East Winds Bring in the Potatoes

April has been April. Here at Pig Row we have experienced rain, frost and a north easterly that picked up a shed in gale force wind whilst driving eight foot snow drifts over the garden. Today, in rolled the east winds, and we had to make a decision. We chit our potatoes at Pig Row and for a month they have sat on the kitchen table silently sprouting and shriveling. Each time we came to plant them the weather turned foul and with next week's forecast bringing more misery, chapped lips, cracking joints and roaring fires we had no choice. So, off tramped the head gardener, me. As Carol and Little D stayed inside, applauding through the windows each time I planted a potato. Two sacks of Cara potatoes went in, making three twenty foot rows and finally four rows of King Edwards. Funnily, this popular potato has never been grown at Pig Row (the potato in the photo is from last year's crop of Shetland Black). I would have taken photos but it would not have been a good advertisement for gardening, soaking wet man, bitterly cold, rushing to get his potatoes in does not find a home in horticulture magazines. Sadly, this is the truth that many of us have faced this year. Rather then plant our potatoes all together, we separate out the plots to avoid any chance of blight wiping out the whole lot. However, it is nice to split potatoes out around the garden. The green foliage and flowers look lovely beside flowering plants. We dream of flowering plants on Pig Row. I dream of feeling my fingers and lips again after stooping against the easterlies but at least it isn't as bad as the wonderful Mountain Rescue team who took this photo over Easter, just down from Pig Row. April can be the cruelest of months.


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