We have moved beyond the longest day of the year, although for anyone in quarantine, or shielding, there have been a lot of “longest days” in the past few months. Not that everyone is exacly paying any heed to what is required of us any more as the new conscience-free, apology-avoiding “Dominic’s Law” seems to have been adopted by large swathes of the population as they congregate in anti-social distancing on the streets and beaches.
Despite this, here in the devolved region of the Midlife Garden we remain cautious in easing restrictions and feel that the ends are justifying the means. The PPE on the brassicas is remaining in place for the foreseeable future as we continue to register zero cases of Cabbage White caterpillar. But we have decided to comply with the Government’s pubs and restaurants policy with regard to opening up the nasturtiums. There will, no doubt, be a large spike in butterfly larvae numbers over the coming months in this sector of the garden economy, but that is our cunning plan: a sacrificial crop they call it, just don’t mention herd immunity, please. That is NOT the plan, or ever was, OK?
The PPE on the strawberries has been equally succesful with the first bowlful arriving this week. The blueberries are looking good too, happy in their world behind the curtain of netting, but will need a little longer to ripen. And elsewhere we have had the first potatoes, sugar snaps, and kale. There was some concern at the lack of social distancing between the sugar snaps and some errant self-seeded sweet peas, but we have decided to turn a Barnard Castle eye to this and wait until 4th July when, if our reading of the regulations is correct, the sweet peas will be able to be next to the sugar snaps, so long as they are wearing a bandana over their faces, have the same middle name and remember to remain unrepentant at all times.
The heart-warming success story of the garden, so far, has been the courgettes. After several weeks in ITU they have been applauded on their recuperation from frost damage and have produced their first (albeit pencil-thin) mini marrow. Those courgettes are clearly fighters, as we have said before. Let’s hope they do not follow the lead of some of our courgette-headed brethren and carry that fight onto the beaches.