Friday 31 December 2010

The Bad, the Ugly and the Good

2010 - a retrospective view

"Life (aka gardening) is not all a bed of roses", as they say... As all experienced gardeners know, gardening is a pastime that involves an element of luck as well as skill. Weather, animals, pest, diseases and WORK all conspire to foil our attempts to produce the perfect flowers / veg.

I've been blogging and photographing for not much over 4 months, but even in that short space of time I have taken a huge number of photos recording what's been happening in my garden. I would be the first to admit that not all my gardening ventures end in success. Amongst the gardening triumphs there are always a few disasters (or at least, disappointments). Here's a selection of photos representing the whole spectrum of Bad, Ugly and Good...


These are some of the "Scrumptious" apples, afflicted with the Bitter Pit disease. Even without that, the variation in colour is surprising, and indicates something seriously amiss.

Some of the tomatoes suffered from Blossom End Rot (here on "Ferline").

The "Tundra" cabbages were attacked by caterpillars. This seedling was stripped nearly bare.

The "fly-resistant" Carrots didn't all resist the fly...

 Some of the lettuces bolted.

 Some of the Tomatillo plants got blown over in a gale.

My indoor tomato "Wilma" developed the blight.

The fleece covers on my raised beds were destroyed by foxes (several times)

Some of the Endives were killed by the frost and went slimy.

So there was definitely plenty of the Bad. Some things turned out OK though, but just not very pretty.


These "Black Cherry" tomatoes, split open by a surfeit of rain were OK to eat immediately after harvesting, but looked very odd indeed.

Some of the cucumbers grew in a funny shape.

This carrot decided to have three "legs".

This Celeriac would never win any beauty contests.

But despite all the above, gardening has given me a huge amount of pleasure and sense of achievement this year (not to mention loads of edible produce), so I end by taking a look at the good bits...


Amongst the best things that my garden produced this year were:

Some great, and hugely picturesque, Borlotto beans

Masses of vibrant-coloured chillis

Some spectacularly-textured Cavolo Nero

A bumper harvest of many types of tomato

Even some quite nice looking flowers (not my forte, I have to admit; I normally concentrate on the edible plants)

But best of all it produced a new gardening enthusiast.

My granddaughter Lara takes a close interest in Grandpa's garden

As I sit poring over my seed catalogues, deciding what to buy, I look forward eagerly to what 2011 may bring.

I wish all of you a Happy New Year, and I hope that the hobby of gardening will bring you not only success, but also happiness and relaxation.


  1. It seems, sometimes, that the bad and ugly outweigh the good, doesn't it! However, we gardeners just keep pressing on, don't we? My few green tomatoes that dropped off when it froze cost me about $8.00, I figured in money and about 3 hours of time and for my trouble, I got about 5 little green tomatoes that haven't ripened yet!

  2. Gardeners have to be made of stern stuff to withstand disappointments! It's quite scary to see the collection of things that have gone wrong. But your successes are impressive. Here's to a happy growing New Year.

  3. The good always outweigh the bad and the ugly, though the ugly can still be good. Lara brought a smile to my face, another budding gardener in the making there. Happy New Year, Mark. May 2011 bring health, peace and happiness to you and your's.

  4. Happy New Gardening Year to you and your family!

  5. The most beautiful flower in your garden is that chubby striped one in the last picture! Happy New Year to you Mark and all your family. Thank you for visiting my blog and showing such interest. May our blog friendship blossom and grow through 2011.

  6. Happy New Year in the garden! Great post pictures, even the ugly looks beautiful! Thanks for visiting my blog and making thoughtful comments in 2010.

  7. Happy New Year to you and to your growing family!
    The garden can never be perfect, because there would be nothing to improve next year. There is so much to learn from "Bads" and "Uglys" of the garden.

  8. Your garden sure went trough a lot in this past year. But it looks great, and you had amazing results, your granddaughter looks very cute.
    Happy new year!

  9. You've had some great success if that bowl of tomatoes is anything to go by. You can't have good without bad and ugly and I suppose we wouldn't appreciate the good as much as we do if we couldn't compare. Best of luck for 2011.

  10. Shortly after I started reading your blog our veg patch was looking great and I planned to devote a whole post about it. Then the lettuce and rocket bolted, the strawberries shriveled up and died and the carrots were woody. Lets hope 2011 will be a better gardening year for all.

  11. Gradening is nothing if not a challenge which is probably why we don't get bored of it.

  12. OMG, Garden Girl, you make me feel guilty! Was it reading my blog that put a jinx on your garden? I hope not.

  13. Thanks for your comments, my friends. You're right - without the bad and the ugly, we wouldn't appreciate the good. The very fact that growing veg as nice as that which you see in the catalogues is NOT a foregone conclusion is what makes our hobby so absorbing. We all love a chellenge, don't we?

  14. Happy New Year Mark, glad the odd disaster has not put you off, look forward to following your progress through 2011!

  15. The picture with your grandaughter in it is the best! Wouldn't you love to know what she's thinking in that pic? What a cutie! Thanks for sharing!

  16. Hi Mark

    Nice to meet you. I found your blog via 'folia', and I'm glad I did. Your photos are amazing, and I am going to really enjoy flicking through your posts now.

    It's always wonderful to find a new blog on a Sunday when there's plenty of time to browse it!


  17. Hi "Reapwhatyougrow"! Nice to meet you too... Looks like we live fairly close to each other, so we will be able to compare notes on weather etc (like true Brits).

  18. Lara is so cute. I precious the time gardening with my daughter too. I've just read your plot (i visited your blog before but i didn't write any comment), your yard is so neat with so many edibles. I am impressed!

  19. Lovely garden! Your calendula flowers ARE edible. Try the petals in a salad :o)


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