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Not a patch on . . .

By Spalding Today Columnist

A snapshot of Trish's impressive vegetable patch.
A snapshot of Trish's impressive vegetable patch.

Do you remember The Fast Show sketch featuring Jesse, the country bumpkin shuffling out of his shed to announce his dietary habits to the nation?

I feel a lot like Jesse at the moment. The vegetable patch has gone crazy as, yet again, I forgot to stagger my seed-planting. Last week, we had Little Gem lettuce with every meal and the week before it was spinach: stir-fried, steamed and soup.

In my wisdom, I planted a whole row of flat leaf parsley. Now I have tons of the stuff. What was I thinking - it's a garnish. Now all my food is plated up with a few decorative strands on the stride. Beans on toast has never looked so stylish.

I can see the monster courgette plant laughing at me from behind the raspberry canes. It's about to mutate, thrusting dozens of mini-marrows at me as I stand quivering, armed with only a hand-held spiralizer.

The lawn, desperate for some rain, is brown and covered with clover. The upside to this is I feel I'm doing something for the bees. The grass will have to be cut soon but we're holding off as long as this dry spell continues.

Ever since we rescued the hedgehog from the garage, we're trying to do our best for wildlife. I'm leaving water and some food out for our prickly friends and, as we haven't seen any hogs during the day, I'm hoping this is a good sign that they are healthy and having fun between the shrubs and the back fence.

I've also gone a bit Bill Oddie. Or, more accurately, it's Dougie who's become a bird fancier. He's spruced up an old bird table and has invested in some bags of seed and pecker balls - which sound incredibly painful.

Neither of us are very good, however, at working out which species of bird are at the feeders. It's quite sad that robin, blackbird and 'some kind of tit' is the extent of our knowledge.

But our enthusiasm certainly makes up for lack of expertise. It's lovely to stand at the kitchen window in the morning, watching the little birds swinging from the feeder and the fat pigeons waddling about on top of the table.

With birds, bees, butterflies and hedgehogs in our garden, I think Dougie and I are the new Tom and Barbara of Holbeach. As long as he doesn't start tethering up a goat at the back gate, I think I could get used to being at one with nature.

In the meantime, I need to search for some recipes. Fifty things to do with a spring onion.

You can read Trish's blog at www.mumsgoneto.co.uk


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