Our soup garden as it looked today just before a big downpour. The big bay tree in the centre, conceptually this is nice, but for working the surrounding garden less so. I now see why Janet chopped it to the ground but not why she built a small garden around it. Could it be moved? I ponder.
Volunteers are thin on the ground in wet weather, but that’s ok. Bindy and I get started with soup, finely chopping spreading leek, which I have to hunt down, no longer in profusion as it once was here. Leonie and Gerard arrive, continuing to break down the sticks behind the hazel hedge for us. Keep going! Before too long we’re in conversation about the wonders of comfrey. Take as much as you like from the other side of the creek, its all got to go! (that goes for you too). The medicinal garden is looking pretty hot these days, botanic exhibition of a growing number of useful plants, our “Toxic Plants” signs keep hands away from powerful medicinal plants in there such as digitalis, aka Foxglove. Amazing to think I would see these everywhere in my home village as a child. I guess they were always at the back and out of harm’s way.
Well our first sitting for the day is done, and we start to clear away greater celandine from the flower garden, I’ve picked up some rescue plants which should perk up nicely in here and we just manage to get them in before we leave.
After a call to council about the loo (still out of order I’m afraid!) I catch up with Sunday sessions organiser and volunteer Lloyd, discussion leads further down an ongoing conversation about fencing. We lose lots of plants here, buying and donating plants only to see them kicked around or stolen time after time can be disheartening for even the most generous and optimistic heart. We’re a pretty resilient lot, its just we come to garden and be productive, and haven’t found another way to deal with this particular problem. We resolve to extend growing space and make it safer for more people to come and get involved in growing knowing their contributions will count for something. It takes lots of volunteers heaps of dedicated time to tend this garden, so we want it to be stuffed to the brim with tasty and useful plants we can all share, every day, right?
And Right now, back to the weeds. As if by magic, stranger appears. “Can I let my dog off the leash here?” Of course! A gorgeous little kelpie with a curious nature and shiny coat, always I see the dog first, especially such a pretty one! Then looking up at the owner, wait! I know that face, its Stephen, erstwhile market gardener from Milkwood, of course this calls for a hug! Prodigious gardening hands are here. Today he’s visiting on a stop off for lunch before travelling onwards, but doesn’t leave without a quick tour. Here he is with about 2 per cent of our first experimental lentil output. Small but perfectly formed puy and brown lentils just popped from their pods.
Sue and Kim arrive, too briefly with offers of a compost bin if we can bring it here!
We share soup, a surplus pumpkin from Todarellos and potatoes from my garden form the basis of today’s lunch with some thai curry spices for a little heat on this slightly chilly and wet day. Barrowing in the weeds for compost, we make it to the door when Franklin calls in, here to pick up soup, and share green smoothie. This one is mild and as always rejuvanating. I’ll ask him to share a recipe here soon. Undoubtedly sprouty!!