A gardening rhythm

There is a rhythm to gardening;

of sowing seeds, preparing ground, watering and tending, labelling, tieing in, cutting back and pinching out..

Lots of waiting of around wondering when will things get going.

Managing the pests, weeding and feeding.

Of noticing details and minutiae, of puzzling and wondering, of working things out.

Of sitting back and enjoying the fruits of your labour.

It seems this year I will have to rely on my greenhouse grown tomatoes as Blight has hit – this is the disease that was behind much of the Irish potato famines; without wishing to sound glib, thankfully I’m not relying on my crops to feed my family, but it’s still so disappointing to have to grub up and destroy plants. So the gardening rhythm has hit a discordant note and jarrs with the normal rhythms, and I have to adjust and re-tune.

I also realise I haven’t been very chatty of late on my blog with more photos than words, it seems I’ve temporarily lost my gardening – blogging rhythm too 🙂

Note ~ Tomatoes pictured are Tigerella and Blue OSU


  • However you post, be it in words or photos, I love to read them. I’ve been out of commission with visiting friends these past few weeks, and I’ve missed reading about your adventures! Your tomatoes look wonderful!

    • Thank you Celia, maybe it’s because I’m actually BUSY in the garden and kitchen that I’ve run out of words !! I mean it’s pickling crazy at the moment 🙂

  • Perhaps an Indian summer or a long mild autumn will help your rhythm return… gardeners are by nature optimists! Those tomatoes look very pretty AND delicious!

    • thank you, I find I’m more and more fascinated by the stages and steps from seed, to seedling, and flowers emerging. I find it inspiring to watch !

  • Beautiful words and pictures, Claire! I’m so sorry about the blight on your tomatoes. After all your hard work! Is it the dampness this year that has caused it, or something in the earth, or both? Good for you, for following the rhythms that feel right to you!

    • Hi Cindy, it’s a mixture of the dampness in the air and sheer bloody luck! I’ve managed to avoid blght in previous years when growing outdoor tomatoes in the garden, it’s rife on our allotments as the wind spreads it so easily. But high-ho it’s off to work we go, and I do have the ones in the greenhouse to delight in !

  • It has been such a damp year, I suppose the blight attack isn’t that unexpected. Painful though to dig up and burn what should be feeding you.

  • “noticing details and minutiae” is what make the difference between a good garden and a great one, and yours is one of the greats!
    re: blight….dreadful and so unfortunate when it strikes after so much hard work! I feel your pain, believe me. 😦

    • Thank you but I seriously doubt my being great, but I do love it and I love sharing !! There is always so much to learn and try.
      and I know you feel my pain, it’s a vile disease, to sit and see the tomatoes rotting on the vine is miserable, but as I say I’m fortunate that my living doesn’t rely on them, farmers must dread it!

    • You know I was thinking about this a bit more and my words “noticing details and minutiae” and how slow on the uptake I am at times. I’ve been sitting on the back doorstep for the last few days thinking, something isn’t quite right with that tomato plant, they seem small, and don’t seem to be ripening. It was only when I eventually took a closer look in the daylight I realised I’d been sitting looking at the blight! Live and learn eh?!

  • Such beautiful tomatoes, Claire, and I’m so sorry to read that your vines have been hit by blight. And Celia is right, your posts are wonderful, whether they’re word or photo-heavy. 🙂

    • I’m trying to focus on the few that I have that are still alive and healthy, and savour them that bit more John. Nothing like the taste of summer tomatoes, which reminds me I nee dto check on the basil!

  • Sorry to hear about the blight! Three years ago we had a a very cool rainy summer and there was a terrible outbreak of blight which destroyed most of the tomato crop in the Northeastern US. Gardeners and farmers around here were traumatized and everyone still talks about it.

    Lately I’ve heard reports of blight appearing around here in the past few weeks. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, hoping it doesn’t turn up in the community garden.

    • I can understand how that would affect people – to lose most of a crop in a region, I shudder to think of how the farmers coped, and whether people lost their livelihoods.
      My fingers are firmly crossed for you Kate, I know you can spray, but I avoid that like the plague. I guess it’s the decisions we take and how comfortable we are with them…..

      • Thanks, Claire! I know a lot of the farmers around here have reluctantly begun to spray their tomato plants with copper fungicide. It is technically considered organic, but better not to have to spray at all. Losing the entire tomato crop would be devastating for them, so I can’t say I blame them.

        I forgot to ask, what is the name of that beautiful deep purple tomato? I’ve never seen one quite like it. Gorgeous color!

        • It’s a shame to have to spray, the copper one is available here, but so far I’ve resisted!
          The deep coloured tomato is Blue OSU, the top i sa deep blue-black and when rip ethe bottom half turns red. Tasty too 🙂

  • Great post, as always- sorry about the blight. Seems to be a tough year…but tomatoes do give some smiles. FWIW, looks like we are growing the Blue OSU- beautiful and pretty good, too…

  • That tomato is a beauty!
    There has been a lot of rhythm at my plot also…
    Sorry Cascades!

    • Thank you ! I think I’m lucky with where I chose to live – we don’t get as many rainy or cloudy days as many parts of the country, mind you having grown up in Manchester and worked in Glasgow, anywhere is drier !! 😉 Hope the sun comes out this weekend for you!

    • Thank you Tandy – the dark ones are Blue OSU, I got the seeds in a swap. I think there are a few “blue” types out there, but let me know if I can help

  • I so agree with you! I love that very dark red tomato. We don’t have a greenhouse and tomatoes outside too frequently fall prey to blight so we’ve given up on them. The beans are okay though! 🙂

    • What a shame you have had to give up. I might try and look at some of the blight resistant varieties, apart from that my little cherry tomatoes in hanging baskets seem ok, touch wood ! But a BIG Yippee for beans 🙂

  • Sorry about the blight. We lost all our tomatoes to it last year, but this year I’m still crossing my fingers! Your greenhouse toms look great.

  • Watching the growth and development of a tomato from the flower to the ripe fruit is a joy and makes us appreciate the bounties that nature has gifted us with. So much more than just going to the grocery store and picking up that sterile wrapped package of perfectly sized cookie cutter tomatoes we can get these days.

    • what a great description “cookie cutter tomatoes” ! and it does make me realise how fortunate I am to be able to grow some of my own food, we’ll never be self-sufficient but I get so much pleasure from it 🙂

  • How nice .. that you are using the same theme as .. me. First time visit somebody with “Forever” – today I have seen picture of “black tomatoes” twice .. never seen them before. They are truly beautiful. Stunning photos !!!

    • You know I only change dthe theme yesterday, I was mucking about and fancied a change, I’m still trying to get used to it !
      I meant to say I think I found your blog through Putney Farm and thank you for your compliments and for popping in 🙂

  • I did my masters in botany/cellular biology. And looking at your pictures reminded me how much i miss going into the greenhouse and watching my plants grow. It used to be fun! Your tomatoes look so cool! I love the color…lol

    • I like the sound of your studies, well to be honest I like the sound of spending time in a greenhouse as part of studying 🙂 and hi and thank you, the Blue tomato is a bit of fun isn’t it !

  • So sorry to hear about your blight, but glad to hear you have a greenhouse to fall back on! Both of those varieties are absolutely stunning – nice choices (and good growing!)

  • I haven’t seen this dark colour tomato before… This is amazing. Thank you dear Claire, have a nice weekend, love, nia

    • Oh but herbs are so important, they truly meake a meal Giovanna. I think if I didn’t have the garden (and th etime) I would still have a few pots of herbs on my windosill 🙂

  • I look at my little garden every day with great expectation, and there are always changes. Sometimes the change is so small it would go unnoticed if I weren“t such a hovering mom. The rhythm is its own and sometimes slower than I’d like.

  • Well, even with blight, your tomatoes did better than mine. I have two about the size of the little one in the first photo. I love the colors of your tomatoes. Do you ever pickle green ones–they were my favorite as a child, and I can’t get the recipe right because it was in my mamas head.

    • Hi Alice, in previous years, when we’ve had REALLY poor summers I’ve made a green tomato chutney, so not strictly a pickle. I think my favourite is fried green tomatoes but they do need to bigger don’t they !
      I wonder what your mama put in the pickle that made it so special ?

  • Nature’s rhythms have a natural ebb and flow, a waxing and waning and always cycle back to be renewed. Your rhythms mirror the bigger picture….

  • Wow ! that purple tomato is amazing. Photo should be in a cookbook. I am sorry to hear about the blight. It has been a tough year for many farmers.

  • oh claire, it is so miserable to lose your crops to mice and disease! but your blog is always wonderful, whether it is photos or words or both, so don’t doubt it, we are all saying so … i say to my husband “my friend claire in england ….” and today we were at the sage garden and i was thinking of taking photos for you … which i might post tonight .. meanwhile your blue tomato is awesome, we cannot even find seed of that one! so yes, the rhythms of nature wax and wane, thanks for reminding us 🙂

    • Wonderful ! I have firends all over the world ! And it’s funny when one of you pops into my head, I regularly think of you when I practice the (now I do get names mixed up) the Lotus hand and breathing exercise and wonder if you are practicing/teaching or maybe walking along the beach !
      The sage garden sounds delightful, I saw a beautiful Texan Hummingbird Sage the othe rday on a fellow bloggers site – a vivid scarlet, so illuminating.
      It’s such a shame I can’t send seeds to Aus, such a no-no !!!
      And thank you for your kind words and encouragement, so generous 🙂

  • Sorry about your tomatoes, they look just stunning in the photos – and, to be cliché, a picture can be worth a thousand words! Everyone seems to be having gardening woes at the moment – I blame this horrendous wet weather.

    • Hi Simon, it seems to have dried off here, for the moment, in fact we could do with some rain, as I’m very lazy when it comes to watering. I think with us it’s the humidity that’s also a complete no-no. Anyhoo, focus on the positives, we had the warmest days of the year at the weekend 🙂

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