There is no more peaceful spot on earth than an English garden, and for some years you and l have been building up our little flower gardens, making them more beautiful, more intimate, and more than ever an essential part of our homes. But grim times are with us, and under stress of circumstances we are now called on to reorganise those gardens, and turn them into munition factories; for potatoes and beans are munitions of war as surely as are bullets and shells; and the gardeners of England can do much to help the nation in its hour of need.
And so says Mr Middleton in his introduction to ‘Your Garden in War-Time’ which Aurum Press have just re-printed. It was originally printed back in 1941 and Britain was in the thick of it; Britain’s cities were being bombed and food was becoming increasingly scarce with the Atlantic convoys under attack from German U-Boats. The need to ‘Dig for Victory’ was as necessary as ever before.
Not much has changed in 2011. A new Government coalition and its strict measures to cut the deficit is having a massive knock on effect with the economy in general. Will it work? Who knows. To me it seems to be too much, too soon. For many people the need to make their own cut backs is just as relevant today as it was back then. And for many, so to is their enthusiasm to continue to Grow their Own.
Trends and fads come and go but the sale of vegetable seeds continues to far outstrip the sale of flower seeds as does the increasing demand on councils for new allotments proving this trend is here to stay for some time to come.
With our decision to return to Blighty my vegetable garden will not be in full production this year. Instead, l have decided to grow crops that we will benefit from this season ie. salads, peas, beans, carrots, potatoes, herbs, squash and tomatoes. It’s enough to be going on with! Fingers crossed and with a fair wind we will sell our cottage this year and be able to start a new life in England.
And no, l have no idea what l will do at this stage as to what l will do when l return or where exactly we will return to! We have a few irons in the fire so will see what comes about. We wish we could pick this cottage up and take it back with us! Along with with my veg plot, of course!
The weather here has been exceptionally warm and dry making the ground hard. When it is like this l find it is better, when sowing seeds, to pour water into the channel you make for your seeds first, let it drain then sprinkle your seeds into it and cover as normal. It gives them a good head start and once they have come through you can water as normal if necessary.
So, with that, l am off to sow the rest of my crops. Its a great time of the year. Happy gardening!