Not to dwell too much on the negative, I will try to be brief.
1) Slugs and snails have overrun the earth. The constant rain and cool temperatures have been perfect conditions for gastropods. They continue to decimate crops. The fennel and carrot seedlings – gone. Courgette flowers, leaves, stems, and, worst of all, baby zucchini, are mercilessly attacked and eaten. I have yet to have any cabbage, arugula or kale successfully established. Even my sweet peas, which are usually resplendent, have slimy trails on them; buds are eaten off, leaving the long stem mockingly behind.
When I planted out my second round of bean plants I attempted to protect these with a barrier of sharp-edged eggshells:
The Amazon slugs must just have laughed at this pitiful attempt. My bean plants lasted a couple days longer than the first ones before they, too, became leaf-less sticks. I was too disheartened to take a photo. (In other news, neighbors who liberally carpet the ground with little blue slug pellets have flowers on their runner beans…)
2) Remember those ripe and succulent redcurrants still to be harvested? When I went back to pick them I found the bush bare, stripped of every last crimson orb. Somehow a bird (perhaps a whole flock?) had gotten in through some gap in the netting and eaten the berries leaving the stems hanging empty. Never count your berries before they are picked! It’s made that first punnet taste especially good, though.
3) I’ve lost my set of keys somewhere on the allotment. Even after borrowing a friend’s metal detector I am no closer to discovering them – though I do have a nice collection of rusty nails.
The funny thing is that though I get mad, frustrated and disappointed, ultimately I’m an optimist when it comes to the garden. I’m willing to try again, to wait ’til next year, to be grateful for what we’ve managed to grow (since thankfully we don’t have to subsist on it).
Though who knows how long that essential optimism will last if this gloomy summer weather becomes the new normal year after year.