Monday, July 22, 2024

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Don’t worry if your onions poke out

in my lady garden
Are your onions protruding? Don’t be alarmed. So are my husband’s. They are supposed to at this time of the year. At first I didn’t know whether they were getting too big for their space, or whether they needed to be covered up. Indeed, I thought the Old Bill might turn up.

You don’t need to earth them up, as you do your potatoes. Just leave your onions to enjoy feeling the sun or the pitter-patter of gentle rain as they swell.

As you can see from my photo of Bonkers Boris, the village idiot, you will find that many things In the lady garden are there for the taking at the moment. Notice his firm carrot and plump potatoes. They can all be harvested now or in the next few weeks, along with the broad beans, peas and salad veg. You can still plant an extra row of peas and enjoy another summer crop. Your beetroot may also be ready for pulling out to enjoy with a tin of Spam and a dollop of Heinz salad cream.

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Bonkers Boris in a vegetative state

Bonkers Boris can usually be found sitting on the wall near the old asylum with his mussed-up hair, grunting as the girls go by and yelling “wiff waff, wiff waff” at our foreign fruit pickers. And look what the soppy old thing did when I asked him once to help clear out the stream at the bottom of my Lady Garden. He waded right into the middle, and you can see here what happened next…

Sometimes Bonkers Boris can been seen on his rusty old bike on the way to the allotments where he works as a scarecrow. But for all his stupidity, he knows quite a bit about My Lady Garden and likes to lend a hand.

He quotes many old bits of wisdom from his uncle, Mr Trump, who brought him up in a cupboard under the stairs, like: “Red sky at night? Putin’s in sight.”

Or: “Don’t cast a clout till Mrs May is out.”

And: “A bird in the hand can be shagged in the bush.”

Sometimes, he shouts in what he thinks is Latin: “Bleugh! Plop! Inky Pinky Ponky Ner Ner Ner. Foreign Secs for Everyone, HAHAHA!”

They are almost as wise as my favourite old sayings: “A hard man is good to find.” Or:”A bad workman always blames his tool.” And: “All that glitters is not Gary.”

Another famous phrase, of course, is: “The other man’s grass is always greener.”

This applied to me and my next door neighbour. The last time I threw a gin bottle over the hedge I had a peep at his lawn. It was perfectly cropped and perfectly green, like the famous cricket pitch at Wembley.

wembley pitchHowzat! The famous Wembley cricket ground with lovely turf
Then I realised it was AstroTurf! I looked up the price and it was more expensive than my shagpile!

Many dog owners lay fake lawn to stop widdle stains. My husband is thinking of getting the same for me… and we don’t even have a pet.

Laying the artificial grass is a right palaver but you can always get a man in. The advice is to remove the sod. But I think you should make him a cup of tea and a sausage sandwich.

Once my neighbour had gone to all that expense and was expecting to spend the summer on his lilo with a barrel of Adnams, his father-in-law went round while he was out and mowed the AstroTurf. Oh, how I laughed!

Of course, if you do get fake grass you can take your lawn mower to the car boot and swap in for a Tesco bag of eighties Videos, or a kettle with no lid, a plastic baby potty with matching changing mat, or a bin bag of mismatched shoes and wellies.

One man wrote to me last week and was worried that his cucumber was wilting. It just needs more and regular water. But we will soon be out of Europe so there is no pressure on you to have a rigid straight specimen. Let it bend a little in the middle. We are free Britishers not law-bound to grow straight bananas or cucumbers. Why not send us all a photo. We won’t laugh, will we readers?

Jobs to do this week

* Prune the side shoots from your wandering Wisteria but leave the main branches to train up the wall or over your pergola.

* Use your hoe or a shovel to gather up soil (earthing up) over your spuds as if they turn green they will be poisonous. Do the same if they are in pots. They need to be kept in the dark, much like your old man with your credit card bills.

* Buy a kids’ paddling pool to stick your feet in while you knock back some Aspall’s Cyder with a bucket of KFC.

Now for the answers to your problems

* Theresa M from Thornham Magna: Well what a lot of jobs you have to do under pressure. Did you take my advice and put all the names of the people you don’t like in a hat, shake it about and pull the names out just give them any old job? If you employ so many on your estate, they’ll just have to learn on the job. What’s the worst that can happen?

* Mrs S Cameron: No, you cannot steal all the shrubs and garden furniture from the house they kicked you out of, nor can you roll up the lawn and crane out the mature trees. Ask your billionaire family to get you some brand new things from B & Q and Argos. They do a very pleasant nylon marquee.

* Mr Gove: Well I really don’t know why you’re asking ME what gardening job prospects there are for a short labourer. You could try picking fruit from low-lying bushes like gooseberries. Remember you don’t like EXPERTS and I am the expert supreme. So please don’t bother me again.

Have a good week!


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