It’s all about the outdoors lads. Even the cats have mastered the understanding of what al fresco means when I wave their dishes at them and walk out the door. I know its hard to believe but people are griping already about the longest day having past and the summer being over.
Bullshit. Its only started. Get outside and stock up. Fresh air, sunshine (when it appears), long days while they linger.You can retreat to the armchair in November and look out at it. But the time to be outside is now.
Every year I promise myself I will be ahead of the garden jobs by now. Ever year I fail. Small potted plants look at me sadly wondering if today is their day. I hurry past keeping my head down hoping they don’t see me. Seamus waters them. Hes immune to their guilt inducing stares. But the important thing is that I’m actually improving year on year. So I tell myself anyway. Measuring my success in the ever shrinking amount of pots waiting on me. So who knows? Maybe some year I might catch up with where I’m supposed to be. Then what will I do? What do people do who have no gardening to do? Its a mystery!
In between weeding, going for the odd long walk and trying to plant out the last of the pots there is lots of eating to be done. So far I reckon its been an excellent growing year but strangely enough for everyone who agrees with me there are just as many claiming its a rubbish year for their crops. WTF?? How can we have such different opinions of the year on one small island? I know soils vary from one place to another, often within very small areas. Only last night two Tipperary place names explained to me illustrated that point very well Foildarrig (red earth) and Foilduff (black earth). Micro-climates exist in town gardens and sheltered lower fields that allow to prosper what a windswept hillside cannot allow to grow well. And then of course some people really look after their soil and their ecosystems and some don’t. For example I overheard this conversation in a garden shop at the weekend;
Older lady customer;” is this the stuff?”
Shop Assistant; “No that’s plant food that will just help them to grow”
Older Lady customer; ” O no! I don’t want them to grow! I want to kill every last one of them!!”
You see what I mean?
That’s not to say I’m not tempted to blast some blackbirds out of the sky when I find not a single cherry has survived their attention. Even the “white” cherries supposed to be a “breakthrough” in plant breeding as they are “invisible” to birds. I think you might guess what my feelings are on that statement as I look at my tree empty of its fruit. Anyway. In the end you have to accept, on some admittedly grudging level, that the birds are entitled to fine dining too. And if you are the only fool on your street providing fruit in abundance you are going to be a magnet for every blackbird in the neighbourhood.So my only solution is to get my neighbours to grow more fruit.
When a pig flies past you know Ive succeeded. In the meantime a new whole bed cage contraption thing has been put in place over the strawberries. The only choice in the rest of the garden is to roar loudly and clap my hands like a lunatic. The glamour of it all!!!