Wednesday, 29 March 2017
It's not been a bad spring, weather wise, but here we are, nearly in April, and everything's all behind like a little lamb's tail (not that we want to think of what happens to them).
There has been a tsunami of personal events shaping these last couple of months, career challenges, health issues, bereavement and of course Brexit. It all adds up to an uncertain and unhappy time. Gardening has suffered.
When we got back after a break in the UK to attend to a lot of this there was a problem with the phone line and unusually it took over a week to get someone to look at it. I was told it was because the engineers couldn't find our house - I think they must be outsourcing because there's never been a problem before. It's a telephone wire, you just follow it. Still the chaps when they arrived were efficient and only a little bit mansplaining. It's all fixed now thank goodness.
So, to the garden. I managed to get the cover back on the cheap Chinese polytunnel and it's now weighted down with bits of concrete detritus from around the farm. I doubt the cover will last another winter but it's going to have to do for now.
Then I planted up the first 150 oca. The mice found them and spent a couple of happy nights digging up the tubers, eating some and distributing others across the bench. This has produced two problems. Some of the pots attacked were my seedling tubers raised from Cultivariable seed last year. They were in very short supply and I fear some varieties may have been lost for ever, the other is that tubers pulled from pots are unidentifiable. I need to replant anything affected with known correctly named tubers. It's a big task made harder by not wanting to have to empty out every pot to see if it still has a start in it or not. My heart has collapsed a bit at the thought of this.
I've rearranged the staging with much bigger overhangs so the bloody creatures can't climb up again - I didn't think it was possible before, they have achieved new skills this year and I've already caught a couple in my only mouse trap. More traps are expected soon.
In the rest of the vegetable garden I've only just managed to get most of the onion sets in. Some spring planting garlic is in pots but to be honest it was so close to rotting when I put it there that I doubt much will come of it. The potato beds aren't started and worst of all, I haven't begun any seeds of the usual suspects for the summer, something I hope to address today now I've shamed myself by writing it down here. Travel back to previous years in the archives to see just what a failure this is.
All in all rather depressing. And I've just read Theresa May's mealy mouthed excuse for diplomacy as she tenders Article 50. Where is there hope left in the world?