While the gardener was away the chickweed made a bid for world domination in the vegetable beds and secured its empire with an outer defense of 3 foot high nettles. Now this is obviously a tribute to the fertility of my soil but I must confess that after a month of neglect I was probably lucky to be able to get into the garden without a machete.
After two days of weeding, muttering and general grumpiness, the carrots and parsnips were freed from their green blanket and appear to be none the worse. So order is now being restored and the gardener’s tuneless whistle accompanies the squeaking wheelbarrow once more.
However, it is not all sweetness and light in the croft garden, the Head Gardner is not a happy man, something is eating the rhubarb and doing so in broad daylight. Now I have to admire this small hairy caterpillar (Knot Grass Acronicta rumicis) not just for the impressive chomping ability and robustness of its digestive system but for having the audacity to reduce the Head Gardener’s prize rhubarb to lace curtains. Fortunately it does not appear to affect the stems so our supply of breakfast rhubarb crumble is safe.
The cottage garden has still to be returned to good order and remains in a state of riotous decadence. It is suffering from excessive fecundity and exuberance with an air of fin de siècle weariness. However, with the help of an equinoctial tempest, sobriety and decorum will be restored at some point.