‘I do sincerely trust
that the benediction
that is always awaiting me
in my garden may by degrees be more deserved and that I may grow in grace and patience and cheerfulness, just like the happy flowers
I so much love.’ Elizabeth von Arnim
Gardeners throughout the North
East would agree that 2012 has been one of the worse years ever for vegetable
growers. On the allotment rabbits ate the early peas and broad beans then pigeons
nibbled most of the brassicas. The sweet corn refused to swell and the beetroot
is almost non-existent.
Sadly, slugs ate every one of
my glorious sunflower plants which usually stand guard at the entrance to my
plot, charming all visitors with their happy,smiley faces, yet the insistent Jerusalem artichokes are rampaging
determinedly across the allotment landscape.
In the greenhouse tomatoes are
desperately in need of sunshine to ripen their trusses and peppers and chillies
are sulking and refusing to ripen. Cucumbers have resisted mildew but haven’t
produced as many fruits as in previous years, even so, nothing beats the tasty crunch
of freshly harvested cucumbers eaten with home-baked bread and greenhouse
tomatoes – delicious.
Despite the difficult year,
the Bishop Auckland Hospital
Garden Club held its
inaugural show. Some classes were poorly represented – especially onions, both
those grown from seed and from sets – but participants put on a wonderful show
regardless. The room was bedecked with splendid tied bunches of dahlias in a
myriad of colours, autumnal flower arrangements, delicate button holes and
gleaming jars of fruit jams and chutneys.
£200 was raised for The Stroke
Unit at Bishop Auckland Hospital so well
done and sincere thanks to both those who took part and the staff of the Hospital
Club who hosted the show at no charge.
also to the judge who awarded me first prize for my greengage summer jam!