IT IS A JUNGLE OUT THERE
So with Martin taking a forced hiatus from garden work it falls to me to make sense of the overgrown jungle our vegetable garden has become. Somewhere inside that jungle was raised wooden beds with rich soil and potential for beautiful heirloom vegetables.
The only thing standing between us and harvesting beautiful heirloom vegetables were a mass of weeds, massive spiders, malicious grass and mysterious wire frames to fall over. The weeds I could master with some muscle power, the spiders with shrieks and jumps and the grass I pulled out using brute force!
The mysterious wire frames tripped me up though – I did not win out over these. They gave me a sore shoulder and hip and a bruised ego.
But I persevered and I managed to clear all the garden beds with some help every now and then from my sister-in-law Amanda. The next step was to cart wheelbarrow loads of cow manure to add to the soil in the beds. Again, Amanda offered her help and we loaded and pushed the wheelbarrow in shifts. It took both of us to tip the wheelbarrow into the bed. Martin was quickly mowing the lawn, having a gap from regular work. He helped out and carted a few wheelbarrows of compost for us.
We got all the beds filled. Tired but happy and having the potential to get a hiatus myself now – albeit a hiatus hernia!
The beds were now ready to be planted. I love planting each bed. It feels like art laying out the perfect combination of plants. Carefully each plant is extracted from its seedling container and inserted into the bed. On day one I managed to create what I call salad beds consisting of cucumber, onion, tomato and lettuce. I also planted some early summer cabbages, some broccoli with a hopeful heart that it is still cool enough for it to bear fruit and some more tomatoes with silverbeet.
In the greenhouse punnets of vigorous growing celery was still waiting to be planted. That night, saying good night to my son he asked me what would I like to do if I could do anything just now? Having thought all day of the celery plants and how I would plant them, I promptly replied “Plant celery!” After a moment’s pause he said “You are a little crazy you know!” Maybe so, but I was looking forward to separate those delicate little plants and plant them in the beds. It would be a fairly big job though.
The next day was Tuesday and Amanda and I did our regular Zumba class in the morning. At the last moment my friend Bron joined us, as well. Straight after class I informed them that I am planting celery and they are welcome to join me. Amanda loves working in the garden whereas Bron has always stated that she and garden work are not friends! She has done weeding in the past under duress but never planting. I offered her a chair to sit on and keep us company but valiantly she offered to help plant instead! In no time we had all the celery planted. My only regret is that I did not take a photo of Bron to proof to her husband that she willingly took part!
I still have a couple of beds left to plant in the vegetable garden.
Simultaneously I am now shifting my focus to Dreamland. Our forest garden is threatening to become a weed jungle.
So there is still a jungle out there and still plenty of clearing work ahead. This time in-ground instead of raised beds which is definitely a bit harder. The first step is to clear the square block just in front of the pond for pumpkin and corn again. I think the ducks will be excited to see me start work on their side with the potential of snails and other critters being thrown at them as I work!