Our ground is heavy clay, which is hard going, especially if you’re digging up the old raspberry bed, which hasn’t been dug over this century. All the raspberries we ate off the plot were from the EU. The new ones nearby may well not be. Dismal though that is to contemplate, the broad beans in this picture, which we’re eating already, are still in the EU. The potatoes and onions behind them are still in the EU but most likely will be eaten outside it.
In the picture here we have been translated six days into the future, where you can see horticulture is already very different. My botanical partners are Pameli Benham, Deborah Harvey, and David Johnson. Together we make up the IsamBards and are conducting walks round University of Bristol Botanic Garden, with specially written poems, at 11.00 and 2.00 this coming Sunday. If you’re in the area come along. And ten days in the future at 7.00 at The Folk House will be the launch of The Ladies and Gentlemen of the Dead. At which I’ll be helped along by the excellent combination of Melanie Branton, Ben Banyard, and Deborah Harvey.
But today was digging up raspberries. Among the old roots, dandelion, bindweed tormentil, slugs and worms, were bits of clay pipe, oyster shell, and old glass. And as once in a while there is, there was a smooth white stone.
The first row begins like all the others.
Spade by spade, day by day, the first row’s dug.
The next bed begins in just the same way
with the first spade in the first row again.
Our third bed, half dug now, will be broad beans.
Turned earth and hard ground alike are marked out.
Subsequent beds haven’t been plotted yet
though there’s a rough plan for the next season.
Sometimes you dig things up: a smooth white stone
a button, row by row and year by year.