“How Melancholy a Thing is Success”

Now the garden looks empty.  Perennials cut back and beds turned, over wintered vegetables not overwintered as I missed the mark, greenhouse needing a clean out.  I’m thinking about the failures of last year.  Those leeks didn’t really come to much, the garlic would be fine if you only use a tiny bit, and the potatoes ready for Christmas died before November but…

“How melancholy a thing is success.  Whilst failure inspirits a man, attainment reads the sad prosy lesson that all our glories are ‘shadows, not substantial things’.”

I learned some things the hard way.  Yes we need to feed things more, and even if I feel pressed for time, reading the packets and labels always helps.  The Christmas potatoes shouldn’t have gone in where the previous crop were and next to where the tomato plants succumbed to blight – that was silly.  Next year: strict crop rotation.

But the potatoes that went before – they were a sad prosy lesson of attainment to us all!  The Salad Blue were particularly interesting and a nice roaster!  And those pumpkins weren’t the MOST melancholy pumpkins I have ever seen – but they were getting there. The Sunbeam yellow marrows were definitely a glory that was a shadow and not a substantial thing, even if the slugs did eat a few – one of the ways mother earth thanks us for being organic.

“Truly said the sayer, ‘disappointment is the salt of life’ a salutary bitter which strengthens the mind for fresh exertion, and gives double value to the prize!’

…Maybe we can use the disappointments of last year to get rid of next years slugs!

(quote from Sir Richard Francis Burton 1821-1890; English Explorer)


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