Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Patience of the Gardener

Very little has been done in my garden for a few weeks.
We’ve had some extended periods of rain and some weekends away visiting family so the garden has been neglected for a while. The recent rain has been very welcome. I’ve enjoyed the sounds of the hidden waterfall within the new tank (which is now close to full).

The last significant gardening I did was to prune half of the roses. In previous years I’ve pruned them towards the end of winter after being advised that frost would damage the new shoots if they were pruned too early. Unfortunately the late pruning meant the flowering season was much shorter. By the time we had a good show of flowers it was almost summer and the heat possibly did more damage than the frost would have done.
This year I’m doing a little comparison by pruning some plants early and leaving others until later to see which is best.

I’m now approaching my fourth year of trial and error gardening and I’m slowly learning a few things about the things I’m trying to grow. Unfortunately it can take months to find out whether something is working or not and then the lessons learned often can’t be put into practice for almost another year. That is the frustration of gardening, everything takes so long to get right, and it can often take years of trying different things until something works.

I also planted most of the new plants that arrived from the Digger’s Club – and again patience is required. How long must I wait to enjoy the fruit from the blueberries (at least two years), the raspberry and the gooseberry? The two Chilean Guava plants are still in pots waiting for me to find time to plant them out.

After work yesterday I had a short wander around to see how things are going. I noticed the broccoli is looking a bit unhappy. Their leaves have increasing brown patches which I guess is some kind of mould caused by the constant cold dampness of recent weeks.
At least the onions, leaks, garlic and broad beans seem to be progressing well, so we should get something productive out of the winter veggie patch even if we have to wait until spring and summer to get the benefit.

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