Spring

Spring has finally arrived in The Catlins, and the roadside garden is up and running and receiving its first visitors. Each day, two or three cars stop, and travellers pile out to smile at the garden and pick vegetables to take away. The silver beet wintered-over well, and as it’s harvested, I fill the gaps with new seedlings. Rhubarb leaves are unfolding, broad bean plants are pushing through the soil, radishes have their seed leaves, peas have germinated, and some of the hundred or more parsley seedlings I raised over winter in the glasshouse have been planted out. The gooseberries are in leaf and the bees will soon be buzzing among their flowers.

While I was sowing our own kitchen-garden, I found I had plenty of garlic cloves and yams to spare so I left these beside the roadside garden for people to take away and plant. They soon disappeared! Just for fun, I buried a whole lot of garlic cloves outside the perimeter of the roadside garden (I couldn’t bear to see a patch of land going to waste!) and they have come up like grass. Someone will harvest them, come autumn!

In the last few months, the world has been besieged by such horror and ugliness – war and brutality and fanaticism. Often, I feel helpless because there seems to be nothing I can do to stop it. But whenever I work in the roadside garden, growing beautiful vegetables, creating instead of destroying, I feel like I’m engaged in an alternative model of living. Gardening is so simple, giving is so easy. And the concept of free-harvesting makes people so happy. 

The silver beet wintered over well. The donkeys wish they could harvest it, too!

The silver beet wintered over well. The donkeys wish they could harvest it, too!

Help-yourself garlic and yams to take home and sow.

Help-yourself garlic and yams to take home and sow.

The rhubarb is harvested before it's even unfurled!

The rhubarb is harvested before it’s even unfurled!

I don't like putting any restriction on what visitors can and can't take but this time, in the interests of everyone, I have to.

I don’t like putting any restriction on what visitors can and can’t take but this time, in the interests of everyone, I have to.

Garlic grows like grass outside the roadside garden - it won't grow large in these cramped conditions but someone will enjoy it!

Garlic grows like grass outside the roadside garden – it won’t grow large in these cramped conditions but someone will enjoy it!

Gooseberries coming into leaf are one of the first signs of spring.

Gooseberries coming into leaf are one of the first signs of spring.

Heartsease grows wild beside the vegetables.

Heartsease grows wild beside the vegetables.

Faithful self-seeded marigold keeps aphids at bay.

Faithful self-seeded marigold keeps aphids at bay.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under THE ROADSIDE GARDEN

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s