Slugs, radishes and orchids


Myosotidium hortensiaChatham Island forget-me-not. 
The middle of May and by far my most prolific crop thus far are snails. Dead snails, live snails and most improbably, a slug I found under the bedside table. I am so sorry organic gardeners, but in the face of so many slimies I have been liberal with the slug pellets.

Thanks to the stellar (horrible) weather we've been enjoying (enduring), everything is well-watered but there is a marked lack of growth happening. My tomatoes are sulking in the windowsills and even the normally energetic pole beans seem to be growing much more slowly than I remember. Still, this is when I'm extra thankful for things like radishes and carrots, whose stubborn insistence to grow despite the lack of sunshine makes up for them having been something of an afterthought in my veg- related planning.

This will be my first ever year of growing radicchio, which apparently is similar to chicory, not that that means much to me. It had a beautiful photo, with fantastic deep red and white striped foliage, how could I resist? My plant buying strategy is much like my attitude to buying wine : Approached with more enthusiasm than knowledge and if the label looks good, get it. I got seed-packet madness (when you have handfuls of brightly coloured sachets and in fits of dizzyness start throwing carefully laid plans to the wind) and so my sowing is a little early, thus I run the risk of overpowering bitterness. Worst-case scenario, I sow again later in the summer and will have learnt my lesson. If the plants simply look good, a large part of me will be totally satisfied.

How great is it to find an orchid? Well, I found two. A Common Twayblade Neottia ovata (top) and a Early Purple Orchid Orchis mascula (bottom). 

Keep and eye out for the various wet-loving things you can find unexpectadly. Thus far my list includes, newts, frogs, mushrooms and these two lovely flowers.

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