Ten weeks

I’m a binge gardener.  I plant in binges, driven by the sight of seedlings at a market.  They all say “ten weeks” and this seems like an impossible distance from planting to realisation, but the ten weeks race by.  And now the stocks that were the size of a thumb are all in flower, making untidy pockets of colour in strange places, with the top heavy cornflowers falling down among them.

After two weeks of overwork and no weeding, the strange weed has the entire vegetable patch in its grip. I might never have been there.  It’s like a ruined civilisation reclaimed by nature.

I’ve been reading a mountain gardener who puts it like this:

It seems that there is progress on the weed front but then a rainstorm comes along and suddenly, the garden looks like it hasn’t been tended to in several weeks.

So, patiently, begin again.  Weed by weed.  And the weed turns out not to be either secure in the soil or really very attached — it’s just trailing on the surface, trying to hold on to things.  It no longer has any interest in disappearing.  But it’s difficult to weed around leeks when they’re still pencil thin because their leaves droop down into the bed of weeds and its too easy to pull out the wrong thing.

But it’s not just the weeds.  With the steady pattern of Spring rain and sun, the rocket has flowered and needs to come out. We’re eating the broccoli. The yellow rose has curled up around the tree with buds, and the jasmine is flowering.  It really is Spring, and time to get back in the garden.

So I am clearing a patch for new seedlings.


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