Sunday, 7 June 2009

Unexpected Progress

I'd cheerfully written off this weekend expecting bad weather, anyway after last week I needed a rest. Sunday turned out to be bright and breezy, chilly enough for a couple of layers but not too cold to work. Finishing the excavation of bed #3 was surprisingly quick and not as physically demanding as earlier in the week. Hazel and Rachel are right - each one is easier than the last! The soil in this bed is very different from anywhere else - much more clay and lots of small stones, there will be numerous barrow loads of manure going into this one.

The frame was already made but Husband helped lift it into position so that during the week I can engage in the silly and pointless game which is "try to level a wooden frame on ground which slopes away in two different directions".

Something equally unexpected was reading a Blog Comment this morning from Photo who had stumbled upon Bag End via the Grapevine gardening forum. Photo lives about half a mile up the road - what are the chances of that? I always had this idea that anyone who found the blog by accident would be hundreds of miles away - it was a very strange feeling for a while. However, Mr Photo is a very nice chap who offered me some spare Runner Bean plants and typically, in the 45 minutes when I went out today to buy canes for them, he walked round to deliver my present! He and Management had a good chat and I'm looking forward to meeting him later in the week (and have learnt that he is also a photographer and having seen some of his work - a very fine one!).

Putting up a little wigwam for the bean plants was such a pleasure - I dug out a bucket-sized hole from the bed and refilled it with completely rotted manure and then firmed it down. For the first time in far too long I actually felt as if I was gardening - not just on the "tired and aching end" of endless hard labour.

The gifted bean plants turn out to be Kentucky Wonder, there are 5½ (the cat got one before Mr Photo left the house!). I have potted them all on into 3" pots and will harden them off over the next few days - already feeling very protective towards them.

Finally, potted on 6 free basil plants, all thanks to Mrs Flummery.


  1. Bilbo's doing gardening! Bilbo's doing gardening!!

    Just how satisfaction is there in putting up that wigwam?! (Although being nearly as protective of your new seedlings as you are, I trust your canes are shoved well down - it's quite a tall, thin wigwam and you did say your aspect was exposed...)

    And as another 'symbolic gesture' of your first veggies at Bag End, would you possibly save a few of the kentucky wonder bean seeds for me in the Autumn?

  2. Woohoo, real planting and growing things! A red letter day at Bag End. I bet that's got you really wanting to finish the labouring work now so you can "reap the rewards" (groan).

  3. Hazel, LOL - yes, definite red letter day at Bag End. Should I re-make the wigwam but broader at the base? It wouldn't take long to do and I'd hate for them to blow over . . . The canes are pushed in about 18" inches (AT's book says 12" so I added extra for the wind!).

    And of course I will save some seed for you.

    Sue, yes, those little bean plants from Mr Photo have really kick started me - there was nearly seed sowing after dinner!!

  4. I'm glad your pleased with the plants, I've told the cats off for breaking one of them...plenty of finger wagging etc etc.

    The beans are already hardened off and ready to go in the ground.

    Was nice to see your plot yesterday and chat with Management. Phew, you have a lot of hard work done...and lots more to do!!

    Everyone: You would not believe the little hill Bilbo and management are dragging/pushing/shoving wheelbarrows of cow muck up to put in their veg beds. Goats would struggle up that hill beside their path.

  5. Yay, real gardening happening at Bag End, congratulations!!! And thank you to Mr Photo for making my friend so happy :o).

  6. Can I also say thank you to Mr Photo - my dear friend Bilbo is now beginging to see that 'proper gardening' is on the horizon! and she wont mind the rest of the hard work. Yes, Mr Photo I have seen that's a steep one! but the sight from the top of those beautiful veggie plots is worth it! As are the views across the Derwent to the mountains! Soon she will be sitting out with her coffee admiring not only the views but talking to the veggies too - wont you Bilbo dear!

  7. Oh yes! Propper gardening! It's a great feeling isn't it? Especially after the amount of sheer effort and hard work that's gone into the preparation.

    Hazel is a great source of unusual beans - she and I have swapped a fair few. If you want any of the ones on my blog (for next year - getting a bit late to sow now) you know you only have to say.

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  9. Wow a great day at Bag End.

    I'd noticed you were having a much better day than us yesterday and expected you'd be out in the garden but not that there would be growing and planting involved.

  10. "Should I re-make the wigwam but broader at the base?"

    I'd be inclined to - it'll really get on your nerves if it starts listing to port when it's full of beans at the end of August!

    See what Mrs F thinks.

  11. Thank you all {{{{{huggles}}}}}

    Wigwam decision made - leave first one in place, use it for something less critical (Morning Glory?). Put more sturdy wigwam in a different bed . . .

    Granny said Soon she will be sitting out with her coffee admiring not only the views but talking to the veggies too - wont you Bilbo dear!

    YEP. Was sitting on bench in "Potager" (howzat for posh?) at close of business today with cuppa, book, great view. It was extremely relaxing and I'd have stayed out there if it wasn't so flippin' cold! And of course I was talking to the plants, doesn't everyone?

  12. I had a couple of boxes of plants gifted to me recently from some friends, I got some runner beans in (Var:Celebration) and when I saw your empty beds I just had to pass on the Kentucky wonder for them (Please save me some seed if yu can).

    I have 2 more pots of "beans" to be planted this next week, they are unknowns/unlabeled and could even be french beans, I'll plant half from each pot and your welcome to the remainder. There is also a "squash" plant you can have, and a few herbs I've just potted on. How about a foxglove or two also? :) Maybe even more plants available...

    Mr Photo...:)

  13. Photo, you are too generous, and having now seen photos of your garden I can only say "I'm not worthy" !


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