Wartime Garden Woes: July Kicks Us

We have always been honest in this project. From holes in our cabbages, and the helpful suggestions on our Facebook Page that we use net curtains (which are like gold dust, who has them anymore?) to telling us that in the war nylon netting was brought in to combat this. This created an excited moment of dancing in the garden. We even bemoaned the failure of our spinach and turned to chard to ease our pains. Then on Tuesday at 6:30AM the rains hit. I'd like to say it was gentle but it wasn't. The winds whipped up and the rain came down with such ferocity that it in 30 minutes it had flattened our spuds and french beans. There is nothing more disheartening than going from this....

How a bed can go from this to something that makes you weep.

How rain can be an enemy to gardeners.

...to this.

In 30 mins the rain did this.

The rain destroyed the foliage on the spuds.

The rain did this and there is a temptation to see the British weather as an enemy. I suspect those that gardened during the war felt like this at points wondering how they would survive when the weather was against them. 1943 was a bad year in parts, just like 2013. It is even worse for gardener when he looks over to his neighbour's plot and it remains unscathed. As if nature taunts him. Again, how many gardener's felt like this during the war and how many came to blows over it? You have to consider that people weren't just Digging For Victory, they were Digging For Life (and not as one Yorkshire Mayor said, 'Dig For Life or Dig Your Graves' - that never did catch on) and food meant life. How jealousy must have come to the fore sometimes or maybe this is more to do with the modern world, we see things, we want them, we get them easily. I suspect there was jealousy in 1943 but that boundary between neighbours' wasn't so concrete as it is nowadays. You can see the video of the downpour here and the lightning (I turned off my phone after the first strike and the rain got worst after this). I did not succumb to jealousy or the desire to stomp across my own beds swearing at nature, I got on with it and though I can do nothing for the spuds, they will have to recover on their own or else be supported with pea sticks, I got out and improved the lot of the french beans, broad beans and peas. I hope, like me, that you will smile at the change, feel proud that even when we are low, we can pull ourselves together and try and make things better. That is maybe what we have forgotten in our modern age.

Gardeners can make a difference.

You can view more on our #wartimegarden plans on twitter and through the following links:
Pig For Victory No.5: Peas and Beans Part 2
Pig For Victory No.5: Peas and Beans Part 1