Saturday, 19 July 2014

Making It Up As It Grows Along

The focus in the Driftwood household has definitely shifted from the kitchen to the garden (sorry about that but recipes and kitchen antics will resume shortly!).  In this beautiful warm weather, with the odd sprinkling of warm rain, things are really taking off.  

Phil has just dug up more potatoes.  Being out in the front garden, it seems the potatoes have survived and thrived despite a lack of regular watering and a few diggings up by our black and white friends.  

Meanwhile things in the back garden have been taking things into their own hands.  Our olive tree has acquired three new friends in its pot; a lettuce, a tomato and a Californian poppy. None of these were planted by us in this position but we feel no inclination to remove them as all seem happy just to do their own thing.  We will just wait to see what the lettuce and tomato produce and take it from there.

Meanwhile the Californian poppies spread themselves around other parts of the garden too.  I did seed them a few years ago but now they just pop up wherever they like.  I don't mind too much as they remind me of driving along the highways in CA where they seem to just grow like weeds on the verges. They also have the colour of the Dalai Lama's robe and that is a colour that always puts a smile on my face.  

A big patch of them has seeded on the edge of the carrot bed.  I had planted some red flowers (don't ask me what they are as I really am not very good at flowers!) around the bed because I had heard a theory about if you plant red or pink flowers it puts off cabbage white butterflies.  Other colours, including unfortunately orange, attract them so bang goes the chance of trying that theory out for sure as the poppies are now shouting out in big orange words to come take a look.  I'm not convinced it was working anyway to be fair as the wings of the munching caterpillar breeders have been flitting around for awhile before the poppies were flowering.  I think I will just have to rely on my homemade chilli spray to put them off our kale now.

Wild rocket was originally seeded by us in the first few years of living in our house and now it just moves itself around the garden as it pleases.  As ever, we really don't mind as long as the companion it chooses doesn't either.  This year it has chosen to snuggle up with our blueberry.  We may harvest some of it soon just to give the blueberry a little more breathing space but in the meantime we are waiting to see where else it will just pop up.

Our blackcurrant is, as ever, loaded with shiny black plump offerings.  Even the resident blackbird is welcome to its fair share of the glut as there is still more than enough left for us. This year the purple clematis on our wall has decided to help with holding up the blackcurrant branches from drooping to the ground with the weight of fruit.  It seems that the two like hanging out with each other more and more and there is no doubt that they are a handsome couple.

Ironically I spend some time over the winter months carefully planning the garden for the coming year.  It is a bit of a treat for me to sit in front of the open fire with a glass of wine perusing catalogues and drawing up plans.  There is however no accounting for what the garden will just make up as it grows along.  I won't give up my efforts to plan it but I do accept that nature pretty much does what it likes anyway and always does a much better job of it.  That is the best part of watching the garden grow really (although the wine aided planning in the winter is good too!).

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