Onions and Bonfires

IT’S THAT time of year again when the garden is at its most productive. We’ve just cleared the broad beans but the runners are still at their best. We had the first tomatoes this week – two small sweet ones from the yellow variety we planted. The courgettes are doing well and we’re just about winning the battle to cut them before they turn into marrows.

We’ve had some decent rain this week, which was welcome but it did mean that we needed to lift the onions and spread them over the staging in the greenhouse to dry out gradually. The necks would have started to rot if we’d left them where they were in the bed. I’m always impressed by how many onions we harvest from an area no bigger than a hearth-rug.

Paul the gardener came today and we cut back theĀ Canary ivy which was killed by frost last winter.

As it was a dull, overcast morning none of our neighbours had any washing out, so, as the woody stems were too large to add to the compost bin and I’ve got plenty of habitat piles already, we decided to dispose of the large pile of clippings by lighting a bonfire. Despite the recent rain the mass of stems were dry enough to burn but, as usual, in the minutes it took to get the fire started a column of white smoke drifted sideways and, although there wasn’t a breath of wind, it managed to find some low level turbulence and started heading straight up the garden path, over the hedge and up towards the one bedroom window that our neighbour had left open. You’d almost think that smoke had some kind of homing instinct that enabled it to find the nearest open window.

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