Growing a garden and saying goodbye

It’s been a rotten week. It started with a routine hospital appointment in Glasgow last Monday, and an early ferry back on Wednesday, which always leaves me feeling jet lagged.

On Friday I woke to find one of my dogs had died in the night. He was a wee cracker and I will miss him terribly. I have cried more tears over him than I thought possible. He was getting old though, and in a way I am glad that he went quickly. I didn’t have to watch him decline anymore or make a decision about him.

He was called Zac. It was short for Prozac. He was my “mental health” dog, and helped more than me in his 13 years. I had him for 8 years, a wee rescue dog with an enormous heart. He loved people unconditionally, and was particularly fond of my Dad. He was a dog in a million. I buried him in his beloved sleeping bag, I couldn’t have faced seeing it everyday.

And yet, as I buried one of the best furry friends I will ever have, I was acutely aware that life carries on; there was a polytunnel to organise and plants to grow, veg to sell.

In the course of the weekend Jane and I launched into getting things up and running.

Whilst I had been away, Jane had dug the south side and planted loads of salad. I built the staging, and we moved things over the fence from her Keder House. We haven’t quite got round to building a stile between the properties yet, and I am currently causing hilarity as I struggle over the barbed wire fence. I have been caught fast more than once over the weekend. Short legs are a pain. Laziness is an even greater burden – there is a perfectly good walking route, it’s just longer…

This weekend, there was also enough produce to sell some. We don’t have a huge amount yet, as only small quantities were sown really early, but more will come. In the meantime, what we do have is selling well!

Back in the tunnel, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peas have been planted using ingenious string supports – thanks, Pinterest. The tomatoes and cucumbers also have plastic bottles planted next to them to act as reservoirs for extra water. It means you can get water directly down to the roots.

All the potatoes are now planted, and the first earlies are up. Potatoes won’t be for sale. Loads of people grow tatties in larger quantities than we ever could, but I want some over the winter, so in they went! Also, nothing beats the taste of new potatoes. In the course of digging over the ground for the potatoes, and the onions, which are all planted too, Jane and I got the fright of our lives as we dislodged some mice resident under the black mulch cover. They hung around for a bit. Kinda cute once we had got over the shock.

Finally, the first lot of cabbage plants were big enough to be planted out today, so between shifts they went into the ground, and this evening they were covered using scrap wood and last year’s mesh. There are still another batch to do.

Because we hadn’t done enough, we also weeded the broad beans, peas and mangetout and planted out the last peas.

My other dog Mya is at my heels all the time at the moment, she is confused without Zac. You can just see her in the photos about, exploring the garden. I am glad to have her company, though.

So there we go, it’s all growing. If we are lucky, we’ll get a bit of a temperature rise soon and things will really take off. Sadly, so will the weeds…

Hopefully the coming week will be just as productive, but I sincerely hope for less of an emotional roller-coaster.


Rest in peace, boy. You gave me more than I ever gave you.

2 thoughts on “Growing a garden and saying goodbye

  • 5th May 2015 at 7:33 am

    Och, Rhoda,poor wee Mya – she will be missing her best pal. There is nothing like the love of a wee dog, it is unconditional, never-ending, and, so loyal.
    Thank you for writing about your hurting and I wish Jane and yourself much happiness in your new adventure together. It will be a good read, hearing about your experiences in Fresh of the Croft.

  • 5th May 2015 at 8:32 am

    Lovely piece of writing Rhoda. Its anazing how words can have such a cathartic effect. A lovely tribute to Zac and his positive effect on your life and your future . Just be glad that he went peacefully and without the awful struggle and decisions so many pet owners have to make. He died knowing you loved him and in his own bed. Sith is fois Zac. Xxxx


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