again, and it'll be going back to that marvelous green sward, (with intermittant buttercups, dandelions and daisies, of course), very shortly.
There are allotments in the village and locals spend hours there doing their thing, winning prizes in The Lytchett Minster & Upton Gardening Club fruit and veg contests, and enjoying the fruits (and veg's) of their labours. But after our little toe-dipping experience into The Good Life, it was far too much hard work for much too little in return; so we're leaving it to those who have the will, the stamina, and the chest freezer to do a proper job.