Mark the Gardener: Blog 9

W.B. Yeats said “ Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.”

Mark the Gardener says “Tread carefully for you tread on my onions.”

Ms Can-Do Says “If I was single, I’d live on cake.”

The garden is at full production at the moment, here are just some of the crops currently being enjoyed:

Radishes, salad leaves and spring onions – successional planting well under way.

Mangetout are a triumph this year, I sowed “Shiraz” and they are a beautiful aubergine colour – fantastic raw off the plant or sliced up in salads.

The November crop of broad beans are dwindling, but the March crop will be ready by next week, so the season length has been doubled.

Carrots – all 5 varieties – are thriving and I am using the technique of not completely pricking them out but pulling a selection week on week to get mini carrots, minimal wastage and a happy Mr BH.

The Early potatoes are all now lifted and tasty they are too.

Strawberries are absolutely delicious, sweet and juicy and a high sweetness factor on the Brix Index. I will now let you in on a little secret – there is a secret row of strawberries that I have hidden in the garden which only a select few of us know about – well, me actually- All I’ll say is the best hiding place is often in plain sight.

Cherries are very popular with the blackbirds – but I have managed to grab a couple – cherries not birds.

Currants, gooseberries, loganberries are all popular with the birds too, but I hope to get enough to make A Summer pud or two.

A number of guests have asked why we don’t cage or net the soft fruits, and it is something we talk about regularly, but the garden is inclusive, the guests are encouraged to take what they need for their supper and the aesthetics of the garden are as important as the produce. So we accept we will lose some to the wildlife, but hope the guests appreciate the beauty of the garden. Also, it breaks my heart when birds get caught in the netting. I even struggle to tread on a snail!!

So please, help yourself to produce, please be careful where you tread as my dreams and my onions are tied up in the garden and please leave some bounty on the plants for others to enjoy – especially the gardener!!

And pray that Ms Can-Do never becomes single, because I’m not sharing the Friday cakes with her.