I realised I haven't blogged yet about our garden, which (other than decorating - something else I haven't blogged about) has been my main "project" this year. I decided I wanted to grow some fruit and veg with Dulcie since she was showing an interest in all things planty, so I invested in this raised bed and window box and planted out some seeds - carrots, parsnips, beetroot and peppers in the raised bed to begin with, strawberries in the window box. Then our neighbours cat noticed what I was doing and decided to use our raised bed as his own personal litter tray, destroying EVERY seedling in the process. Meanwhile, something or someone began STEALING our strawberry plants until only one was left and it died.
Undeterred (OK, a bit deterred) I went back to square one, removed all cat jobby, replanted with seedlings I'd been growing on a windowsill inside and fashioned this ingenious and stylish cat-prevention system - a net with orange and lime peel tied to it and weighted down with stones. Well, would you believe it, it worked! The seedlings were doing great...until the slugs got them. Every single carrot, parsnip and pepper disappeared completely. Around half the beetroot and one baby sweetcorn remained, but these were also heavily nibbled. Last night I fashioned some slug-prevention cylinders (made from old plastic bottles and containers and a bit more netting) so I'm hoping to plant again today, one last attempt that I'm not convinced will work. Really, there is not enough sun in our overshadowed plot anyway and if the slugs got through the netting of the cat-prevention system, they will surely get through the netting of the slug-prevention system too. Duh!
Fortunately, my parents (in the process of moving house) brought us their established strawberry plant (on the left here) which has delivered a handful of delicious red berries this week, all gobbled by Dulcie. I've also got a few carrots struggling on here in the green window box and some baby sweetcorn (yet to produce any corn) that has been nibbled by cats but looks better than the one that has been nibbled by slugs. My lettuce is growing at a snail's pace...ironically.
I'm still hoping we might get to eat SOMETHING that we've grown by autumn, but I don't think we'll be growing edibles again after this season, not in our own garden anyway. Next year I plan to stick to pretty flowers.
Excuse the mess through the window in the background. That would be the decorating I mentioned. My parents have been (temporarily) living with us for less than a fortnight and have achieved more in this time than Graham and I had managed to achieve in two years. It's great and I'm learning to live with the feeling of being a useless lump. I'll live with it even more easily once Dulcie has her own bedroom and we have a king-size bed - possibly just a week or two away! Yas!