Sunday, 18 March 2012

Gardening with a Wooden Spoon

I'm stirring  my porridge this morning with that most traditional of utensils, a wooden spoon. However this morning it seems bigger than normal, heavy in the pan with the memory of yesterday's fifth Scottish defeat in a row in this years six nation's rugby championship. You could argue that they played well enough in their first three games, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, but in the last two games they were lacklustre, playing like folk who don't put salt in their porridge and add insult to injury by smothering it with syrup.
     It wouldn't have happened with my Stuart hero, Robert, in charge as captain of the Scottish team. He has a reputation for at least winning against the Auld Enemy and usually France too, keeping the eponymous utensil out of Scotland's cutlery drawer. Well, there's always next year and there might be a new coach so hope springs eternal in the tartan heart.
After a few warm spring days, I'm now going to plant out my onion sets. I had a fabulous crop last year after a warm spring and very liberal doses of wood ash. I'm putting in 250, a nice mixture of Stuttgarter Giant,Stur BC 20, Hercules F1 and Centurion F1, so I hope that the plant labels don't go astray and I know what I'm lifting in the autumn. Meanwhile the garlic planted in October is now nine inches high (see photo) and promising a good crop. In the next few weeks I'll plant one row of potatoes. It has to be Pink Fir Apple. I love its earthy new potato flavour and its keeps well right through the winter. Its a fun potato as well, taking up knobly shapes that can be truly naughty! Only downside is a tendency to blight. 

While we get good crops of blackcurrants and redcurrants, I'm missing the raspberrys that we've had in previous gardens. The photo shows a new row of Glen Ample, a summer fruiter which will hopefully live up to its bounteous name.

The Stuart Agenda by Alan Calder published by Willow Moon. E-book and paperback at and

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