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Turning times

Today I spent an hour up to my wrists in dirt and dandelions. I love dandelions. I hate digging the freaking things out of the vegetable garden. We planted the veggie garden yonks ago, and the seeds have sprouted, which means the weeds are becoming problematic. I didn’t mind them so much before — they’re lush and green, look pretty, prevent erosion of the topsoil, etc. Now there are so many thick dandelions, clumps of lawn, random sprawly weeds and couch grass that the carrot and onion sprouts have got an uphill battle. Hence: wrist-deep in dandelions. I was not a happy bethini. Bloody garden. Bloody weeds. What’s the bloody point anyway? Should bloody pave the bloody lot. I dug up two buckets of weeds and dumped them in the compost bin. Bloody waste of bloody time, that’s what bloody gardening is.

Then dusk came. I was bucketing bathwater onto the garden and the sky was a silvery-pink and I could smell the neighbours’ wood fire…and everything was beautiful. There are carrots, onions and beetroots sprouting; the silverbeet and radishes are going haywire; the weeds may be thick on the ground, but the veggies are very stubborn. I pulled out a monster radish and took it inside, where I washed it and ate it, sliced, with pickles. It was great — crunchy and peppery and clean-tasting — and the next thing I know, I’m planning bean trellises and rhubarb crowns and wondering how many cucumber plants I’d have to put in to make my own bread and butter pickles.

A forest awaits!

Autumn started abruptly this year: seriously, 24°C one day, 14°C the following. The mystery citrus have begun to yellow and I am no closer to figuring out what they are — lemons? Oranges? Mandarins? Soon it will be autumn proper, and then winter. I’ve begun making winter plans: I know where I want to plant some baby fruit trees and where to put the bean trellises, and I’ve begun propogating cuttings for spring planting. The above is a pot full of rosemary seedlings M’s Dad has cultivated for us, bless his socks: they’re ready for planting out already.

Waiting and turning

Perched on the porch railing are tubs of strawberries and mint: I dug up and divided a pot thick with strawberries, and one of mint, now I have grand visions of plenty of weed-choking strawberry and mint patches. There will be rosemary, lavender, oregano and thyme; there will be stepping stones and a couple of fruit trees. The weeds will be trumped. But that’s easy to say now. It’s autumn: my mind turns inward and I am planning grand things.

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