03 June 2012

mary, mary quite contrary

Girly gardeners. Yeuch, you know the type; clean gloves of the highest quality, daintily deadheading a miniature rose while perching on a soft knee cushion upholstered in delicately-sprigged oilcloth... which she made by hand. Everything in her garden is weed-, bug- and snail-free, her manicure remains intact under those pastel leather gauntlets, and she's wearing white. In fact, let's face it, she's on Wisteria Lane and her name is Bree. Real life: thank crap it's not actually like that.

But imagine the horrors when I realise that somehow I've ended up with pink Hunter wellies and pink gardening gloves. How did that happen? And I'm directing operations to a man hired to cut my hedges! (As with most everything, I blame all my current failings on being pregnant, and being not very good at it... the hedges or the pregnant.) Heaven forbid I turn into a girly gardener.

We only moved to this house five years ago, and for two of those five we had to leave it to the mercies of tenants (of, ahem, mixed quality). So the garden certainly hasn't reached full potential. But in 2009, during the Summer before we abandoned it for Singapore, I kept a photo diary on the first day of every month, to chart progress. And it was incredibly rewarding - especially for a veg-patch numpty who has no idea what's supposed to happen when.

As luck would have it, Ginny, the amazing blogger and all-round renaissance woman, has been linking up like-minded people for a weekly garden journal, and I'm really interested to see what people grow, especially to eat, in other parts of the world. Click on her name there if you want to do the same.

So here's where we are in the North of Scotland at the beginning of June 2012 (and as you can see from the weeds, I've clearly got some way to go before I reach Bree-like status on the girly gardening front!). It's averaging about 10-12 degrees C at the moment, and it's been quite dry and sunny, so everything's suddenly starting to flourish. I hope the coming month will bring significant progress, June usually does.

the largest part of the plot

rhubarb, or Barbara to her friends (she's out of control), and some huge pots sown with mint seeds that never came up, what a waste

the sunflower patch, will we beat the 2008 personal best of 3 metres?

broad beans doing nicely, and space at the back for a couple of courgettes that are ready to go in

shallots, peas and chives - I like the flowers too much to snip them off!

a rampant cardoon and the raspberry canes (which I may live to regret as they're trying to colonise the whole garden)

wild strawberries sown by a generously incontinent bird

it's year four for these young trees, but could these be my first ever apples? I hope so!!!

And I have one photo printed out and stuck into my actual, paper garden journal. A reminder for when I feel like I'm losing the battle against time, slugs, wet grass and bad weather. In Spring 2007, the veg patch looked like this...

dismal huh?


  1. Wow! You have done quite a lot based on that last photo. I love the sunflower patch and I do so hope you break your record :)

  2. Fun! Love your garden! I think we have a cardoon growing in our garden. It was supposed to be a globe artichoke, but the heads are all wrong.

  3. Oh my, your garden is lovely!!! How you have transformed the garden in such a short time is amazing! I hope you have a great season, I look forward to following your garden's progress through Ginny's site!
    ~ joey ~
    PS. My husband grew up in Edinburgh so I'm eager to see what you can grow there in case we ever have to move! ;o)

  4. wee ha! looks like a wonderful start to the season - thank you for visiting me - it was lovely to stop by and check out what is being grown across the pond.

    you have done amazing work - and pregnant to boot! congratulations and go put your feet up for a bit! pregnant and gardening never worked well for me.

    I am sure I will be back very soon


  5. Looking fabulous!
    I like the idea of the garden journal, it sounds like a good encouragement to keep things going. Once I feel like we might still be able to get something into the ground before it's too late, I might still join in! :)

    p.s. maternity pyjamas: I just tried some on in JojoMamanBebe. Love them. Super comfy and not hideous looking! ;)

  6. Greetings from across the pond....thanks for visiting my blog today. So nice to meet someone new who loves gardening as much as I do. I really loved seeing your before/after photos above ~ amazing, isn't it? I also do not cut my chive blossoms ~ they're one of my most favorite things in the garden! And I really enjoyed the write-up on your "about" page. I look forward to seeing your garden (and belly) progress!!! (I was VERY pregnant last Summer and gardening was so tough ~ my neighbors would come out and tell me to go back inside (ha~!) but why miss a season???)

  7. Oh my gawd. Well done to have transformed it from that barren desert grass to what it is now. I do love a transformation. Go wild and enjoy!

  8. Oh I just love seeing others gardens. Especially when the tour guide is so funny! Everything looks great. Don't you hate when seeds dont cooperate?

  9. Aw it's all so wonderful!
    I discovered it actually was birds decimating my pea plants (even though we feed them pounds and pounds worth of seeds, fat balls, etc every blimmin day - but then I do currently have a garden chock full of baby birds which is wonderful - and shouting the boys through every two mins to see a Mummy or Daddy bird feeding their big fat, useless babies). So now I have planted some replacements and covered them in netting. Courgette in in his big pot. I have been harvesting salad leaves and rocket for weeks. Carrots are looking good.
    Am considering cutting myself out a proper bed next year if I can persuade the men in the house to go and play elsewhere. Also need to make sure I would leave enough room for the annual bouncy castle.
    I love your garden and I love you for giving me lots of things to put in mine and for inspiring me.

    1. that's the good things about hedges isn't it - lots of tweety pies. I've certainly got a few gaps in my rows of peas, so maybe that's the problem here too. But despite your lovely comments, you're being a lot more productive that me in terms of stuff to eat so far - though ours is all looking good, we're still on a rhubarb and chive only harvest. And those things really don't taste too good together. So I envy your rocket and salad (for some reason I have hard wired myself not to sow rocket until august. I always sow it in august. I have absolutely no idea why.)


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