… What Does Failure Look Like …

 

SDC11910

This (eaten by snails and frazzled in the sun)

SDC11907-001

and this (pigeons and sparrows feasting on the rainbow chard)

SDC11909

and this (salad seedlings attacked by flea beetles)

It makes you wonder sometimes if growing your own vegetables is worth all the trouble.

Well, even after the disasters, I still think it’s worth it.  Today was the first time I have spent any length of time in the garden for a while.  The weather was a little cooler, and dare I say it, feeling almost autumny.  I spent a few blissful hours putting the veg garden to rights. Weeding the raised beds, cutting back the spent raspberry canes, planting out cabbages, purple sprouting broc and kale, harvesting  beetroot, courgettes, runner beans and the last of the potatoes, pulling shallots and laying them on trays to dry – a perfect way to spend a morning in my opinion.  A feeling of something achieved and something to show for all the blood, sweat and tears.

SDC11943

Gardening is not an exact science – plants don’t always grow as you would wish, there are lots of failures and some successes and all sorts of bugs and beasties are out to thwart your efforts – but at the end of the day it gives so much satisfaction that I forget about the bad bits – and in the depths of winter when I take a jar of home-made ratatouille from the cupboard and open it – I smell summer – ripe tomatoes, chunks of courgettes and onions all grown by my own fair hand – and I think to myself – now this is what it’s all about – it doesn’t get better than this.  Am I right or am I right!

‘Til next time …

Comments

  1. I began my bottling yesterday. Not quite Ratatouille; but almost.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do enjoy my batch cooking sessions and we seem to get through a lot of ratatouille I just wish more tomatoes would hurry up and ripen.

      Delete
  2. I have so admired your garden, Elaine, so I am very glad to see that you also have failures and weeds. Our garden is an absolute mess. We have spent very little time in it this year. We have had so much work to do that the garden has been neglected. It is nice that you are not afraid to show the uglier side of an otherwise beautiful garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ann - I have plenty of failures believe me - but I expect we all do at one time or another. At the moment though I seem to be having more than my fair share. Hey no - that's life I guess!

      Delete
  3. You are so right!!! I can really relate to this post as I was having my morning walk through the garden and noticing some of the areas that have been munched on by this or that's...mainly peter rabbit! It can get frustrating with all of the things that can go wrong and that there is so much that is out of our control but man when things go right....even ONE thing it makes all the failures disappear! I made a pot of gravy today and the beans went out to gather parsley and basil from the garden. When I stopped to watch them out there it literally made me cry. There is nothing better! Thanks for the inspiration friend! Happy gardening to you! Nicole oh and I am glad it became a bit cooler for you!! Nicole xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is one thing we don't have and that's rabbits thank goodness.

      Delete
  4. You are most certainly right Elaine. There are so many ups and downs with gardening.............. generally the ups out weigh the downs.

    What a wonderful way to spend a morning, so satisfying.
    I planted some plants out in the week, that I had grown from seed......
    every one has been eaten by the rabbits (there were twenty)
    I am learning acceptance.

    Autumnal indeed....the mists that hang over the garden in early morning, a slight chill to the air, the leaves turning on the birches due to lack of water, all give an autumnal feel to the garden.

    Enjoy your week and happy gardening :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have been having rain showers over the fast few days which makes deciding whether to water or not more difficult - you feel a bit daft going out in the rain to water, but I have so much in containers that a drop of rain just isn't enough. As you say the good outweighs the bad, it is all just the unpredictability that keeps us going I reckon.

      Delete
  5. Much has been written about failure and how it sometimes leads to better things however there is nothing like a garden to take the idea of failure so far down the garden path you might think you will never find your way home. You have to be a dedicated gardener to persevere but the rewards when they com along are just fantastic.

    Ms soup

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we all just want the kind of gardens we see in magazines but of course they don't show the bad bits - perfection in the garden is almost impossible when you are literally battling against the odds all the time.

      Delete
  6. Flowers and plants in the garden often do not achieve what we hope for, but then others do better than we ever imagined - it is all swings and roundabouts. August is perhaps my least favourite month in the garden with plants going over, and not so many new surprises to look forward to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree July and August are pretty dull months in the garden all that work for just a few weeks of glory - not sure why we carry on sometimes but we do so it must be worth it in the end.

      Delete
  7. Haha I like the pictures of the failures, when I am looking in my greenhouse I see about the same, sometimes by neglection, but also insects or slugs. Gardening is always going up and down, but it's a kind of addiction we cannot stop and it gives a lot of joy too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We carry on because there is always hope that next year will be better - yes!

      Delete
  8. It's the failures that make the successes so sweet :0

    Jean x

    ReplyDelete
  9. Definitely right, so right! Also, glad I am not the only one to be sensing Autumn already !
    One of the joys of gardening is its unpredictability, as nothing is ever the same two seasons running. This leads to dismal failures, and sometimes, just sometimes, glorious moments as you describe . I try to save for winter, the feeling of just standing in the greenhouse on a hot day, with the smell of tomato plants filling the air.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think this is why I take so many photos of the garden through the year - otherwise I would forget that at times it did look beautiful.

      Delete
  10. Yes you're right! I'm always sorry to see failures like these but, as you say, even when we get them it's still worth growing vegetables. Flighty xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure we all have our fair share of disasters - it would be so easy to give up - but we persevere

      Delete
  11. Oh, Elaine, it's all trial and error and weather and insects and the unknown variables! Worth is to get just a few things? Then there's always the farmer's markets. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Farmers markets come in very handy sometimes!

      Delete
  12. Lol bugs and birds really did a good job. Every single leaf has holes.
    Gardening is never perfect. There is always something that gets damaged or sick. My radishes looked like your salad and I won't even say how my poor tomatoes look this year.
    We can only hope that next year pigeons and bugs will feed in neighbors garden and not ours. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My radish have been rubbish this year and the tomato plants are not thriving as well as they should - it's been a funny old growing season.

      Delete
  13. Unfortunately this is what things I have planted always look like. Much to my annoyance I have no talent for gardening. But you're absolutely right to stick with it - eating your own vegetables must be fabulous xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes its more luck than skill - but I have been growing veg for most of my adult life - but that is no guarantee that everything will go as planned.

      Delete
  14. Oh you are right, it's worth all the pain. What a shame about your seedlings, I suppose you can't win them all as you say. Each year is so different isn't it and the weather is becoming so very unpredictable. Summer in a jar, how lovely that sounds.xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have had several attempts at growing brassicas this year and the slugs and snails have just had it in for me - this is my last attempt if these fail then bang goes my supply of winter greens.

      Delete
  15. I think this post describes something all gardeners can relate to

    ReplyDelete
  16. It is all worth the pain even when it doesn't feel as though it is!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to agree otherwise I wouldn't keep doing it.

      Delete
  17. Ah ha there is a dark side to gardening in England. I always thought it was too pastoral, lol. Nice of you to show both your success, and failures...it's nice to know that I am not the only one who has them.

    Jen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha - no England is not always paradise as my pictures prove.

      Delete
  18. Gardening is a constant challenge is it not, but it keeps us on our toes.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I think the successes just about outweigh the failures when growing veggies. Flea beetles and scorching heat have been a real pain this year though. August before I managed a good harvest of spring onions.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Craft projects don't always work out, but they don't just keel over when you're not looking ... kudos to all you gardeners for your inherent optimism.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Sometimes gardening seems like one step forwards and two backwards Elaine :) I've encountered some similar scenarios this week with some July sown beetroot seedlings completely pulled out of seed cells and lunaria and sweet rocket seedlings munched by greedy green caterpillars! On the plus side I'm so enjoying the fruits of my labour at the moment, even the never ending supply of courgettes, which makes it all worthwhile.

    ReplyDelete
  22. You are definitely right Elaine! Despite all the trials and tribulations, there is something so satisfying about eating something you've grown yourself. Those pesky snails and slugs have had so much in my garden this year it's unreal! It sounds like you've still got a great harvest of fruit and veg to come though.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I can so relate, from seedlings eaten by slugs to caterpillar take over - it's a tough game! Maybe the challenge keeps us going.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Dear Elaine - you are so right. In winter when snow is piled high and ice clings to the spouting it is so wonderful to open a jar of summer. Have a great day.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hello xxx lovely , lovely , lovely words and images... It has made me look forward to late summer and beyond xxxx

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

the rise of the apple and the fall of the oak ...

Down to Earth ...

the sweet calm sunshine of September ...