Losing the plot

Published September 21, 2021

Three pot plants against a graph background

Like many people, I spent some of my lockdown time in the garden: digging, planting, weeding, wondering, waiting. It seemed like a sensible thing to do, we weren’t allowed to go on any grand adventures, so why not go on a bit of a journey closer to home? I’ve tried growing things before, my so-called Great Gardening Adventure that resulted in a couple of tomatoes, a withered cucumber, and some strawberries that were brought back from the brink by strong advice from my mother.

On my second go, things had to be better, right? Well, I did at least try and do some research this time. I checked out the Royal Horticultural Society app - very useful with its “personalised care calendar function with alerts to remind you what to do and when - based on your chosen fruit and veg”. And I bought a handful of books, the best of which I found to be Huw Richards’ Veg in One Bed which includes some fantastic step by step, month by month instructions.

What I have found, though, is that I just don’t have the patience for growing things. I didn’t mind the digging and the weeding, I found those to be quite therapeutic, but the waiting around for something, anything to happen was not a strong point for me. I planted a few rows of vegetables, of which the best haul came from a couple of batches of spinach. I tried some carrots but they were so tiny. How do you know when they’re grown when you can’t see them?? I had a bit more success with some herbs on the windowsill, but found I wasn’t really using them enough to justify having them. Everything else either failed to grow at all or didn’t do anything interesting enough to write home about.

And so for now, with winter coming, I’ve given it up. I’m better off spending my time on a different hobby and supporting my local farm shop instead. Their carrots are infinitely better than mine!

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