120 liters of excavated earth, a homeless peony and 12 june grubs later….


So while I wait for the Kokohum to be ready for planting some gardening thoughts. This blog was meant to be about food, but currently I spend more time on the balcony than in the kitchen.

And after today’s experiences I wonder why do I garden? I am sure it is the sign of the true, deluded optimist: despite myriad set-backs, myriad dead plants and more pests than I can identify on google; I still believe I will one day have a perfect haven of green, happy plants in which to sit, sip wine and read a book. Einstein defined madness, and if he was right I am mad.  The optimism that drives me to garden, must be the same optimism that makes me believe the temperatures will stay nice and warm for long periods of time, leading to visions of book reading outside, or summer picknicks.  And while each year I buy more plants, and try new and ever weirder plant protection approaches – sprayed some garlic tea today against a fungus…. I still haven’t actually managed to put a table and chairs on the balcony and one summer there were so many pots that I couldn’t have sat out there if I’d wanted to……

However, optimism doesn’t mean I cannot tell when somethings not right – and so today investigating my peonies misery, I dug into the earth and found a june grub (the third in that particular pot). So determined to get to bottom of things,  I put on my nice new gardening gloves and started gently excavating the suspected crime site  and there in 10 square centimeters I found 12 june bugs. At this point the peony was unearthed, and it will certainly now not flower, but then it wouldn’t have under the conditions it was in either I suspect.

Surveying the 120 l container I thought, nematodes should cover it, let me just plant the new plants in here and then when the nematodes come, it will all be hunky dory. Had a quick chat with my next door neighbour, Ms Voice of Truth, and she  said – Let me just bring you some trash bags you need to throw all the earth away. So for the past hours I have been shoveling earth, using a flower pot, like a child on the beach and have now emptied the container. My neighbour helpfully added  – you really need to wash the container with hot water…………….Where in the bathtub????? …….

Beginning of the week the balcony was landscaped, I now have muddy footprints going from the balcony to the bathroom. And while I cannot see any progress apart from a terrible mess, I somehow feel as though much has been achieved and I will repair to the kitchen for a wild mushroom tarte, some fresh asparagus and pop open a bottle of prosecco.


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