The Prodigal Gardener

Forgive me, garden, for I have sinned, It’s been four weeks since I last paid you attention.

You see, dear garden, let me explain, it’s not that I don’t love you or want to spend time with you; it’s not that I’m lazy and not bothered to dig you, it’s simply that life has gotten in the way, and the real world has hindered my ability to tend to your needs weeds.

Fear not, my garden, I have returned. (With help, of course.)

We arrived this morning, myself and my parents, whose help I enlisted to battle your weeds. I’m sorry we stared at you aghast, I’m sorry we laughed at the sorry state you were in, I shall endeavor not to mock you again. Your beauty was hidden behind weeks of weed growth, spurred on by the horrible, wet, summer weather. Your lovely shed door was almost wide open, if not for the kindness of my lovely allotment neighbour, who tied it closed, after what it seems, a huge bunch of weeds had forced it open.

I am full of remorse.

We spent three hours, pulling up weeds, tidying you up, making you look nice again. We pulled up your beautiful borage plants, who were so prolific they were choking everything else, we massacred at least one hundred poppies, we pulled up at least a thousand and one nettles; my arms (my penance) covered in stings.

You began to look lovely again, your sweet peas and cornflowers, glorious in the sunshine.

You, my garden, despite the neglect, have continued to grow and provide me with crops. Your poor potato patch, badly blighted, looked forlorn and beyond redemption. On closer inspection, much to our surprise, hidden below were hundreds of beautiful, baby Maris Pipers, healthy as anything. Only a few were rotten. It’s truly a miracle.

No such thing as too many spuds
Onions nearly ready

Your raised beds, when freed from the grasp of the weeds, revealed a bumper crop of huge beetroots, some almost as big as my face. Your cabbages, celery, brocolli and lettuces, your peas, your rhubarb, your strawberries and artichokes all huge and healthy, despite the bad summer. Your swiss chard and spinach decided to bolt, but are beautiful bright lights in the centre of the plot. And your onions, oh your onions, they are almost ready, I can almost taste them. I long to dig them up.

So, my garden, you have been restored, I promise not to neglect you again. You have provided me with dinner for the week. I do not deserve it.

May the weather bless you and keep you until next weekend, when I shall return, to reap more of your bounty.


P.S.  Many thanks to Janette and John, without whom, you’d still be a mess.

Giant beetroot

0 thoughts on “The Prodigal Gardener”

  1. Wow, great post. It’s amazing, that even with neglect, you got such a bounty. I’m sure life would get in the way and I would ignore my garden, if it weren’t my small front yard. But, there’s no ignoring that. I don’t always know WHAT to do (I don’t have weeds, imagine), but I am aware of it’s status on a daily basis. Great post, and I know it gave you great pleasure. About the borage. I ordered borage seeds after reading about yours, but have not planted. I have very little space. Are the flowers considered an umbel? All that I want to plant now, in addition to vegetables and fruits and herbs, are umbels to attract beneficial insects. And I really would like a fountain! Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks. Borage is a gorgeous plant, and its leaves and flowers are edible so its technically a herb, though it’s a perennial herb so keeps coming back. The bees absolutely love it and there were hundreds of them on my two plants at any given time, only drawback is it’s very large and unruly so you need a lot of space. I pulled mine up as it was too big and blocking out light from my artichoke plants. If you have a lot of space, I would try it, otherwise give it a miss.

  2. Congratulations!! Well done you and Janette and John! Wonderful amount of produce, I’m only a little bit envious! I have to say I think borage is a waste of space… i didn’t like the flowers in drinks and it is so invasive.

  3. The garden, that had been watching and waiting, receives its gardener back with open leaves of compassion. It is overjoyed by the return of its lost gardener! Immediately the garden asks her to prepare a giant feast in celebration.

  4. Good thing you had a bit of help, no wonder the garden got out of control with all that rain. But it is fantastic that you still got so much food and production out of it. Gardens are awfully forgiving 🙂

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