Finding Space & a Polyculture Approach

Calabrese Floret

It’s been nothing short of a tumultuous three or so weeks, and now I’m hoping for blue skies ahead. Work was hectic covering for line managers on leave, preparing handovers and tying up lose ends before maternity leave, and the last week has been spent in a state of half-panic whilst looking after my mum’s geriatric cat who decided to have an imploding serious eye disease just as my mum had finally got herself off on a holiday to Cornwall that she’d been looking forward to for months.

The cat – who is also considered a family cat as we rescued her as the runt of the litter when my sister and I still lived at home (she really is that old, pushing on for two decades now) – is otherwise in perfect health, albeit now with only one eye. And my workload has suddenly diminished as I am on annual leave ahead of my maternity, and now is the time to focus on getting things done and ready for the impending arrival of the squiggly little one in my belly.

Time to find some space in my life and take a few breaths.

There is just so much to do. We’ve got some renovations to finish (builder in hospital), rooms to turn out, wallpaper to remove and walls to plaster and paint, a shopping list of essentials still to buy (working on it), and many tidy tip trips to make.

Kitchen Garden

I haven’t had time to dedicate myself as much as I would have liked to The Smallest Smallholding, but it’s chuntering along none the less. I have broccoli up to my eyeballs and have lost a few florets that have gone to flower… but that will be one harvest over and done with. I’m thinking of replacing the broccoli with flowers to keep the pollinators happy through the summer, and once the onions and shallots have been harvested there’ll be more room for edibles. I’m looking to move forward a bit more with a polyculture of edibles, plants for pollinators and herbs, as I just loved some of the permaculture approaches from RHS Chelsea earlier this year.

Bee on perennial wallflower

I was also given some french and dwarf beans, so I set about trying to find a space for them to grow. I selected a space that’s under the fruit trees but hopefully gets a big enough dose of sunlight at certain points in the day to make it productive. With all the wet weather the last couple of weeks have been a bit of a battle between me and the slugs, but my general non-intervention (occasionally I’ll pick them off at night and fling them in the compost heap) will keep them at bay. I’ve been on the hunt as well for nasturtiums as some companion planting to the beans, as the blackfly have started to make an appearance, but everywhere seems to have stopped selling them.

French beans & dwarf beans

And of course with the rain, sun, rain, sun everything is exploding around me… I’ve just been so tied up and busy that things have got away from me a bit. But now with some time to myself, no work schedules to take into account (save three days later in July) and a relatively clear timetable, I can now throw myself into whatever tasks I have on my list.

I’ve got a little Moleskine bullet journal now that I’ve faithfully been filling up with task lists, to dos, notes and trackers to make sure that these last days before the birth of our daughter are productive and full. Whether we manage to fit in getting my polytunnel up by the end of August… well, that’s another question altogether.

Overgrown Smallest Smallholding

 

Speak Your Mind

*