It’s been so long since I’ve written about my garden. Perhaps that’s because I’ve hardly been able to attend to it until now. Three days after our annual soil delivery, I sprained my ankle rather badly and lost five weeks of backyard time. Luckily, I had planted tomatoes and strawberries in containers on the balcony, along with pineapple sage and tarragon, so I’m not as behind as I’d otherwise have been.
It’s only this week that my ankle has been strong enough to do some real gardening. Much of my time is spent battling morning glory, blackberry cane, buttercups, and nightshade – so much so that it’s almost become a refrain as I work. I’d cleared the worst of it in March, but by the time I got back to the garden properly, they’d all made riotous progress.
I spent a day clearing blackberry cane and morning glory, pulling blooming shoots from the centre of the long-suffering bay tree at the corner of my yard. Then, I finally tilled the soil in my vegetable garden with a claw and a new-fangled hoe that my father found that looks more like a weapon for the zombie apocalypse than it does a garden tool. It was very satisfying. All I’ve got to do now is top up and mix the soil, mark off my square foot sections and plant. I’ve got lettuce, peppers, celery, and cucumbers waiting in pots, but I’m also going to take my chances late-sowing radishes. It’s perfect timing for my Tante Vivienne’s beans, which have been saved over generations, and I’m looking through my stash of seeds to see what else I can manage this year.
Then, I’ll tackle the flower beds, though I’m leaving as many wild carrot plants intact as I can. I know they’re considered weeds, but I’ve seen at least eight different species of pollinator feasting on them. Maybe that makes me a bad gardener (along with the dandelions I leave in place in early spring, for similar reasons). Perhaps I’ll think of myself as a good host, instead.