Ice Age In Spring

It was so soul-destroying seeing new life burst out in plants, only to have it mowed down by a late frost. The weather was warming up, plants in the greenhouse doing well and starting to take up space. A few days in the sun to harden them off, and since all was well, they were settled in one of the sunnier spots in the garden. There are not many sunny spots but their space was reserved.

Tomato plants 2020

Two nights later, we were hit by zero temperatures. Not bad in comparison with some of the winter nights, but this was not winter, we were already in summer time. The leaves of the courgettes and squashes drooped in misery. The fresh green leaves of the mini kiwi, were no longer fresh and green. The cape gooseberry had just given up all together and was in its death throes. At the back of the pond, the beautiful bronze leaves of the Rodgersia looked as if they drooped in shame. However, happy to say it has now recovered. It may look like a jungle but it’s an absolute haven for wildlife. The pond may look like soup, but it’s teeming with frogs and other pond life.

Garden jungle 2020
Bronze Rodgersia between the Phormium and Fern

Fleece had not saved the courgette and squash leaves at all, which makes me doubt whether it really works. It may do for the more robust, hardy plants and it may have done for the core of the courgettes, but quite a let-down for their leaves. I removed the mushy remains of the courgettes, trimmed back the damaged leaves and hoped that they would live to fight another day. Tonda di Nizza was first to produce, a tidy little tennis ball-size round courgette. That was followed later by the dainty and delicious, little pattypan squashes.

Harvestc
Chinese kale at the top and below a Sikkim cucumber, Tondo di Nizza courgette, Passandra cucumber, 12 varieties of tomatoes, two varieties of peas and a little pattypan squash.

In the end, I did get some produce and only when I gathered some samples together, I realised how many plants have produced something. It may not be prolific, but months of caring and nurturing tomatoes to finally to be able to pop one in your mouth, straight from the vine for an exceptional taste experience, answers the question of ‘is it worth it?’ Of course it is because that first tomato is followed by a few more, and I already have been sharing with friends and neighbours.

It looks as if my next project will be looking at polytunnels for container gardens!

 


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