I never got around to Bergen yesterday - and I'm afraid I'm going to have to skip it today. Blame the weather, which actually contrived to give us a dry day, with the temperature nudging 20 C (68 F). It’s raining this morning, so it was a good decision to roll up the shirt-sleeves and spend several hours down at the allotment.
The situation there has improved. On Sunday we bought a few brassica seedlings, and some lettuces, which went in first thing Monday morning. Yesterday we made a late, desperate sowing of spinach beet, another of Webb’s Wonder lettuce - and crossed our fingers. The guy in the next garden leaned over the hedge, agreed that the weather was horrible, and offered me a handful of young leeks, which are now in. So it’s not all doom and gloom.
The garlic (left) and shallots (right) are doing better than in either of the past two years.
The red-currants have somehow produced a decent crop, the peas may be short but they’re growing, and… well, that’s about all the good news I can come up with - apart from the fact that I disturbed two frogs while strimming the weeds yesterday. With luck they’ll be feasting on the slugs which seem to be plaguing every garden in the country.
I hate slugs - although when I realised, a few years ago, that among their favourite food is dog-poo I was inclined to feel a little gratitude. However, around that time I was offered a manuscript to read and report on, a 240-page treatise on the squidgy little buggers. I read it; I wrote the report - suggesting that there was surely only a limited market for such a book, especially an illustrated one - and I felt queasy throughout. Anyway, Monday night I went online and found a fiendishly clever slug-killer that’s harmless to birds, frogs and children. The trick is that it contains the eggs of a species of nematode which, when you add water, come to life and wriggle off to all points of the compass in search of their favourite prey. Slugs. Yee-ha! It should arrive by mail later this week.
This dispiriting shot of the veg plot shows the rows of wallflowers, parsley, parsnip, aster and spinach beet which we sowed before we went away. The French beans, down the other end, are likewise conspicuous by their absence.
Well, Bergen is going to have to wait until tomorrow. It’s 0700h already. I need to get dressed and scuttle off to the station. I’m off to Leeds to spend a day with my daughter and eight-month-old grandson. So here’s a taster of Norway, a couple of shots taken when the sun was shining. First, the old fire-station at Bergen; and below that a stretch of the old West Norway road, one of our toughest stretches.