About five years ago now (or maybe it was even six?) I attempted to go all Good Life in true bored housewife fashion and grow our own fruit and vegetables. I spent an absolute fortune getting started on buying seeds and plants, gardening tools and even a little greenhouse. I convinced myself that within the year all this outlay would pay off because we would be feeding ourselves with my bountiful harvests. I mean how hard could it be to grow a few veggies?
Well actually it turns out that it is harder than it looks. And it was all a very expensive lesson in learning that I am not green fingered. One bit. In the first year the only things that did well really were potatoes and garlic. The most idiot proof things to grow in case you were wondering. Clearly. My other seedlings just didn’t take, my rows and rows and lettuce were eaten by the snails before I could get to them. I remember pulling out our first crop of carrots and they were tiddly. Like no bigger than your fingernail tiddly. We kidded ourselves that they were the best carrots we had ever tasted in our lives ever. As you do.
I quickly admitted defeat and gave up on the whole self sufficiency dream. I think I always knew that I was more Margot than Barbara really and that’s okay. I know where my strengths lie and they are not in the garden. My greenhouse has long since collapsed but of course the odd plant still remains. The strawberries are still going although not very strong. We literally get a handful a year that the children pinch as soon as they turn red. The herbs have long since died except for the rosemary that is a complete monster. I keep meaning to replace the herbs outside actually but I can’t even keep pots of mint alive on my kitchen window sill so you know, maybe not.
One of the most expensive things I bought way back when though was a cherry tree and the stupid thing didn’t so much as blossom. Then last year, quite out of nowhere one single cherry appeared. I was cock-a-hoop! Then the next day I checked and it had gone, presumably stolen by a bird. Typical! But then this spring for the first time that little tree of mine actually blossomed I couldn’t believe it. Then blossom gave way to actual real live cherries. It had only taken five (six?) years! I tasted one a few weeks ago and they were under ripe and quite frankly disgusting. But the worry was that the birds would get to them before I did, disgusting or not I would have been gutted if I didn’t get to taste my first real harvest! A few short weeks later though they tasted amazing and we picked the lot. They were small but perfectly formed and there was hardly enough to fill a bowl let alone make a pie but I had cherries all the same!
Patience is a virtue, eh?
Maybe I should dust off those secateurs after all..?