I’m not very green-fingered. I either forget to water things or I water them too much. Usually I forget and then I drown, out of guilt.
I had a strawberry patch when I was a child. Well, it was in theory my patch. My mum did most of the actual work, and I think the slugs got most of the berries. And there were pansies around the border of it. My grandmother gave me a little gardening set, with seeds and gloves and little gardening tools, in a handy bag. I’m not sure what happened to it. I do remember using the gloves, at least.
But I’d like us to be growing more of our own food. Not necessarily because of rising supermarket costs. Homegrown tastes better, being seasonal, and it’ll hopefully stop Tiny being a fussy eater. Ideally, there’d also be some chickens, for eggs, but I don’t think the garden’s really big enough. Anyway, start small: Let’s see if I can keep plants alive.
M has the fruits under control; the blueberries and fig especially. Hopefully this year we’ll also get some honeyberries and mulberries. Fingers crossed we get the figs, anyway: last year a squirrel made off with the one fig which grew all year. We have a few more already this year. So far, the squirrel has only taken one of the early ones…
But I thought I’d start with herbs. These are usually easy to grow. I have vague memories of eggshells stuffed with cotton wool for growing cress and mustard. And we have cress and mustard seeds. Which I still haven’t got around to sowing yet, even though I’ve been saving plastic trays specifically for them for weeks now.
Instead, I’ve repotted a parsley from the supermarket. Mostly, I use it in bread and pizza dough, and I’ve also found a good recipe for a sort of cream cheese mackerel pate which calls for parsley. A very useful herb. I just hope it continues to grow. M says I did it right and it’ll be fine, and he has a horticulture certificate, so who am I to doubt him?
Admittedly, I did start by forgetting to water the parsley once I’d replanted it. I remembered later, though. When M asked if I’d watered it…
I’m not sure it’s been watered since. Perhaps. Now that it’s getting sunnier I’m sure M will keep on top of that. I do know that the watering shouldn’t be done in the middle of the day, though, or it evaporates in the sunshine before it gets to the plants.
Clearly, what I need is simple, basic instructions. M isn’t always on hand when I want to do these things, and I forget if I put them off until he is. Instead, I shall get some of those ‘first gardening’ sets for children. Perhaps I’m not quite the target age, but I think I’m the target audience.
I know, I could get one of those seed-subscription things that Facebook keeps advertising at me. But the way to success is to follow KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid! So a child’s gardening set it is. Besides, that way we also get gardening tools that Tiny can use. Next year. Probably still too little this summer.