Monday, 9 November 2009

Killing Thyme but it isn't all bad news!

Continuing on a gardening theme, I thought I'd offer an update on our growing antics this year.

But I am very sorry to admit that as well as being a worm murderer, this year I have also been responsible for killing thyme too as well as a few other green and lovely things.

The problem is I am not naturally green-fingered on account of me having great aspirations but insufficient time to achieve them. And it's been a great lesson to me that I shouldn't invest time in the garden unless I am able to commit regular hours to it its upkeep, otherwise our best intentions just go to waste along with the produce itself.

You see it's not just the thyme that got the chop - or in some instances the chomp - it was the beans & peas in the front garden too. I can now admit that planting a small vegetable garden next to a "snail hotel" in the shape of a Phormium was not exactly the best brainwave I've had this year. Neither was planting lots of salad leaves just because they were easy to grow, when we don't actually eat much of them as a rule, whether they come from the back of the garden or from a supermarket plastic bag.

Seeing a lettuce bolt is not a rewarding sight.

This is why I am taking these lessons learned as the foundation for going forth for next year's garden antics and instead of growing lots of different things next year, we will be focusing on what's worked and leaving behind what hasn't.

Where the Thyme was on borrowed time, at least the runner beans jogged along quite happily as did the tomatoes grew in such abundance, it's only now that I've pulled in the remaining harvest.

You can see the last fruits of our luck and fortune here. This weekend, we even pulled the last of our potatoes from the pots in which they had been planted. Some of the beans have gone to seed, but we're keeping those as presents to share with other novice growers as part of our Thrifty Christmas plans.

So our plans for next year will focus on tomatoes, along with another crop of runner beans, which were resoundingly successful this season.

However, all this talk of reigning things in doesn't stop me from dreaming. I am currently re-reading an excellent book, which was published this summer called "The Alternative Kitchen Garden: an A-Z", written by the wonderful Emma Cooper of

As well as advice about beans and tomatoes, the book covers a whole range of inspirational ideas for novice gardeners like me as well as experienced green-fingered folk who want to try something different.

With Emma's advice, there's hope for me after all, but one thing's for sure, next time I'm definitely not going to run before I can walk.

So apologies for my green-fingered failures this year. Next year, I promise I will do better.



mrs green said...

Don't give up on the thyme - cut it back hard and it might just surprise you next year ;)

You have the right attitude - celebrate your successes and learn from everything else.

Next year you'll be a pro and at least there is no packaging waste from grow your own mistakes ;)

Danda said...

Eh eh, I hadn't no more success than you with my green-finger! My cherry tomatoes were attached by very little insects and I collected a maximum of 20 fruits at all! :D
But as you suggest, next year I will try to grew something different, studying what's more appropriate to my garden!
At last you have wonderful beans and tomatoes! Well done! Maybe is the right place for thyme here? ;)

Layla said...

Aww.. It's great you're enjoying your garden anyway!!
What's life but a lot of experimenting? ;)

I'm not very green-fingered myself (though Grandma is, so maybe there's hope?!)

Did you give each lettuce enough 'space'? (If not, it gets bad, like the tomatoes etc..)

I'm still a total newbie, and Dad says I'm more for 'decorative purpose' - but at least there's will, and where there's will, there's always a way!!

rosiescribble said...

Your efforts are so much better than mine. You have inspired me to give it a go next year. Who knows what will happen?!

A Modern Mother said...

Good idea to focus on the ones that were successful. Maybe have an area with the ones you know will do well, and an experimental area? Jerusalem artichokes usally do well, BTW. I also have good luck with courgettes.


Hi Mrs G - am so glad that you have the faith in my ungreen fingers. Although luck seems to have got us through the year so far. Will give the Thyme the necessary chop, LOL. :-D

Hi Danda - what a shame about your tomatoes. Is that just unusual for this year, do you think? Good luck next year :-D

Hi Layla - yep, the lettuce had encough space. I guess we just don't have an appetite for lots of leaves. But it takes time to get to know such things I guess. And it's true about the keep going. It'll be worth it :-D

Yay Rosie - go for it. I can recommend tomoatoes. They're so easy. The ones that I harvested, shown in the photos are starting to ripen indoors :-D

His Susanna - top tip about the courgettes. Will have a go at that next year. :-D

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