One small, green fingered, occasionally cheeky but easily bribed child suitable for planting vegetables
There comes a time in your life when you just have to admit that you just aren't very good at something. For me that something is gardening.
I'm good at the grunt work like weeding and turning over beds and getting everything ready to plant, but the planting itself is a wee bit of a problem.
Although not a problem that Chloe shares, she's obviously inherited her granny Freda's green thumbs. A woman who could probably have grown deep sea coral in her own back garden if the notion had ever taken her.
I've never been so glad we let Chloe do much of the planting in our own garden this year because it's really coming along well.
This is a pot of what should have been micro salad leaves, designed to chuck in a pot and start eating in 2-3 weeks (we're impatient). Instead, after Chloe had planted the seeds, we waited 2-3 weeks and the salad counter at Sainsburys appeared. We've eaten salad every day for at least three weeks from this pot now and it's still growing like weeds.
The potatoes she planted have went absolutely bonkers. They're very nearly as tall as me and just about to flower. The two bags filled with Robert's slightly less impressive attempt are buried somewhere in behind that monster up front.
And the peas. Keep in mind that these are even last years peas, peas which I did plant last year and not one single thing grew from them and she's managed to get them to grow. There is a third pot in behind these two with one pathetically lonely little plant in it. That's the one I planted, with this years peas, or I should say that's the only one of a dozen I planted that bothered to show up to the garden party.
Watercress! A tiny little tuft was brought home from school growing on a piece of soggy kitchen roll which had been stuffed into a little cardboard egg box. As soon as Chloe arrived home that day, she walked into the garden, scratched a hole in the dirt alongside a palm tree (which should have been sent to mum's house) and planted it egg box and all and look what happened! It's hard to tell from the photo but the cress is at least a foot tall and probably just as wide.
Herbs. I'm chuffed to bits with the parsley. I use it often and always wanted to grow it in the garden, but I've tried again and again and it always dies within a couple of weeks of planting. I even went so far as to call Robert out for "wasting money on it" at the garden centre and behold what a parsley plant in the hands of Chloe will turn into. And trust me this plant has been pillaged by me since it went into the ground and I still can't keep up with the rate it's growing.
We'll have to start having parsley on our breakfast cereal at this rate.
And the leftovers. Robert took an empty salt cellar from the house and filled it with all the leftover seeds from last year. He still isn't entirely sure which seeds he put in, but we dug over a patch of dirt and left Chloe to shake the seeds in at random, figuring that we'd know what they were if they started to grow.
There's mint, and it's growing so I'll have to get up there today and rip it out. That sounds terrible but we already have two large pots of mint and if we leave it in the ground it'll take over. Mint is about the only thing I can grow successfully so that should give you some idea of its hardiness and determination to grow!
There is definitely rocket which has been pillaged again for salads. We have thyme. I have never been able to grow thyme, not even when I've bought a plant and just moved it from one pot to another and Chloe can knock out bucket loads of the stuff with year old seeds.
There are also more lettuce plants in the mass of green too, not to mention sprouting broccoli (another of my failures), spring greens and I think what looks like the beginnings of a couple of dwarf french beans, all from duff old seeds.
I'm not bitter though, because I get to eat all of these wee lovelies. Now I just have to bide my time until she wakes up, a nice pancake breakfast for daddy and daughter and then I'm sending them out into the garden, because I really think that this year might be the year we manage to grow proper carrots:)