Sunday, 19 June 2011

I've been smiling every time I've walked into the living room this week and spotted these flowers (rescued from the reduced bin at the florists), popped into two old china cups from a picnic basket. How extremely jolly!

I've finally managed to get out into the garden this week - I must confess to avoiding it, because it's still a mess of rubble and pavings, and it makes me ever so slightly grumpy every time I see it.

But what kind of an attitude is that for a cheery person to have?!

A daft one - that's what.

So, I armed myself with trowel, green bin bags (the council collects garden waste here and turns it into compost), and a camera (and a cup of tea, of course)

While staring in a slightly grim fug at the beetroots refusing to grow on the windowsill, and the basil that just won't get more than 3 leaves whatever I do to it, I had a revelation.

We've got a small garden here, and we are NEVER going to grow a substantial part of our food. Last year we had an abundance of yellow courgettes, and one broad bean pod. One. I like plants - but I never was very good at keeping them alive. Every year I plant things (late), forget to water them, then put them outside for the slugs to eat, while I stare on morosely thinking about what a terrible gardener I am.

The things that do best in my garden are the things that look after themselves.

So - my revelation. Why on earth do I do this to myself every year?? Because I want a beautiful and productive garden, that's why! Because I like the idea of growing my own food and I believe gardens should be useful as well as beautiful.

Well, guess what? The fruit bushes are looking great - they look after themselves. Maybe if I watered them more they'd do better - but they manage.

There's plenty of herbs that are flourishing, all on their own - sage, rosemary, chives, lemon balm, st john's wort, all come back year on year, as well as the rhubarb, and masses of mint. The honeysuckle spreads over more and more of the house each week, it seems.

So, as of now, my garden is getting low maintenance. Well, aside from the major seating project, that is.

I'm not going to try a big pile of annual veg any more. I'm going to plant the whole thing up with fruit bushes and perennial herbs, and spend more time sitting out there admiring the view, eating rhubarb crumble, sipping herb tea, and scoffing blueberries.

Why on earth didn't I think of that before??

And now, flushed with my own ingenuity, I'm heading for the bath.

1 comment:

  1. My thoughts exactly wrt gardening, and fruit bushes for the win! :)