One of my favourite comedies when growing up was “The Good Life”. A warm-hearted satire on suburban life and the attempts of a middle-class couple to become self-sufficient growing potatoes and raising chickens in their back-garden. It was a funny comedy but also the idea of being self-sufficient was quite appealing as an idealistic teenager.
Well, I never did make the plunge of living on a self-sufficient organic farm. I don’t know whether being an economist counts as the good-life, but there’s only so many airplane flights you can buy with surplus beetroot.
Still the process of growing vegetables is something I’m going to have another go at.
You know you must have reached some middle-aged nirvana when the most exciting moment of the week is moving your shed around the garden.
The shed was in this prime south-facing spot of full-sun. I moved it to a shady part of the garden and have started preparing the ground for some vegetable planters to grow vegetables in.
I employed some local builders to extend a small stone planter. However, it didn’t quite work out to the principles of Feng Shui, I think my local builder enjoyed a nutritious breakfast of warm beer. His concept of a straight line, is somewhat plastic. I can tolerate imperfection, but I’m caught in two minds whether to accept or rebuild.
One thing I have done with the garden this year (with more time since no cycling) is work on a structure. A good structure is always important to build from. There are a few things I’m learning in this incarnation. One is the importance of starting with good structure, even if to my impatient mind, it means appearing to take a few steps back in order to have a solid base to work on in the future. I want my gardening to be low maintenance and easy to do. With this in mind, I want to be able to reach all the garden without standing on the soil. The flagstones I’ve lifted from my veg area conveniently make solid stepping stones for the wider boarders.
Stay tuned, if you want to see broad beans, kale and cabbage sprouting up from the soil of Oxford.
The Good Life