Sunday, 8 July 2012

Minging in the rain

This post is about June and July 2012... 

It has not been my finest hour in the garden - and in truth that's about all the time I've spent there.  It has got to the point where I'm considering dropping the 'gardener' and leaving myself as plain old 'Hapless'.

For regular readers, I'd like to apologise for the lack of entertainment on here lately but I do hope that the following update gives you reassurance that yes there is someone so utterly inept that you're not such a bad gardener after all. And for the skilled gardeners, belief that there is always someone in need of help!

So why such little time gardening? Over the next few posts I hope to explain. Today though, let me start with the Great British Weather.

We Brits love a good old moan about it, but this year I think we've all finally lost our rag. It's been rain all the way, day after day after day.

And with that, the warmth has decided to bugger off too, leaving the energy companies rubbing their hands with glee just as much as we're rubbing ours to heat up.

What has that meant for the garden? A failure to clear up the remnants of last year's vine and buddliea demolition and a utter failure to cut the now totally wild grass:

It hasn't taken long for this fiend to take hold on the lawn. Anyone know what it is?

Now, they call it the breezy south west. Actually, they don't, I just made that up to reflect the combination of laid back Bristolians, Gloucestershire hippies, Devon ruralites and the Cornwallian surfers. In truth it's been howling a right gale down here since April. Meaning everytime I try and plant precious seeds in the grow houses, which are necessarily in locations I can't tether them down in, I get this:

I have lost pretty much all the beans I've planted this year, along with nearly all sweet peas and my precious chilli seeds I planted from last year's dried chilli. Seeing the toppled plastic towers filled me with despondency and hurt as much as annoyance.

So, the British weather has basically thrown a strop even McEnroe would be proud of and left my garden in tatters - overgrown and pretty much veg-less this summer.

And what has this meant for me?

Poolside in the Greek sunshine. Damn right.

I'd like to think that the hardier gardeners and allotmenteers out there have made some headway with their vegetables, and please do let me know if you have.


Florence Saumarez said...

It's ragwort I think...... don't let any horses graze in your plot!

Esther Montgomery said...

And Dorset sophisticates?


Hapless gardener said...

I think you're right Florence, and it's so poisonous there's even government advice on safe disposal. I shall be donning the biohazard suit and keeping the horses in the stable...

Esther, how could I leave out the Dorset crowd!? Breezy sophisticates very welcome!

nik said...

i would say you are creating a wildlife garden tom and very soon all the birds & butterflies & bugs & other things beginning with 'b' (probably!) are going to descend... COOL!

Margaret said...

I think gardeners all over the country are suffering with the weather. I've lost loads of seedlings to slugs and I can see so many jobs need doing in the garden but can't get out because of the rain. So the place looks like a jungle. We've just got a new allotment and the heavy rain has shown us we have a drainage problem. So now we're digging drains. Fortunately we've not got as far as planting crops there yet

Woolly Green said...

Ooo escape to Greece? Forget the buddleia - that's a great idea!!!

Catherine said...

Ah, looks about the same as my garden :)

We've had a handful of strawbs, a handful of broad beans and a few carrots. The potatoes look rather sickly, peas no more, carrots gone to seed, radishes full of maggots (ugh) and the borders just weeds!

Forgotten what summer is! Kids get so excited when they can see sun :)

Hapless gardener said...

Nik, do bats count?! Yes there is something I secretly like about it's wild look.

Margret and Catherine, I'm sorry you're suffering the same as me. A collective will and perhaps we can salvage something before the summer is out. Or failing that, join the Woolly Green crew on another escape to Greece!!

Sunshine there did me the world of good! But I discovered they have grass hoppers eating their veg. A whole hopping new pest problem!

Lorraine Pullen said...

They are saying that this is the most rainfall ever recorded.. so my thinking is it can't ever be worse in my lifetime. If this is as bad as it gets, things in the garden can only get rosier..

Dorset has just had its entire months rain in a weekend, we live 100 yards over the border in Hampshire, but the clouds don't respect the boundary so we got it as well!!

don't give up..

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.