Yes, I've gone all self sufficient. Not totally, just slightly.
I've dug over part of the veg patch, but then had to sit down as I came over all faint. Peewee had been helping, but he was digging in all of the wrong places. However he did unearth some treasures...beetroots and parsnips from last year! They were so tiny and deformed that I realised that chucking them all in without thought of spacing was probably a bad move. Ah well, we learn by our mistakes.
Peewee is rather keen on gardening. I know this as he has taken a liking to my gardening books. They are in tatters now because he's darn well chewed the lot!
So now I'm busy looking through the seed catalogues and I remembered when my Ma used to do the same thing. She would sit and plan her garden, much like I'm doing now. She'd allow me to pick the seeds I wanted and I would plant them in my very own patch. They were never successful, because I never watered them. She loved roses and the garden, at the height of the summer the garden was a beautiful glow of soft lights and shades and aromas of mingling scents. I would trot around the garden with notepad in hand cataloguing the varies varieties. I would make her leave the labels on, so that I could identify them (read-cheat), if I couldn't spot them in the book. Of all of my brothers and sisters, I was the only one who would happily dig for hours and make perfume from the petals of the roses. Never successful, the jars would become stagnant, cloying, and rotten .
I'm a bit of a haphazard gardener. I can't bear petunias or bizzy lizzies. I don't do hanging baskets or pots. But I love my garden to be various shades of lush green, and I love growing vegetables. The kick I get from filling my basket with the fruits of my labour far out weighs the dreary trudge to the supermarket. I don't use pesticides so I hope it's completely organic. I'm not too good with runner beans for some reason. Everytime I grow them they always seem stalky and tough, so this year I'm going to give them a miss!
I have an apple tree which is slap bang right in the middle of the patch, which is probably in the worst position possible. It cuts out the light and draws most of the moisture out of the ground. The fruit rains down on the patch like bullets from heaven, ..and they are seriously massive. I've been clonked on the head a few times and they've damaged a lot of the plants. BH wants to chop it down, but despite the damage it wreaks, I won't let him. It's beautiful, it's alive....and the apple pies I've made from that tree have been worth the aggro it causes.
I try and tidy it up, but all I seem to do is move the mess from one part of the garden to another, or spread it all around in piles and forget that I've done it. So there it remains until, I suddenly realise that my veg garden doesn't look like a Homes and Gardens photo shoot but more like Steptoe and Son's salvage yard.
What has surprised me is that the kids enjoy being out there too. They love sitting amongst the debris, and pointing out the new shoots and flowers. This year, they each have their own bed, and they've chosen different vegetables to grow in each. I know it's going to be left to me to make sure they stay alive, but if I can show them it's not all about the DS, the Wii, or the TV, then hopefully, one day they will have the memories that I have, of long summer days and the joys of producing something from nothing.
I hope so, and I hope they don't pick runner beans