Jumping the gun

My new vege patch

It’s not spring yet but I just can’t wait any longer. I’ve put in my first row of spuds for the season. (And there are 10 more bags of seed potatoes sprouting in trays in our stables. I’m aiming to sell new spuds for Christmas at the local farmers’ market, along with, all going to plan, my first crop of purple asparagus.)

This rocky raised bed wraps around a cherry blossom tree right beside our house. I’m not sure how successful it will be as a vege patch, given that I’ve had to chase the dogs out of it twice already today, but it’s as close as you can get to our kitchen. So far it’s home to lettuce, carrots, garlic, onions, spuds, rocket, celery, globe artichokes and mint.

I’m ditching the designer potager look this season. My garden’s too big to plant flowers, herbs and vegetables all together in a happy jumble, the way you can in cute raised beds in the city. It will just end up looking like a big mess.

Instead, I’m going back to the future. I’m planting my vege patch in perfectly straight rows (I laid down the rake to make the trenches) that any grandfather would be proud of. And my next job? We’re going to rotary hoe up the 35m long borders along each side of the lawn, where we sowed wildflowers last summer for our wedding, then fill them up with neat rows of food crops and flowers for picking. It’s going to look fantastic. Which is just as well, because it couldn’t look any worse than it does now. It’s just as well the lawn is still picture perfect.

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