Sunday, 9 May 2010
The allotment (oh my aching back!) yielded a fresh green soup today. Two kinds of sorrel, spinach (the everlasting sort) and ground elder. I didn't photograph all of it, but there was a generous bagful.
Several of the last remaining leeks were pulled. And another large armful of rhubarb, some of which I donated to two admiring students as I passed them on their doorstep today. One asked eagerly "Oh, where did you get all that rhubarb?" and after a discussion about cooking methods, they were delighted to receive a heap of it.
Meantime, the rhubarb patch continues to produce... and produce... and produce...
I love that rhubarb patch; no matter how neglected the plot, it allows me to pretend I'm a proper gardener, as I totter up the hill with a heavy bag of potential crumbles, jam and ice cream.
I was amused and interested by the comments posted earlier about the poppy, and thought you might like to see more of it and the Horror Patch in which it grows. There's so much variation in when things will grow in this country - usually I'm the one wondering if and when a green shoot will ever appear while some of you (mountainear!) are harvesting the first potatoes.
The North East is cold (just notice and compare the temperatures on the weather forecast maps if you don't believe me!) but being in a city offers some degree of warmth and shelter from the scouring winds off the North Sea. This may be barely noticeable to us, but is obviously of some help to plants. And snails. And greenfly.
My tiny front garden is very sheltered, as is this street - walk round the corner and you are cut in two by an icy wind - and if the soil were deeper and better, I could perform miracles in it, I'm sure (oops, my nose is growing....). As it is, it has an unruly jungly episode around this time, and is mostly dead and dried out by August.
Here lives the Venerable and Indestructible Oriental Poppy, an old trouper that goes on and on, usually until the first frosts get it, but last year, even in a hard winter, managing to produce flowers beyond its season.
This was taken on Nov. 28th 2009 when the last tiny flower appeared:
and this is it today, bursting out of its bodice in the most unseemly manner:
It is propagated by root cuttings, not seeds, and sulks terribly for the first year, but after that, it's a thug. Bumblebees rattle around in its enormous blooms, and nothing seems to prey on it.
Oh, and then there's the path. I've been dying to show you the path. Last month, the front path, weedy, shabby and vandalised by British Gas, looked like this, a visual deterrent to any future viewer of my house:
Although, most peculiarly, many people said they'd never noticed my path, until I had it Improved. Which happened thus:
Mark the Paver and some Indian sandstone. Dust and noise.
Definitely Improved. Next chapter of Mission Impossible will be to tidy up that jungle a bit, paint the front door, and keep the brasses polished. House valuation day is inching ever closer. The poppy and I will have to be more disciplined in our habits from now on.
Posted by rachel at 21:49