by Matt

We’re now entering our second season of difficult growing. Having come through a Spring of hidden sun, heavy winds and soggy damp, even the most reliable of the annual catalogue are struggling to say much for themselves. And now some weeks into what is usually considered Summer, the top players are most notable by the gaps they’re leaving in the borders.

The cosmos, scabious and dahlias are all very behind this year as a consequence, still only just developing their first flower buds. In the veg beds, aside from a couple of meagre potato harvests, things remain equally bleak. The runner beans are slow to clasp the poles and keeping slugs from devouring any new growth on the broccoli is a doomed endeavour. The strawberries are out however, and full of fruit, but without a few days of steady sunlight they’re retaining their immature green.

But all is not lost, there is one triumph this year. In fact so much of a triumph as to even be earlier than usual, and that’s the (now) trusty gooseberry. Nice one gooseberries.

Given that last year we lost almost all of our gooseberries to the birds and the squirrels I decided last month to throw some industrial netting over the bushes, just as they were beginning to ripen. Although not doing much for the ‘rustic’ aesthetic of the garden, it seemed to have done the trick, and the usual wound-inflicting picking process felt much more celebratory this time; my sole success so far..