Strawberries and gnomes
Summer holidays, sunny weather, timeless days. What day of the week is it? No idea, unless I check the calendar. But it's also time for some non-sentimental decisions regarding the strawberries and my oldest garden gnome.
Tuesday 6th January
It's the Day of Reckoning for Bach, the original Moosey gnome, a relic from my younger, giddier days. His skin has gone all holey and both his face and feet have partially dissolved. This is not a good look. The damage is irreparable, and there's no room for sentiment. There is no nice way to say this. He is going in the bin. A sad day, but better for the health of the others, in case it's infectious.
Bach and Rupert Gnomes
Now to deal to the strawberries. Here's my strawberry story. For three years now I've provided fresh nutritious mix, large sunny pots, and sprinkly strawberry food. I've watered them daily and waited oh so patiently. And what do I see in early summer? Loads of little runners and one or two wizened fruits. There's been far too much fussing around, and too much disappointment, for no gain. So today I'm throwing them out.
Not The World's Best Edible Gardener...
I'm not the world's best edible gardener, so to speak, and I defiantly choose to remain so. Non-Gardening Partner's raspberry patch is a no-grow area this summer, too.
The Allotment Garden
Far better off to snack on fresh peas from the Allotment Garden (the pods are almost fat enough). And this summer my patio tomatoes seem to be thriving, and I have potatoes, potatoes and more potatoes. So it is not totally hopeless...
I'm inside having a break, doing the blue sky bit of the Christmas Jigsaw (slowly) while listening to the cricket. All morning I've been weeding the Allotment Garden and barrowing more mulch onto the Welcome Garden. The new kittens Tiddles and Buster have kept me company, while Winnie has been energetically digging holes next-door. Not in my garden, hee hee...
The Allotment Garden won an award for Grooviest Garden of 2014. The top-soil I shovelled in has provided an ominous supply of annual weeds, and the beds with my home-made compost are rather dry and dusty. But it's the prettiest set of gardens, in which I grow vegetables, spare perennials and irises. I'm thinking about creating a post and rope swag fence for rambling roses to be propped along. And there are a lot of lovely mid-summer flowers in here - dahlias, agapanthus, shrubby Lavateras...
It's not so hot today, and this is a gardening relief. The last two days have been unpleasant, and I've only managed the shortest of gardening sessions, before discretely semi-immersing myself in the pond. Winnie the puppy swims round and round me in excitement, but for a non-furry human the pond water is so cold!
Hot Dogs Cooling Off
Yesterday I cleaned out leaves from the wriggling Wattle Woods stream before removing debris from the river pumps and getting the water flowing again. Then into the pond to wash off the mud, helped by Winnie the puppy, my devoted swimming dog friend.
We are off to the dog-park now, and I need to change my library books. More summer holiday reading is required. Then I'll do some more work in the Allotment Garden. There's no point in me weeding and watering without mulching as well.
And the Fate of the Strawberries and the Gnome?
Oh, by the way, I threw all the strawberry plants onto the boundary in the Welcome Garden and covered them with soil. It will be amusing if they decide they like it there, and fruit madly next summer. That'll be just fine by me. But I'm sorry about that gnome! I've just popped him into the bin, and there's no looking back. Oops. He's off to the Great Council Rubbish Tip, along with loads of old gardening magazines. Out with the old, and all that...