The Accidental Gardener

2008/08/30 This post became lost in cyberspace and today was found – it should have been posted back in August 2008 and probably was stored in drafts because of a dodgy modem connection – now it can be put in it’s rightful place – no longer a lowly draft……..

I accidentally did some gardening today, I had absolutely no intention of doing anything in the garden, I was just drawn outside after my morning coffee by a strange brightness and found myself blinded and shocked by the sight of the sun shining with no trace of a rain cloud – no really, it was!

Perhaps cobweb season is already over and sunshine season is with us? Dare we hope?

Anyway I found myself wandering through the garden admiring the colours of the flowers and the beauty of the ponds, everything just looked SO different.  If you think I am exaggerating then obviously you don’t live in the northwest of Ireland – the wetlands, soon to be known as the badlands if it keeps up the way it has been – 400% of the normal rainfall this month – that’s not funny.

Yesterday I went for a walk up over the top of the hill and met a neighbour who was moving his cattle to a higher field. He has had to move them a lot recently because the ground is so soft that they are not getting to eat all the grass before they trample it down into the mud and he has to keep moving them from field to field to try and prevent as much damage as possible. He reckons he will have start to feed them silage much earlier than usual this year and may not have enough. I would say that his story is not unusual.

I went astray there – I was talking about the garden – I am still stunned by the surprise beauty of today – as I wandered around the garden I could not help but notice the gooseberry bed that I had been avoiding tending to because it had looked so overgrown and thorny and wet but this morning I just got my trusty leather gloves on and started to work.

As I accidentally gardened I harvested an accidental bounty – I had topped up the gooseberry bed with compost from our humanure pile early in the spring when it was time to turn out one of the compost bins. We had decided to not sow a veg garden this year because we wanted to concentrate on other projects like house building (more on that later) so the only place to make good use of the compost was the fruit bed. I did notice that there were a few potatoes in the compost as I shovelled it around the gooseberry bushes but I had forgotten until today – when I dug out two buckets of lovely looking spuds.

Accidental Spuds

Because I had used the compost from the humanure pile and it hadn’t really rested as long as it would have if I had intended to use it for a root crop I think I will recycle these as seed potatoes so they won’t go to waste. And the goosrberry bed really benefited from the spuds growing there, the soil is lovely, the weeds are minimal and the fruit harvest looks good. There was a redcurrant bush growing there that was not great looking at all and it looks great now with a much better crop on it than before – thanks spuds!

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