Family Garden

In the growing garden


The spinach has grown! Frankly it’s a minor miracle and I’ve spent most of the week convinced that I’d lost another bed full of seeds to the local cats but it seems that this is the year that the spinach is fighting back, and it’s lovely to see that little haze of green at the end of the garden.

Space for the Butterflies - the Growing Garden

And in return for their tenacity I’ve upped my game in the cat prevention stakes too. We went outside on Sunday for me to weed and thin the parsnips and the kids to dig in the patch of mud that is now very firmly their own but I couldn’t let them play, and frankly I didn’t want to myself as it was abundantly clear that whichever cat it is had decided to co-opt three of the four veg beds as their own. When so many people who have cats train them to use their litter trays or keep them as indoor pets it baffles me that it’s socially acceptable to allow a cat to soil my garden when it really isn’t for a dog or any other pet. And as even the netting wasn’t working as a deterrent any more I may have had one of those grown up tantrums where you stomp around muttering under your breath about how completely ridiculous it is while also getting three children dressed in something that they can go to the shops in, bundling them into the car and heading out in search of something to make it stop.

From the size of the cat deterrent section in the pest control aisle I’m in good company. I don’t want to put anything down that the children could touch, or that would be a bad idea for the veggies so our latest addition to the garden is a little black sensor that surveys my growing garden from the back corner. If it spots anyone or anything in the veg garden it clicks (which I can hear) and apparently also lets off a high pitched squeal which is both audible and off putting to cats. And so far , as far as I can tell, it’s working.

Space for the Butterflies - the Growing Garden

Which is definitely a relief because I think the sugar snap peas are about to sprout and I’d be really gutted to loose those.

The parsnips have started to sprout little feathery tops, and still desperately need thinning, and the purple beans that survived are looking good, though I don’t think I’m going to need to do any thinning there.

Space for the Butterflies - the Growing Garden

The onions and garlic are growing strongly but so too are the weeds and I’m itching to get out there and start getting it all tidied up.

Space for the Butterflies - the Growing Garden

And last but by no means least, the fruit garden is in bloom (ably tended by my chief assistant). The blackcurrant bush is pottering along; I’m not actually sure what blackcurrant blooms look like or when I should expect them, I just remember that the fruit should be there in August so that will be a nice surprise whenever it next does something, and all the strawberries are in full bloom which makes me think I’m going to need to rebuild the netting, at least over that end, but this time to keep out the birds.

Space for the Butterflies - the Growing Garden

It’s a time of anticipation; we’re not eating anything from the garden just yet, but I know that it’s only going to be a few weeks until we can pick the spinach and strawberries and the beans and peas won’t be too far behind. And then there’s the longer promise, there are teeny tiny little seedlings in the ground right now that will be our Christmas parsnips- always assuming we don’t snaffle them up first!

Space for the Butterflies - the Growing Garden

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  • sustainable mum 26/05/2016 at 9:44 am

    Looking good! You might want to net the blackcurrants too, we had to, otherwise the birds might eat them all!

  • Mandycharlie 26/05/2016 at 10:34 am

    Your beans will need staking, normally in a wigwam style with bamboo canes, don’t worry you can carefully move your plants. ( I normally start mine off on the windowsill/green house) when you construct your wigwam with beans plant two extra beans per plant, it should be three, but I’ve found two enough, the saying goes ‘one for the mouse, one for the crow, one to die, one to grow’ and then you will have a second and very welcome flush of beans that will last, with careful picking to stimulate the plant until late November.

  • Kim 26/05/2016 at 11:23 am

    Looks great Carie. Glad to hear the sensor is working for the cats.

  • Cheryl | TimeToCraft 26/05/2016 at 4:31 pm

    Only one cat left in our neighbourhood, so not such a problem. We have more problem from deer and rabbits. When there were more cats, I used my Grandma’s method: half filled lemonade bottles on their side and short lengths of hose pipes, to look like snakes. It worked. It’s an advantage if the children move them every now and again. Glad the gizmo is working andI’m sending growing vibes to your seedlings.

  • Carlin 26/05/2016 at 10:58 pm

    Everything looks great Carie! Fingers crossed for lots of good berries for you this year!

  • Sally 02/06/2016 at 3:23 pm

    Good luck with the cat, hope it continues to work. We’ve had a dog from a farm a couple of miles up the road adopt us recently. Three of the children think this is amazing, he is a lovely dog, and they are all encouraging him like mad, but I wasn’t too impressed to have to clear up dog poo from one of my veggie beds yesterday 🙁 So cats aren’t the only culprits! But hurray for the tenacity and amazing cleverness of seeds! Not completely sure on your expected timings for blackcurrants though – unless there are different varieties with different fruiting timings? Ours always fruit in June, and we have masses of green berries rapidly ripening at the moment? Maybe it’s something to do with when they’re pruned, like raspberries? And we never prune our currants, we inherited them very well established, don’t particularly like them and just ignore them other than picking them when ripe.