Ok… whose idea was it to put the festive season smack bang in the middle of my growing season? I have spent months and months coaxing tiny seedlings into life, and cosseting them as they grow big enough to go out in the garden where they now reside.
They are doing well in the garden, with the daily love and care they are getting – wrapping a cucumber tendril into the netting here and pulling a few tiny weeds here. I’ve even come to grips with the watering and my plants are receiving deep watering every other day or so when it’s not raining. But I’m on hand to notice if a plant is thirsty and I tend to its needs.
The pestilence spotting has high priority as I wander about my garden, admiring all I have achieved and so far so good there hasn’t been much bother. Aside from a bit of leaf miner damage that can be easily fixed by pulling off offending leaves and a spot of wind harassment, although that can’t be helped – the garden is doing well.
The harvest has begun and there are peas, strawberries, raspberries, asparagus, zucchini, and salad waiting for me every day. There is such an abundance, it’s wonderful. The tomatoes aren’t far away and the chillies are flowering in earnest. There are loads of things that are on the verge of a great season. It is so wonderful to watch it unfolding.
But there is a huge problem… The holidays are looming. The beach is calling to the family and they are calling to me. I must leave my precious garden for two weeks! In the life of a veggie garden two weeks is a long time. Especially at this stage in the life of a veggie garden. Without the daily care, it will suffer. It needs me!
Last year (in fact every year) I came home to a windswept, pest and disease ravaged garden that was gasping for a good watering, and had grown into a giant tangled jungle. It was not the picture perfect plot I had in mind at the start of the season. It was a disaster and I was close to chucking it all in! However a few sessions of hard work soon restored order and my faith in horticulture.
This year things will be different – I hope. I have made the family promise to return me to the garden at least once to check; I have a knowledgeable friend visiting regularly to attend to any plagues and I have a house sitter to do the watering and harvest what needs harvesting so the plants continue to produce more and so I don’t end up with giant marrows.
It really pays to have good friends during the festive season so you can go off with your family in the knowledge that everything you have worked for is being taken care of in exchange for any fresh produce that comes ripe while you are away.
I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and may your gardens survive and thrive during this festive season.
Cheers, Sarah :o)