We've got a lot of rabbits in the fields around us. The numbers have been building up in the last few years. Last year, they ate all my french and runner bean plants; I had none left although I sowed twice and put plastic netting around. Al thought we might as well not bother this year, but I'm a stubborn and persistent type and it's an odd thing, that although Al gets in locally grown runner beans from the wholesaler, as well as ones that local people bring in from their gardens for him to sell, french beans seem to come from Kenya or a similar far-flung place all year round.
By next year of course, all will be well, because the wall and greenhouses will surround three sides of the kitchen garden, and we'll put wire along the fourth side.
I told you in the post I put a link to yesterday, that I've 6 beds, 38 feet x 4 feet with concrete paths in between. In the last couple of years we've constructed several more beds, shorter and wider, in the new space I described. So yesterday the Sage went and bought a roll of wire netting and we've wired off two beds together, so there's a path in between. Another two will be done separately.
I'm growing a very limited range of vegetables this year; broad, runner and two varieties of french beans, swiss chard, spinach and courgettes and, in the greenhouse, tomatoes - 8 different varieties, bell and chilli peppers and two sorts of aubergines, purple and white, and cucumbers. Some of the tomato and aubergine plants can go outside too. The rest of the space will be used for squash plants. Loads of squashes. I just put them in the ground and leave them until autumn, and then I pick them up, we eat some and Al sells the rest. I've also got globe and jerusalem artichokes and asparagus. Oh, and I've just remembered I've got some cavolo nero plants which I grew from seeds I bought in France. I must plant those out. Suitably protected against pigeons of course. I'm also going to grow some white sprouting broccoli because you can hardly ever buy that and, much as I like purple sprouting, the white is lovely.
When I have more time, another year (not necessarily next year you understand) I'll go back to growing a wider range of veg, but for now I go for easily grown, trouble- and pest-free things, where Al will take the surplus off my hands. If I aimed for more, I'd fail, and doing your best and it not being quite good enough is one thing but being a bit inadequate is another.
Still, for now, at least the rabbits are thwarted. Dear little things. It's lovely, coming down the drive on my bike, when bunnies, bantams, pheasants and pigeons scatter before me. They don't need to, but few are brave enough to stand aside and not scamper.