Gardening with Shirley Lanigan

Distractions, distractions!

Shirley Lanigan

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Shirley Lanigan

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news@kilkennypeople.ie

Distractions, distractions!

If I could have just one super power, it would be the ability to ignore distraction, to plough on, getting things done, while all around me crumbled. I could make very good use of such a power.

I just came in from digging over a vegetable bed. It was all going well. I was about one third of the way down the line and it looked as though I might be able to get it all done in one day no less. Super. A little job done that I could go inside and congratulate myself for.

The ground was lovely and crumbly and the weeds came up with ease. Buckets of them made their way to the compost and progress was good. The growing length of bare brown earth with fat worms making their way back under had me feeling very happy indeed. Too happy for the gods of gardening it would appear: The fork went into the ground and came out laden with a mass of daffodil bulbs, all sprouting roots and shoots. A little thing of beauty.  This lot needed to be replanted and quick about it. Where to put them was the issue. There were too many and the clump was too big to fit into any available empty pots. Neither was there any immediate bit of clear earth to plant them temporarily.

I thought I would dig a trench at the top end of this currently- under-operation vegetable bed. I knew that earth was clear.  A line of unknown daffodils at the edge of the bed would no doubt look good next spring. I might even use them as cut flowers. The line of strappy leaves will take up only a bit of space in what is going to be a broad bean bed. They will add to the general look as the beans grow on.

So I left off the digging and moved up to the top of the bed to make a trench for the daffs.  Having placed them in it, I then got back to digging. Unfortunately, with the next fork in the ground I came across another clump, and then another and another. Each time, I dug them up and brought them down to the new trench, laying them in carefully, snouts up and roots feathered out, hopefully  not too disturbed.

In the meantime it started raining. Fine. No problem. It was only light rain, a little spit. Having heard the weather forecast this morning and noted that it was due to become heavy rain, turning to sleet as the day went on, I crossed my fingers and willed the rain to stay soft. The ground in this bed is nicely free draining and it is possible to make plenty of progress as long as the rain remains light.  
But the rain didn’t remain light. And the clumps kept coming up. At this rate I was wondering when the secret stash of bulbs would give out. It is nice to come across a bonus batch like this – and a batch that had obviously been fruitful and multiplied – I would never have planted bulbs so closely together in the ground. These lot had chunked up considerably. That was nice. But dealing with them had seriously hampered the progress on the job in hand. I kept digging and eventually I came to the edge of the Great Daffodil horde and could peacefully progress with the weeds.

However, at this point the rain began to get heavier. And then heavier again. I persisted but by now it was getting to the down-the-neck-of-the-jacket stage. The ground was getting  harder to work too. More earth was clagging up the fork tines. The time to pack up had arrived. Tools stowed away, I took a last look at the bed. Only two thirds dug. So there it was - another job started and not finished, with me inside, wet and cross thinking  “Damn you gorgeous daffodil bulbs!”

Looking out, it is clear that the rain isn’t going to stop anytime soon.  Still the daffodils are happily replanted. I am now trying to remember what variety or varieties they might be. I did come across a label in the earth beside them but it was indistinct. It might even have referred to the variety of kale that was in the area next to them.

I will have to look forward to seeing them flower next spring and then match them to whatever loose packaging labels kept in a box in the shed that they might resemble.

Gardening is certainly not rocket science and in this garden it is not any sort of science at all. I wonder if could I add the ability to keep perfect records to those new super powers I put an order in for?