I'm incredibly shallow when it comes to garden produce. As excited as I am about the crop itself, my real concern is how my veg garden actually looks.
Last year I spent ages creating raised beds and surrounding them with clipped box hedging. This year I'm becoming obsessed with plant labels.
I've seen some beautiful carved wooden labels and even slate and metal name tags, but almost all of these would require me to take out a second mortgage. Then I went to Wilkinsons.
For those not au fait with this store, its the kind of place where you can buy 200 clothes pegs for 50p or 10 sticks of glue for under a pound. Obviously we're not talking heirloom quality goods here, but if you ever get stuck in the hell of putting together 25 party bags for less than a tenner, this is the place for you.
But I digress... What Wilkos does offer is 10" wooden spoons for the princely sum of 23p each. These are the perfect size for tactile, legible and aesthetically-pleasing plant labels. All I needed for writing was a soldering iron and thankfully my neighbour is a man who very possibly owns every tool every invented and is delighted to share his collection.
I'm pretty pleased with how the finished labels look and they're very easy for Ava to read, but I'm aware that her younger brother isn't able to decipher words yet. As I also needed to create some labels for the veg-bed at his pre-school, I've been thinking of another labelling system.
This afternoon inspiration struck. The children were playing with their huge collection of plastic food, amassed over the past few years. What could be better. They're weather resistant, easy to recognise and lying around all over my house. I simply put a slit in the bottom and pushed the appropriate vegetables on a kebab skewer. Only problem is, I've searched the house high and low but I can't find the plastic lettuce leaf anywhere. Having said that, if we want to grow grapes, bananas or chicken legs, I'm very well set up...