Sweet Harmony

IMG_20140627_152122 copyAs I’m typing away, the clouds are still ominously dark, although there hasn’t been a rumble of thunder for a good half hour now. IT’S BEEN RAINING THOUGH, HURRAY! When the first few drops fell yesterday late afternoon, I felt the hot parched earth sag with relief (although this prolonged sun has been great); and almost thought I could hear the plants breathing again and having a good glug. Fortunately the crops I had managed to irrigate (even a little) with the drip lines have been growing great guns in the sun; the brassicas only had one session since I planted them a couple of week ago, yet they’re looking surprisingly healthy. I was worried that the un-irrigated parsnips might suffer as I started weeding them; the tall weeds gave them some shade, and created a microcosm of moisture that they seemed to like.

IMG_20140626_125012 copyHowever the thistles and endives were getting ridiculously tall so I had to start pulling them out last week, putting the weed waste in between the rows to keep some moisture in; nearly finished now, just over a row left. The endive has enormously long roots, so is a right pain to get rid of; however it does mean it can pull up moisture and useful nutrients from deep down – so I try to think of it positively and consider it a kind of green manure, making things available to the plants I actually want to grow there, as the endive is pulled up and left on the soil surface to break down.

 

This empathy with the plants and congenial weather has made me feel very harmonious with nature (and it’s Friday of course, always a help to a good mood), so I’ve been floating around humming to myself; while wheel-hoeing the spinach yesterday, tortoiseshell butterflies flitted around IMG_20140627_150351 copyme happily, and didn’t even seem bothered while I hoed right next to them. I also found a gorgeous scarlet tiger moth (thank Twitter frineds for helping me identify it!) resting on the endive while weeding the parsnips. A swallow nearly landed on my head too; the wildlife and I seem quite comfortable with each other at the moment. Mind you, this could also be because things are growing well (and vulnerable crops such as brassicas and leeks are netted); as soon as I catch a rabbit eating some rare strawberries, it might be a different story…

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