Did I say I welcomed rain?

Scotland can’t do anything by halves can it?  After a blisteringly hot April (at least on my kitchen windowsill) my poor little french beans were tricked into thinking life would always be that easy.  Now their leaves, which had grown large and deeply coloured, have been blackened and shrivelled by one night of proper Scottish gales.  Perhaps the title Cherokee Trail of Tears was accurate after all.

 

French Beans before the storm

This is usually the time I would wish for a polytunnel (even if just to sit in!), but it seems that even the polytunnels of Fife have been ripped to shreds by the wind.  It’s frustrating enough having lavished so much care and attention on my fragile little plants only to have them scorched to death by wind and frost, but at least I’m not having to spend £17,000 an acre to have them replaced.

They are not completely dead yet, so I’ll give them a chance to recover.

Other crops have suffered too.  The potato leaves are blackened at the edges, some of the broad beans have fallen over (though they were surprisingly resilient considering the strength of the gusts).

I’ve never suffered too much of a slug problem before, but over the last few weeks they seem to have come out in force.  Many of my seedlings, especially chard and pak choi, are being nibbled to shreds.  The one courgette plant I put in the ground vanished overnight, which is the first time that has happened to me.  The ones in pots, however, survived, another good reason (which I seem  to be finding more of all the time) for growing things in pots.

And everything in the greenhouse, as well as the greenhouse itself, seems remarkably unscathed.  I was nervous about this, as we lost quite a few tree branches on Monday night.  Still, at least it saved me the job of cutting them back.

 

French Beans after the storm

Positive thinking is the only way to garden in this country, especially since my approach to all this destruction is pretty much the same as usual, to do not much at all.  This is partly because my work schedule has got a bit crazy recently, and I simply haven’t got the brain space, but also because by general approach of regularly sowing far more than I need means I can usually replace a plant that has been munched entirely away.

So, here’s my attempt at remaining positive.  Despite the decimation of the weather, we’re using oriental leaves regularly in salads, and I managed to make my first dish from the garden, spinach soup.  An onion fried in butter and olive oil, potato, spinach, a touch of nutmeg and allspice, blitzed with a little full cream milk.  Yum!  Next up is lettuce and lovage soup – which sounds to me a great way to use up the usual glut of lettuces and a little of the massive and slightly pointless lovage plant I insist on cultivating.  Plus, today I spotted our first pea pod!

 

The first of the peas

 

Chillis – ‘Storms, what storms?’

I would love to hear your thoughts about this post