As if not to be outwitted by the Chelsea Flower Show, a slick of long awaited sunshine has coaxed my favourite flower into bloom. I've just gathered a rainbow of irises at my local nursery, and am now in a race against time...
This year it has taken me three sowings of cucumbers to end up with some credible seedlings. Well, actually, my first two sowings were very credible.... 3 varieties, indoor, outdoor, with fat and juicy leaves; therein lies my downfall. They were also irresistible to a furtive intruder who left me with stumpy stalks and a slimy trail, twice.
Third time round I scattered crushed eggshells on the surface of the compost and, sorry, a few slug pellets. By morning I had the culprit, caught in the act, lifeless upturned shell resting against one of my precious plants.
A reasonable sacrifice for a whole season’s cucumbers I’m afraid.
I can always rely on rhubarb to cheer me up, on yet another wet morning, when my plans to belatedly plant my maincrop potatoes are once again thwarted. The beautifully prepared bed I have earmarked for them is now a moated island... and not the tropical sort!
The rhubarb however is in full swing. Don’t you love a true stalwart that delivers reliably on minimal attention?
Amid visions of simmering pies and steaming crumbles I tug at the crimson stalks and unknowingly dislodge a bundle of dry grass at the centre of the plant. Quick as a flash, half a dozen teeny, velveteen bodies with pink tails wriggle out of sight. I do hope they find their way back to their cosy nest and I do I hope I haven’t picked the umbrella that was sheltering them from the rain. Sorry chaps!