There are always a heap of weeds in my veg bed, I pull out a lot in the spring but I always leave some of the borage, foxgloves, dandelions and poppies, plus a few edible things that come back every year, and occasional other weeds that look pretty. Pleased with the lack of competition, the chosen few grow into monsters. This year there has been a particularly fine crop of opium poppies, so much so that it is beginning to look like a drug-barons veg bed. There is veg in there somewhere, too. The veg would do better without the weeds, but I have happy bees 🙂
It was once the site of his Ancient Hunting Grounds, but Arthur is adaptable and has therefore seen fit to oversee the building that is going up next door. Only Stan is working next door today. Arthur is familiar with Stan and he can therefore be trusted to work for a few hours unattended, unlike other strange and unfamiliar building persons. Later this evening Arthur will go on a site inspection, just to check all is as it should be.
Do not think that this greenhouse vigil is because it is warm and sunny in here, nor even because of the nice blanket one finds discarded by a careless owner. It is because of the frail and vulnerable Aubergine seedlings that one has discovered yet again stand out here without protection. Two nights ago one’s human forgot them entirely and left them out all night and they almost died, so one has to ask, if one’s human forgets the Aubergines, what else might be forgotten?
I thought I would draw something in the garden, so I had settled down to draw the veg patch, with its newly sprouted broad beans and its very fine rhubarb forcer. It is not an easy thing drawing outside in bright sunlight with this phone that I do the drawings on. The surface is too shiny and the brightness of the screen too weak, and it’s all reflections. And cats. It is especially hard to see through cats. And it is especially hard to draw when being circled by a certain orange person who will neither stay still for a portrait nor get out of the actual way. I did my best.
I have a New Theory of Brambles and the pruning thereof. I have had a New Theory approximately once a year for the last six years or so. I am aware of the accepted horticultural Theory of Brambles; I posses a large book on the pruning of things, and I have even read it.
The problem is, the brambles are the wild illiterate boisterous sort, and they have not read the pruning book, hence, about once a year I have a New Theory of Brambles. I cut my brambles according to the current theory, I manage them, often for some months into the growing season, but at some point the Theory breaks down. Every time.
Still, we have a freezer full of blackberries, so I’m not doing too badly. Arthur and Percy have been overseeing the pruning work, they say the Theory is a good one this year.
Apologies for the break in cats, life has been rather full of late. It is fortunate therefore, that while I am dashing about jumping into rivers and suchlike, that I can leave the guarding of the pumpkins to Percy. This is a ‘Crown Prince’ (an F1 I’m afraid, but they taste superb), and such a fine specimen of course requires guarding only by the finest cats. And yes, it is blue. Blueish greenish greyish, but really quite blue in the right light.
Taraxacum Officinale: You think this is just dandelions? This is a plant that you can grow that requires no preparation of the soil whatsoever, that you can eat, that is exceptionally nutritional and high in minerals, and that actually improves the soil while you grow it. Ok, it’s just dandelions, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true 🙂
Most of the runner-bean plants have so far survived, but Percy Cat is concerned about the slug damage and is guarding them, especially on hot sunny days as that is apparently the time when it is most likely that the sneakiest slugs will strike….
Nasturtiums, and a Galium aparine, a weed that I know as goose grass, but one of its more amusing names is Sticky Willy. I quite like weeds I can eat, though this one is a bit like eating velcro (it is apparently better cooked, but I have never tried). Of course, you can eat Nasturtiums, too, and the caterpillars will, any moment now…
The reddest poppy in the garden: Actually the only poppy at present, but this plant produces flowers of such an astronomical red that it is really quite hard to know how to draw them. You can’t even photograph them without the camera losing some of the detail and just filling it in in a sort of block red. I suspect it of secretly fluorescing: converting additional UV light into red light too, so that it actually gives off more red light than the eye thinks would actually be possible. Needless to say, I have not done it justice, but I had a go.
It is possible you are so blinded by the red you cannot see the cats in this one: they are behind the poppy…