I fear I am becoming the Very Organised Gardener (or VOG - how great is that?). It seems that the tramlines of the raised bed impel me to plant things in a much more organised way.
Neat little rows with (whisper it) labels are springing up across the allotment which has traditionally been more scattered by nature.
See these fine lettuces, which brought forth our first bowl of mixed salad earlier this week! Very Organised: neatly laid out in half rows, at different stages of development ready to light up our plates at different times in the coming weeks. I'm not boasting, I feel... confused. Happy, but confused. I know I planted them but I'm sure I've done this in previous years and it hasn't actually come to fruition.
Must be something to do with having some help regularly, P has got on with clearing weeds roots and rubbish at the end of the allotment so I've been able to focus on digging planting weeding and watering the beds.
This morning Stevie joined us too and both assisted with planting out the climbing French beans which have been popping up in their pots at home! We planted out two varieties today, Cobra, which were sent to me by David, and Cherokee Vale of Tears, from the real seed company.
I was surprised to find these varieties looked exactly the same when they arrived - small black beans. They've had similar germination rates ( about two thirds) and I can't see much difference between them as sprouting plants, but we'll see how they turn out later on. I've planted them out separately, Cobra next to the Victorian Purple Podded Peas sent me by Miss Fuggles and Cherokee next to the Kent Blue Peas.
I've also saved time this year not having to weed out the strawberry bed. Very Organised, helped by black weed suppressing fabric laid out when I planted up the bed last autumn, it has done an excellent job over winter and clearly lets water penetrate too. P and I shared the first ripe strawberry on Tuesday - sunwarmed and delicious, just the right balance of sharp and sweet - and there were two more nearly ready today! We are looking forward to a good crop this year.
Thank goodness to find the self seeded sunflowers at my feet (above) taking up nearly half of the planned sweetcorn bed! We must retain some spontaneity.
But not too much... a good gardener is a ruthless gardener, so I thinned some of the little darlings out, and feel confident now that there will be another fine display of Velvet Queen, like those which adorn my portrait at the head of this blog, later this season.