Derek – Friday 23rd July 2021

On Wednesday evening I came into the garden to water the plants, only to find the tap not working due to a fault on Gateway’s site next door. The garden was gasping, plants in pots wilting after a week of hot, dry weather. With watering cans we do what we can, using what is in our rain barrels, but are only able to water a fraction of the garden.

Not for the first time, I contemplate how dependent we are on water. And with climate change tightening its grip, this is no longer a thought for just our garden. Agriculture is being attacked by drought, high temperatures and floods. Let’s hope COP26, the climate conference in Glasgow this November, gets serious. We’ve had enough of promises with little attendant action.

The cardboard boxes we use as planters in the Americana project are suffering. The sugar cane box is bulging but the peanut box has collapsed. The latter’s plants are faring badly, so we need to replace them with the understudies mugging up their cues in the greenhouse. And, while we are at it, throw the old box on the compost heap, and replace with a new one.

Leaf miners are attacking the leaves of the quinoa, making a pale yellow trail in the leaf as they consume it from the inside. I take off infected leaves, and hope the bugs won’t come back. If it’s not one predator, it’s another. Or, as has been said by a philosopher I can’t trace, ‘All life lives off death.’ More prosaically, should you go out on Ilkley Moor without your hat on, and catch a death of cold:

Then us’ll ha’ to bury thee

Then worms’ll come an’ eat thee oop

Then dooks’ll come an’ eat up worms

Then us’ll go an’ eat up dooks

Then us’ll all ha’ eaten thee

All together now:

On Ilkley Moor baht’at!


That’s one way of circulating carbon. Though if you get cremated, apart from ash and water, much of your body will rise to the clouds as CO2. Even with a forest burial you end up as the same gas, just more slowly.

It’s original sin. We are carbon.

The best we can do is use a lot less of it in what we consume.

The wildflower bed is blooming. This is its peak. Visitors remark on the colour and variety. There’s yellow and red poppies, yellow hedge mustard, blue borage, white wild carrot, white scentless mayweed, yellow bristly oxtongue, white campion, yellow corn marigolds, yellow black medick, purple spear thistles and yellow sow thistles.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.