I am trying so hard to be a glass-half-full-kinda-gal at the moment, even though there is plenty to feel blue about when wandering around the garden and allotment. The lupins and delphiniums never achieved flowering thanks to the snails and an over zealous child and a football, the sweet peas have been rain and wind battered when usually I am picking a few bunches here and there by now. Not even the good old gaudy dahlia has shown any promise this year.
The allotment is eerie. Its like a vegetable cemetery, little labels stuck into the hard tilled soil where the plant was supposed to be, but has been decimated by slugs I can only presume. It really was hard not to cry today when 12 french bean plants were standing in a row, devoid of leaves and resembling miniature trees that had been struck by lightening. Even the pumpkins have gone. No courgette glut for us this year. We watered what was left and as I stood facing the war zone, I focused on a bed of swiss chard which will supply us in soup all winter, and the brave little kale plants which are trying so very hard not to be eaten, the few runner beans who have sprinted up the pole as if to stick two fingers at the slugs on the ground and the armfuls of gladioli that will provide colour and cheer in a couple of months time. The rhubarb has been fantastic and we are picking at least six fat juicy strawberries a day, one seems to ripen each time you walk past the raised bed, crying to be immediately picked, eaten and dribbled down the chin.
So feeling happier with all that is good in the world I got to work and became Country Living mum for the day and the kids looked like they had stepped out of a Boden advert.
We made elderflower cordial, rhubarb fool for a dinner party adorned with fresh mint and I am about to make a batch of rhubarb and date chutney - I'll let you know if its any good.