Sunday, 22 May 2011

With friends like these

I have garden envy

I knew I would. I've been here before, to my friend's mum's house. Er, for parties. For my friend you understand.

Anyway, she has a veg patch to make you properly green. Broad beans as high as your chest, raspberry plants billowing out. As her partner said ' a labour of love,' making my ramshackle efforts worth considering premature gardening retirement. She even has a full size cage to protect the crops.

It's like building your first Ikea wardrobe then being shown your mate's dad's hand built walk in wardrobe. Complete with Saville row suits to put your moth-eaten M&S off-the-peg to shame.

Still, I could take comfort from the company of my good friends, who I've shared life's ups and downs with for 12 years now. Almost blood. The kind of people who would put a reassuring arm on your shoulder and say 'Tom, it's the taking part that counts. We read your blog, it's inspiring, we love it, we can tell you love gardening, keep it up.'

But of course, none of them have read it. In spite of all those Facebook links that they'd "skimmed". Vicki, Ben, Laura, Lil, I could smell the guilt on your breath. Special mention to Ben for reading a blog I linked on my blog by not my actual blog. He saw the word Mojito. Well, I'll soon find out if they've read it like they promised under duress of alcohol and guilt trips...

Thankfully, I've received some wonderful messages from those of you who are enjoying it and I just want to take this chance to say thank you, it's hugely appreciated! I hope you continue to enjoy it and I also hope to make things more interactive in the near future, but keep sending me your tales by posting comments or email pics to!

And as always, it took one of those small moments of unexpected joy to convince me that all the time out there is worthwhile. A few days ago my raspberries had a touch of colour. This afternoon, bursting out from the depths of the undergrowth, the unmistakable deep lipstick red of my first raspberries. I ate one straight from the bush, and as all new gardeners do, savoured every piercingly tangy sweet drop of juice and tingle of texture. 

Last year, one was all I got. This year, a bounty is ripening before my eyes! So if you want to grow raspberries, click on the 'I want to grow' box at the end of this post and I'll see what scrap of experience i can put together in a forthcoming post.

Even better, competition time, to stop me just devouring them post suggestions on what to make with them (from puds to alcohol) and I'll pick one to try.


Ben said...

Mmmm, Mojito!

The size of your growing area is irrelevant, it's what you do with it that counts. Ahem.

I've subscribed to your blog, and I'll take more notice to your posts!

Vickie said...

You'll do anything to increase your readership Mr Carpen!!! Great read, I've also now read all the 'back-issues' too!! xx

Paul and Melanie said...

Garden envy is something we all suffer from (I think.. perhaps it's just you and I?!?). There are a few plots on our allotment site that are embarssingly perfect with not a weed in site and soil you could put through a tea strainer. I like to think the more 'work in progress' nature of our plot shows there's always room for improvement. No fun in being perfect after all... ;)

hanzy said...

just drop em in champagne works for me

Nome said...

Garden envy is just there to spur you on...

Enjoying your blog, Tom! They'll catch on...

My raspberries are looking rather sickly - not sure what I'm doing wrong :(

The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

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I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.