07 April 2013

ten degrees

It's quite remarkable the difference that a day's sunshine  makes. Yesterday, within a couple of hours of arriving, we had tidied up this plot, dug out the bits of couch grass that had invaded from the paths and forked the soil over to get it ready. Today we went back and planted the potatoes, five beds worth - is that too many, I wonder?  Sharpe's Express, Rocket, Pentland Javelin, Wilja, Charlotte, Marfona, Cara, Colleen, and some mystery spuds that had lost their labels. And there are some more of last year's colourful ones to go in too - the burgundies, blacks and Vitelotta. We shall be eating spuds for ever. With parsnips, I hope because those seeds have gone in too.

Once the hard graft was done, we admired the intensive growing of mustard greens and broad beans by our neighbours under green netted tunnels and agreed we couldn't be arsed with all that faff, listened to our friends' plans to make soup from a swede that looked remarkably like Worzel Gummidge's head, decided to let the nettles grow just a little longer between the raspberry canes - nettle soup perhaps, good for the blood, I hear, checked on the purple sprouting broccoli.

Each year I wonder whether it really is worth the effort.  Then the sun comes out, the deck chair is set up, a bit of reading or knitting or dozing happens, hateful magpies lurk like gangsters, parakeets squawk, and a robin sings; and deja vu snapshots are taken of tools against the door, watering cans hanging off the railings, a rhubarb forcer waiting on some decent rhubarb. In due course, the asparagus will come up, the first green leaves of the potatoes will poke through the soil in neat little rows, the seeds of lettuce and rocket will sprout, weather forecasts will be checked and cursed, and we'll know the answer.


ALoadofOldTat said...

It sounds as though you have the potato famine covered!

Esther Montgomery said...

Can never have too many potatoes. Can never have too few parsnips.

Your allotment shed and place to sit look like perfection - a reason immediately to keep going. (And sitting!)

Annie Cholewa said...

I have a very good potato recipe book ... should how to eat them all become a problem ;)

Happy growing!

rachel said...

That made me all nostalgic for my old allotment...... Here, I have some rhubarb, struggling a bit, and nothing else; no room for all the potatoes I'd really like! Good luck with your crop, anyway (said wistfully....).

Rattling On said...

I've been sorting out the greenhouse, but it's still too cold to do much else. Nothing growing in the garden yet. I envy you your decent bit of sunshine but am hopeful it will arrive here soon!

Liz said...

I love those photographs. I also love spuds. I was once making duchess potatoes and found myself piping the mash directly into my mouth.

Stacey @ bakercourt said...

I love the names - such a lively ensemble of spuds. I also love the rhythm of it all, somehow it's all rather reassuring that everything is the same (but not quite) as before.

Josie crafter said...

Hi Colleen
I love the look of your plot! In sunshine too :-)
Gosh that's a great selection of potatoes. I've planted International Kidneys but still have Sante and Pink Fir Apple to go in. I love PFA potatoes- my favourites. Of course this is our first Allotment year so all my planting will be trial and error.
Happy days to you