My mum got a new gardener. He rocks up once every couple of months, does some weeding (poorly) and plants some stuff.
Anyway, he said mum’s soil needed some help, so he spread around a whole heap of compost and mulch a couple of months ago. For those of you who don’t know about compost, you need to make sure that everything’s broken down properly, or else it will be full of seeds. Apparently, he’s crap at composting (or whoever he gets his compost from is crap at it) — mum’s native garden is now nothing short of a brilliant veggie patch:
See, the problem is that my mum has spent the last 20 years working on the soil in this patch. She has always had a proper garden bed there, with mulch and groundcovers; and that spot was also where we always used to put the veggie scraps, so it’s had plenty of nutrients going into it. The soil there is really, really good; and now the gardener’s just gone and dumped some more good soil, and apparently a whole bunch of seeds, into the space. What does that have to do with gardening being unfair?
Because it all comes down to the quality of the soil. And my place pretty much has sand. Before MM and I moved in, the place had spent 20 years being rented out by a series of non-gardeners. No one worked on the soil, or composted, or did anything to it other than treat it so badly that it ended up a baked, acidic, sandy mess. I have spent the last two years slowly pulling up sheets of black plastic to reveal the dreadful, dreadful soil underneath, and digging manure and compost into it. It has been backbreaking, heartbreaking work and still, half the time I plant stuff, it either doesn’t germinate, or it dies.
I pour my heart and soul into my veggie patch, and very rarely get any sort of results. My mum hires someone who accidentally plants a bunch of seeds in her garden, and next thing she knows, instant veggie patch.
Gardens are unfair.