I'm off to Bloom in the Phoenix Park over the next few days, am greatly looking forward to the "Nude Gardener" Shawna Lee Coronado (what a great angle) telling us how to live a greener life...... or maybe I'm not, as I just put napalm strength slug pellets around my vegetable patch. Yes, it's as bad as admitting you fancy Simon Cowell but hey my name is Suzanne Campbell and I use chemicals in my veg garden. And if that's not enough, my dad who is plantsman extraordinaire came around here yesterday, looked at our appallingly sad crop of veg and barked at me "that soil is rubbish, throw a load of nitrogen on it!".
Thinking of using NPK (nitrogen potassium, potash) which is the makeup of most fertilisers, makes me shiver as NPK is the main culprit for wreaking soil's ability to reform itself and is the trouble with intensive farming of any kind - you use enough of it and the soil just dies. However, weigh this up against having no veg at all this year and I relented. So with a withering heart I poured out a cap full of Miraclegrow into each watering can and gave everything a good dose of it. I reckon my plans for a little stall of organic veg at the end of the lane have hit the wall. Damn it anyway, the plants do look better today though, particularly the two surviving courgettes plants which looked like dead snails, are now standing upright and looking for more.
The tomato plants are still tiny for this time of year so I've subcontracted about twenty of the tomato plants still in small pots to my neighbour who has put them in a sunny spot and promises to water them. Delighted. Since coming back from France the one good thing to ease the depression is the good weather, and hopefully watching some of my food crop actually come on a bit- roll on more sunshine. Really looking forward to seeing the edible garden at Bloom as it's always nice to see new ideas and it gives you the confidence to try growing new stuff. Looking at some of the garden drawings on their website is really whetting my appetite, the two photos above are from last years event. I'm really interested to see the garden titled "Victus Ortus.... "..employing basic bio diversity and permaculture techniques this garden strives to achieve a balance between our desire for ‘outdoor living’ and our necessary attempts at being in touch with natural systems and traditional gardening methods". Oh god, maybe not. Can you be expelled from Bloom for using chemicals?
Besides the gardens they have all sorts of plant exhibits, food stalls, talks, cookery demonstrations with experts like Darina Allen and the fabulous Peter Ward. It runs until Bank Holiday Monday evening and kids go free so it's definitely worth taking a look at if you're around Dublin.