Friday, May 18, 2012

Dark Dirt

I've had it with Dandy Gilver; I'm going noir.  Just kidding.  I mean real dirt - compost, if you must.

Twelve trips to the dump:

which is twelve pick-up truck loads (ninety six barrowfuls, three hundred and eight four shovelfuls (I've turned into Mr Monk))

later and my garden is transformed.  On the surface.  The clay is still there underneath, drying and forming into boulders.

And suddenly everything looks better.

Even nothing looks better.  Here's the half of the pumpkin patch last week with the crumbled chocolate cake topping:

and here's the half I hadn't done yet:

Where would you rather put these little pumpkins, pattypans, crooknecks, courgettes, cantaloupes, watermelons and butternuts?

High hopes this year.  I've grown everything from seed in the same compost it's going to live in, I've put another barrowful of compost on each hill since these pictures were taken, I've got a drip irrigation "system" (scare quotes are because I suspect real irrigation systems don't have any duck tape in them) all ready to start, and I'm only going away for nine weeks in the hottest part of the summer and leaving the whole shebang in the care of an undergardener who thinks plants are more interesting when they've got diseases.  What could possibly go wrong?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Gay/Straight/A Hill of Beans

Anyone who's anyone is blogging about marriage equality this week.  But really, what is there to say?  Marriage would be a lot more meaningful if everyone could go "I love you.  Will you marry me?" instead of "I love you and since we happen to be straight and our state recognisies our love, will you marry me?"  That's just bad dialogue.

If you don't like the idea of same sex marriage . . . don't marry someone of the same sex.  That should do it.  Anyway, the undergardener went off to work today in his Stonewall UK t-shirt, which reads "Some people are gay. Get over it." so we've got solidarity with LGBT friends and family covered.

Leaving me free to concentrate on . . . the latest garden glut.  Yes, from the cropping planner who last year brought you eighteen courgette plants to feed a household of two, I give you Broad Beans 2012.

We've been enjoying them for weeks now but the plants were past it so I hoicked them out.

I knew there might be some pods left in the interior - spacing is not my strong point either - so I took a colander out with me:

then went and got a trug:

and finally a washing basket:

Nobody in this house is going to die of scurvy tonight.  And when I've steamed, boiled, mashed, fried, refried, made soup with, blanched and frozen all of them, there's still the second planting to come.

Because why have one glut when, by successional sowing, you can have two?  Not everything is a no-brainer, at least not for the no-brain of me.