Anne LatreilleParsley and socks

I wonder are there any other vegetable gardeners like me out there? I do it in fits and starts. I start with the most amazing amount of energy. I dig, I manure, I plant – mostly seedlings because I have learned that I don’t have the necessary attention-span for seeds.

The seedlings grow. I put out snail bait and thin them and stake them and occasionally spray. Oh, and water them … five minutes in the vegie garden, holding a hose and thinking, is a good way to start the day. When I remember, that is. Then if I am lucky, I harvest. Silver beet is a good fail-safe. So is parsley.

The parsley had completely got away from me and now covered the entire vegetable bed

This morning – it’s Sunday and a mild calm day – I have cleared the parsley from the vegetable garden. This year it got away from me, bigtime. In fact the entire patch, which is about seven metres by three metres, was covered in it. Green and gorgeous. I must make some tabbouli with that parsley, I kept thinking. But never did.

Pulling it up was easier said than done! The parsley – two kinds, broad-leaf and curly – was tall and lush and brilliant green, and the root system was something I hadn’t seen before. Rather like parsnips in fact. Same creamy white colour, and some of them were almost as fat.

Fits and starts again. I did some – had breakfast – then did some more – and thought ‘That’ll do for today’.

Like my usual style of vegetable gardening, I cleared the bed of parsley in fits & starts, digging up its fat, parsnip-like roots

But after a cup of coffee, I looked again and there wasn’t that much more to do (or so I thought). I cleared the rest. Extracted all the broken buried parsnip – sorry, parsley – roots from the soil. And a whole lot of other roots beside. Noticed that the soil had reverted to its normal grey sandy disgusting state. Thought ‘Oh dear, better do something about that’.

Too hard. So as a finishing touch, I decided to clean up the part of the verandah, next to the vegie patch, where I keep the gardening stuff. I sorted the stakes. Filed away all the little ties. Cleaned out the tool bin. And discovered four large bags of organic mulch that I must have purchased some years ago because the plastic was beginning to crumble. Applied it to the soil and dug it in. That’s a good start for winter, I thought.

I dug 4 old bags of organic mulch into the vegie bed

I raked the paths and put the residue on top of the mountain of parsley that was shrouding my compost heap. Then, sitting coyly on the brick paving, I spotted a sock.

It’s one of a gorgeous pair I bought a few weeks ago from a shop called Gorman. Rather expensive – $17. But I couldn’t resist them. Pale orange in colour with large green and blue and mauve spots – and shiny gold ones. When I wear them it’s a great start to the day.

Sitting coyly on the brick paving, I spotted a sock

 

I lost them earlier this week. Was wondering where they had gone. I guess they must have fallen off the clothes line into the parsley. OK, but where’s the other one? Probably at the bottom of the parsley pile on top of the compost heap. I’m having a fit. I am NOT going to pull that pile to bits. Tomorrow I will start again, and buy myself another pair of socks.

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Anne Latreille

About Anne Latreille

Writer, editor and journalist. Author of 'Garden Voices' (about Australian garden designers past and present, September 2013), 'Garden of a Lifetime' (Dame Elisabeth Murdoch at Cruden Farm), 'Kindred Spirits' and 'The Natural Garden'. Melbourne, Victoria.

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