Monday, 23 June 2008
When you have a pet cat, you don't expect to have mice in the house.
When you have a pet terrier, you don't expect to have rats under the shed.
When you have a toad, you don't expect slugs among the lettuce.
We have a cat, but no mice, we have a Jack Russell, but no rats, we have a toad . . . and millions of bleedin' slugs. The thing is simply not earning his keep If he can't manage on his own, he needs to get some of his mates in, 'cos I'm losing the battle against slugs and snails.
Actually, we've all got a bit of a soft spot for the toad which, surprisingly for this family, does not have a name yet (I feel an online competition coming on!). He lives under a couple of lengths of wood which I desperately want to move out of the way, but I can't bring myself to disturb him.
Apart from unwanted invertabrates, he's the only real wildlife in the garden - that's the problem with more or less creating a new garden from scratch with a very low budget, there's not really much cover or food for wildlife. In a couple of years, things will be different, but until then, we will have to make do with our lazy toad.
Up until this weekend, the only goodies offered up by the garden have been various types of salad leaves and one or two strawberries that have escaped the notice of the snails. But on Sunday I dug up the first of the potatoes (not many per plant but very tasty), pulled a few carrots (again, not big but very sweet) and cut the first courgette.
The runner beans won't be long now and the tomatoes have started to form - it's not exactly the good life and we won't be self-sufficient in anything but lettuce (plot too small), but it's quite satisfying to be producing something.
The flower beds are still looking good in places - especially if you ignore the big expanses of bare earth between the plants. I like to think of myself as being like a mum who buys her kids clothes that are too big, saying 'he'll soon grow into it'. I say to myself that the plants will soon grow into the spaces.