Uploading Post
04th Mar 2024

The start of 2024 has been a rather grim one for many gardeners with their properties being so waterlogged. As I stand and look out of my kitchen window at the desolation of my garden due to gales and high rainfall, it only makes me more determined to get stuck in at the earliest opportunity and make it better than ever. In truth, my wife and I must admit to being shamefully fair-weather gardeners, we need the sun on our back, stripped to the waist (just me, not the wife, neither a good look) and a glass of vintage cider glinting on the decking table.

It says something for both our resolve, considering the catastrophe’s we have suffered over the years, that our garden is not completely paved over! I will explain: -


Catastrophe 1: Last year I constructed a 5-meter-long raised bed for Dahlia’s, a total disaster! Just as they achieved full growth, we realized that as beautiful as they were, the stems were far too short to cut and display without sacrificing many new buds, which would be a shame. Deciding to leave them to bloom in the garden, almost overnight, the entire crop acquired a white powder-like covering on both leaves and flowers and the stems had developed the weirdest twisting contortions. My wife denied using my home-brew cider to promote growth, so the cause remained a mystery. This year we will replace the triffids with Chrysanthemums!


Catastrophe 2: At the rear of our pond is a large are of soil supported by log-roll. The entire area was covered in probably a hundred plus of beautiful Hosta’s, which are apparently a ‘McDonalds’ to slugs! Off the shelf slug pellets were of no use as the foliage was far too dense to apply around the base, anyway, the slugs would only trot along the slabbing around the pond perimeter and leap across to my Hosta’s. As a child my ambition or career intention, was to be a ‘mad inventor,’ so slug purging became my new challenge, to invent a no-slug solution.  And a solution it was! I dissolved a whole bag of table salt in a full watering can (to a slug, salt is the equal of 20,000 volts to a human) making a brine solution and showered the entire Hosta area knowing that nomatter how hungry, no slug would touch them from thereon. The following evening, I found every single plant brown, withered and dying fast, eventually to disappear without trace, never to return. On each subsequent visit to garden centers, I swerved any Hosta display for fear of further retribution or injury from the leader of the opposition in public!


Catastrophe 3: A friend lent me a huge tub of expensive fertilizer. Preparing the soil of a designated area for runner beans, I mixed the contents into the bed. The runner beans were grown against three trellis topped fencing panels which eventually grew to the length of snooker cues, I chopped, blanched, and froze them all. One evening, a neighbor beckoned me over from his garden and handed me a huge bunch of runner beans that would have taken gold in any large veg growing competition. Thinking he was boasting having grown runner beans akin to railway sleepers, I said "no thanks I already have a freezer full". He said "they are not mine, they are yours, they’re growing through the panels on my side". Good stuff that fertilizer, but the catastrophe was, upon cooking, they were tougher than tree bark and tasted similar. All had to be disposed of and a return to Tesco’s to complete our Sunday dinner. I later learned from my ‘ex’-friend that I should have used a handful “NOT THE WHOLE BLEEDING TUB!” Anyway Spring is springing shortly, time to grab my trug that I bought cheap off the head gardener.


View our other Live Diaries