I admit I was always under the impression that gardening was generally a recreation for the elderly, a leisurely way to pass retirement, a form of zen and relaxation. I mean, clearly, there was some hard work involved- but overall it appeared pretty chilled. This, I rapidly discovered, was far from true, and this ‘hobby,’ it doesn’t suffer weakness.

Everything is constantly demanding your attention, challenging you to ask questions,  ‘Should my radishes be flowering?’ ‘Why is that succulent turning yellow? Is the soil too dry? Too moist?’ ‘When do I harvest my Pak Choy?’
Something is always going on, the plant life constantly evolving.  My poor family members are constantly being called upon to admire promising buds, exclaim at growing Bryophyllums or have their minds picked over the best location for a new addition. Everyday you are encouraged to innovate, to invent and to learn, and this week the challenge was birds. They just kept making mockery of my humble defences and in doing so, made a mess of freshly sewn seeds and young seedlings.

My solution? Some very-thrown-together netted cages. Nothing ground breaking, but effective, if a little shabby. A few tomato stakes, divided up into sets of four, knocked together with some longer lengths and a draping of bird netting. An access flap was added to the ‘front’ and I bent some wire into simple prongs to pin the sides to the bed. These I wrapped in green duck tape so I wouldn’t lose them.

Next season without a doubt, they will need some refining. However thus far they are keeping the birds out, and therefore working perfectly. Challenge accepted and conquered.

Mother Nature, I look forward to the next curve ball.

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