Reclaiming the Strawberry Patch!
I’ve been spending far too much time indoors recently, although I love my writing and my comping, I love blue skies and growing things an awful lot too.
A few years ago a neibour lent me a patch of land to grow things on and with the help of Horace and Sis, we dug it over and managed a crop of green beans, potatoes and some straggly strawberries. Not exactly an illustrious start, but I was proud. I loved taking Darlek down to harvest the bean pods, twisting the pods from the vine and putting them in a bag to carry home. She loved it too, although I couldn’t make her eat them, but that was to be expected really. I didn’t have that problem with the strawberries though, if I turned my back for a second, they got eaten, ripe or otherwise, and probably bugs an’ all too!
Due to family and blogging commitments and a general malaise on my part, I couldn’t keep up with it all. My neibour said that she couldn’t cope with seeing all the Doc leaves and I couldn’t blame her, so the patch was passed on to someone else – I honestly nearly cried at the time. I so wanted to be able to amble down to my plot and see things growing and think ‘I did that’. Instead I felt a failure. But……. the new plot holder was also rubbish, in that they started building fences and were generally a bit obnoxious from the sounds of it – so it is free again. My name’s first on the list, so I’ve decided to try again. And this time, I’m going to try and make it work. I’m not taking too much on this time though.
For starters, I’m reclaiming the Strawberry patch. I’ve been down there fighting with the Doc leaves this morning, They are HUGE! The roots seem to go down for miles too, which is gutting as one of the first things I learnt when I started this was that, if you leave a section of the root behind, they grow again. You can’t just rip the leaves off and grab a bit of the tap root, it’s all or nuffink!
The above is the bit I’m going to tackle first. Today I ventured out between the rain showers and had a good go at clearing it up a little. I’m really not sure how well the strawberries will actually do, after I’ve disturbed all the soil around them, and snapped their spidery roots, but at least after today I can see bare soil which is progress. I’ve not done the whole patch, but enough to make it look hopeful. One thing I noticed, which I always do, is how pretty a lot of the weeds actually are. The sky blue Forget-Me-Nots and the golden yellow Dandylions are gorgeous, I hate having to dig them up but they do seem to take over very quickly.
This is what it looked like after I left it today. If you look carefully down one side you can see it’s a little less overgrown. If you can’t see the difference, for my sake, just pretend and say ‘well done’ anyway. Took me a good hour of digging and getting mucky knees and black fingernails. I loved it regardless!
I tend to forget a lot of the stresses and strains of things when I’m outside, either walking or gardening. I just focus on the task in hand, one foot in front of the other or yet another weed dispensed with. For me anyway, being outside is one of life’s simple pleasures. Another simple pleasure is treasure hunting. This was a snail shell I thought was particularly eyecatching – the occupant was long gone so I decided to save it to show Sausage, but inadvertently trod on it after I took this photograph. Oops.
So this is where I’m up to. I’ve been particularly inspired by my friend Morrighani’s blog, ‘Strawberries and Sunshine’ A lovely read, and she gardens with the same chaotic spirit I suspect, although a lot more sucessfully by the looks of things. I’d highly recommend having a read. If, (and it’s a big ‘IF’) it works out, I’ll come up with further allotment updates on the Brink of Bedlam. What do you think? Or should I just stick to potty training poo adventures, and terrible tantrums? (mine and the kid’s) Maybe this will just be a bit of a change every now and then.
Whilst I’m on the subject, kids and gardening! They’re appalling at helping out, but they’re brilliant at finding massive worms and carrying them around, whilst stamping on plants. They also get bored very quickly and wander off to look at frogs (‘Bogs’ if you pronounce ‘Frogs’ the way Sausage does), which is terrifying when neither can swim yet. So, anyway. I could maybe look at ways to tether kids to fence posts for their own safety, whilst in the throes of digging, if that’d interest anyone? Expandable dog lead anyone? ;O)