Mother-in-law, Riitta, arrived today for a couple of weeks of hard labour – or, holiday, as she calls it. CT has also taken two weeks off work, so, weather depending, we can get the garden into reasonable order. It did not take long before the asparagus bed was weeded. This was long overdue and needs to be done with great care, so as not to harm the shallow roots of the asparagus crowns. Fingers, gloved for the particularly nasty specimens if need be, are the best tools. Trowels really are not a good idea.
As can be seen from the picture, the asparagus bed is only half planted. Ten crowns each of two somewhat unusual varieties were planted earlier this year: a wild asparagus, which can be identified from the thin and short ferns; and Violetto d’Albenga, a fairly rare purple variety from the Liguria region of northern Italy, although the ferns are green. The other half of the bed was due to be planted with twenty crowns of Connover’s Colossal, but these failed to arrive and will probably remain empty until next spring.