GARDEN NOTES: Radishes and Finding Peace in a Tidy Shed

It has finally started getting cold recently, though still mild for late November. The meadow near where I live still gives a few blackberries, and the absence of frost has meant that sloes are still thriving in places (all the more for me!).

We recently harvested most of our radishes and leeks, all very delicious. It is only later, as I was chomping on a radish that I realised that they were the first thing harvested from the garden that I had grown entirely myself from decision to harvest. So there’s hope for me yet! Work has started on repairing the fencing for the compost area, but that might take a while to do it properly and in sections, as I would preferably avoid having to move that muck more than once. Franco came by with a tray of planted broad beans to keep in the shed until they sprout, to add to those we planted a couple of weeks ago.

Speaking of the shed, on another triumphant note, it is now tidy(ish). The garden tools are hanging on the wall so they don’t get tangled with other items on the floor, all the wood and stove materials are tidied together in one box and the hay sack has been tied up tightly so it takes up less room. We’ve even gone to the extreme and arranged our books onto a bookshelf. I moved one of the garden benches into the shed for seating, and the table is relatively clear of crap (just needs a wipe), ready to prepare food on it. With that done, the shed has never quite looked so inviting and homely before. They say that English men become increasingly attached to their garden sheds as they get older, and I can now somewhat understand why. That little structure is more than a tool cupboard, it is a refuge from the outside world.

Last Monday after a long morning of lectures, feeling tired and weary, I went into the now tidy shed and ate some lunch, consisting of a pork pie from a shop, but accompanied by pickled onions, pickled cucumbers and pickled eggs that I made myself. It was my first time trying them; the cucumber and onions were nice but a bit strong, my fault for not sweetening the vinegar, but the egg was perfect (if I do say so myself), tasting just like the kind you would find in a traditional English pub (if such a thing still exists). Altogether, this was one of the most satisfying meals I have ever had, a hearty English lunch in a cold but well lit shed, all the better for most of it having been homemade. I then unrolled a mat on the shed floor and lay down for a nap. Although it was cold outside, I slept very comfortably for a good hour, and was woken up by the rustling of a mouse (something else I need to deal with). All that was missing – at the risk of being picky-picky – was a hot cup of tea for when I woke up.

Perhaps it is not so much a sense of refuge that I get in the shed, but more one of peaceful simplicity. With all the bells and whistles that surround us daily, there’s not many places left in Central London where you can find a little peace.

Now to deal with that mouse…


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: GARDEN PHILOSOPHY: The Garden versus Nature (and phoney nature-lovers) « Common Ground Community Garden

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