We’ve been getting some wonderfully colourful harvests from the plot recently.

Colourful Harvest 1

We’ve even started picking some of the mini squash – ‘Jack Be Little’ and ‘ ‘Little Gem Rolet’.

Colourful Harvest 2

Our plot is productive and pretty weed free – its even pretty, with sweet peas and sunflowers being enjoyed by everyone, not just us. And yes, I’ve had plenty to do with that, in the planning, the sowing of seed, the planting out. Earlier on in the year, in lots, and lots, of digging. But the (virtually) unsung hero of all my gardening exploits this year is TNG – The Non Gardener. I call him that for a good reason, he has little interest in gardening. He is not thrilled at the sight of new seedlings – particularly not if they are weed seedlings. He doesn’t dream about flowers – although he is a big fan of the Rudbekias we are growing this year. There again, who wouldn’t be!

Glorious Dwarves

Here’s my dirty little secret – I couldn’t do any of it without him. He is up at the plot most fine days weeding, even though he is ill with CFS too and it hurts to weed. He’s not doing it because he has anything vested in the plot looking good, or because he is worried we will get a polite “nudge” from the committee asking us to clean up our act. He does it for me, because he knows I can’t. Without him, the plot would probably look a lot like the one behind us, which looks like this:

Wilderness Plot

Its not just up at the allotment. He waters the tomatoes every morning, and feeds them regularly, so that I can stay in bed and not worry about it, because that’s what I need to do most days at the moment. Yes I chose them, and sowed them, and pricked them out and potted them on. But he is the reason we have ripening ‘Marmande’, which are delicious sliced on toast with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a little salt.


He is why ‘Gardener’s Delight’ is delighting us in the greenhouse.

Gardeners Delight

Thanks to his care, we also have flourishing ‘Gold Nuggett’ and ‘Olivade’.

Gold Nuggett

It doesn’t stop there. My lousy health and need to keep plugging away at a little work mean that our small garden is littered with detritus that I haven’t had the energy to clear up.

Gardening Detritus 2

We’ve got visitors coming this week, including our two small nephews. Piles of plant pots that need emptying are taking up valuable room, not to mention creating all manner of disasters waiting to happen once two small boys are cannoning around out there.

Shredding Pile

And TNG will rescue me and cheerfully clear up my mess, do the shredding, move pots in front of the pond so that I don’t have to haul my youngest nephew out of it again. For me, because he loves me. So this is an unashamed plug for my personal hero, who makes it possible for me to still garden despite my lousy health by doing all the unglamorous bits that make it all work.

59 thoughts on “In praise of TNG

  1. What a lovely post Janet and all credit to TNG! We all need a good prop at times in our life – glad that you have such a one!

  2. Janet, I’ve got one of these too, only he’s called P. He is interested in gardening and helps with most things and is pruner-in-chief. I’ve got a sore back at the moment and he dug several rows of potatoes yesterday when I found it too much. What a gem…

    1. Invaluable, aren’t they! My pruner-in-chief is FIL, glad we are going to carry on living together. He loves all the fiddly pruning jobs I get impatient with.

  3. You really grow a lot of veggies that all look so good and tasty. You are lucky to have a TNG to help out. My TNG does nothing but eat the produce, any wonder why I grow so little? TNG also did not install the paving either. You would think he would have had a little compassion while I was out there with the wet saw. Anyway, your garden is doing great. At least at the farm, the veggies do not have to be tended by me. The workers take care of that, but it is nice to walk out the kitchen door and get some for dinner.

    1. Oh dear, though I’m sure your TNG makes up for the lack of paving and weeding help in other ways. I’m chuffed at the variety of different things that seem to be thriving up at the allotment, we will be eating some squash for dinner tonight, can’t wait to see what it tastes like.

  4. The harvest of your combined efforts is something to be proud of.
    You don’t get love like that unless you deserve it.
    Take care.

    1. Thanks Mark, that is exactly what it is – you seem to have the same. Makes life a lot more enjoyable, and possible.

  5. What a nice tribute to your TNG. Working together is key to success and your allotment looks to be very successful. I love the variety of veggies you have –what a great harvest!

    1. We never used to be able to work together, I was always too bossy! Thankfully I have mellowed and learnt to accept help, and now really love problem solving together.

  6. What a thoughtful, appreciative post. It’s the little things done on a daily basis that show true love for another. I’m glad he’s there to help you. :)

  7. Hi Janet,

    Those colours are all so amazing! I’m loving watching the Tomatoes ripen here, they seem to change by the hour!

    How lovely of TNG to help you out; that’s true love. I hope you’re feeling better soon :)

    1. Thanks Liz. I know what you mean about the tomatoes, although I must admit that some of ours have been rather tasteless. I suspect too much water, so we’re going to experiment.

  8. Darn, I was hoping that you were feeling better. TNG sounds like a special partner, and what a sweet tribute. I hope you both feel better soon. Your photos of the veggies all lined up are so pretty!

    1. Hi! I was – and then I wasn’t. Nature of the beast, sadly. And yes, TNG is very special. He did all that shredding this morning!

  9. That did NOT produce any sort of moisture in the corners of my eyes. Nope, none at all. Because I’m a guy, and we don’t well up when reading stuff like this. (And if we do, we will never admit to it.)

    That was a beautiful post, and quite inspiring. This is what a relationship is (also) about.

    1. Glad to hear it, would hate to be responsible for eye water production ;-) Thank you, what a lovely comment.

  10. That’s a great tribute, I’m so sorry you’re still not feeling great but happy that your TNG is so wonderful, mine also helps me a great deal and I feel I don’t give him enough credit. I should. Christina

    1. Hi Christina, I’ll improve again, in time, its how it goes – and in the mean time I have TNG. Glad yours helps you lots too. True partnership makes the world a better place.

  11. I am sorry that you are suffering, and glad you have a helper. The first two shots look like a still life. Do you paint? Don’t worry about cleaning up too much and put those two nephews to work when they get there.

    1. Hi Les, the only things I paint are wood and walls, and even that not very well, so your question made me smile! I’ve never managed to make paint do what I want, but thank you for thinking it was a possibility! Maybe I should play around with the camera more and try the photographic version. You’ve got me thinking…

  12. Lovely post. Life would be so much harder without our hard-working brunt-bearing supporting cast… nice to stop and appreciate everything that they do.

    1. Couldn’t agree more, and certainly high time mine got some public recognition, though heaven alone knows what he’ll think when he gets around to reading this…

  13. The support of people we love is such a gift, and if they can help in the garden, what an over-sized blessing indeed! Beautiful post, and all my best wishes for improving health very soon :)

  14. What a lovely post – and what a great guy. Does he have a clone at all, hanging around somewhere going spare? If so, please send him along to Wales…

    (And I’m very envious of your harvest as well, by the way!)

    1. No clones that I’m aware of Kate, sorry! Though mine is very fond of Wales, so you never know… No, wait, what am I saying!

  15. Brilliant post – give the TNG a hug from us!
    Tomatoes and other veg looking ace

    :) hope you enjoy the visit.x

    1. Hi Fay, will do – nephews and parents arrive tomorrow, looking forward to a little mayhem and magic.

  16. I quite agree about the Rudbeckia – absolutely gorgeous colours! I’ve enjoyed reading about all TNG does – often it’s these little things that go unnoticed or get taken for granted; obviously you appreciate that you have someone very special at your side.

    1. Hi Caro, glad you like the Rudbekia, its been my best surprise this year, plant-wise. TNG is currently feeling a little bashful but pleased, so my job is done!

  17. My TNG is also invaluable to me…don’t know what I would do without him. He does all the things I cannot do, and helps me with those more difficult tasks. I like your humorous take on this and enjoyed it very much. And I really like the photo of the pots on the chairs…it reminds me of a poster I once saw somewhere.

    1. Having willing and loving help is hard to beat, isn’t it. Delighted you enjoyed the post. I think I need that poster!!

  18. What a wonderful post. You’re very fortunate to have someone who cares so much about you and it’s lovely that you don’t take that for granted. We all need someone to prop us up every once in a while.

    1. I am indeed, extremely fortunate – and he makes me laugh too. Rather an excellent combination!

  19. that sounds a labour of love indeed. I think it was Monty Don who said that most good gardens are created in partnership (and he got a lot of stick for it).
    Sorry not to have been visiting much – I can’t keep up with the blogging world at the moment.

    1. HI Linda, please don’t feel the need to apologise when you don’t get round the blogosphere, particularly not to me, I am often very behind! And thank you for stopping by anyway and commenting. I think Monty is probably right, even if the partnership is just that tolerant support from indoors that lets you spend money and time on things the other person just doesn’t see the point in, because it makes you happy.

  20. Behind every woman lies a good man – TNG sounds an absolute treasure Janet. You have produced a beautiful and colourful harvest and garden between you. Hope that you are soon feeling stronger. Take care and enjoy your weekend with your nephews.
    P.S. Which rudbeckia is that? It’s a beauty.

    1. Hi Anna, “Behind every good woman” was nearly my post title! Nephews will be a blast of fresh air, laced with laughter. The rudbekia is ‘Rustic Dwarf Mix’. Apparently best grown as an annual, which is a shame, but worth it nonetheless.

  21. Great photos and a beautiful arrangement of colorful vegetables. I think they’d make a spectacular centerpiece. They’re far too pretty to eat. ;)

    TNG sounds wonderful!

    1. Thanks Holly – they taste too good not to eat, but it doesn’t hurt that they are pretty too! Thanks for dropping by.

  22. *Sigh* – I need NAH to accidentally-on-purpose see this post ;)

    I’m sure TNG’s continued love and support will ensure you’ll be in better health much more quickly too. So that’s win-win not only on the foodstuff and flowers front, but also for both of you :)

    1. Happy to help VP! And yes, you are right, it is win-win all round. And today TNG had his nephews “helping” with the tomato harvest. Well, what’s couple of broken tomato stems next to uncle-nephew bonding?!

  23. It’s the best health tonic knowing someone is doing something they’re not keen on simply because they love you and know it will cheer you up and make it possible for you to do a little. 3 cheers for all our TNGs. Mine have been my mum and dad this year who also weeded my plot for me on more than a few occasions and without whom I’d have very little growing this year.

  24. Dear Janet – I was intrigued as to what a TNG was, assuming at first that you’d discovered a miracle gardening device and as it happens you have. This is what teamwork is – not necessarily 50/50 but the joint effort to make something happen. And what a lot of produce for your labours – the planner has introduced some intriguing varieties. Your post was a parable of loving relationships- a salutory tale with a happy ending.
    p.s. my visitors know they have to share in labours too and harnessing the energy of children in tasks works wonders!

    1. Hi Laura, he is indeed a miracle gardening device! Glad to hear you put your visitors to work, whatever their age. My nephews “helped” harvest the tomatoes yesterday. The youngest loved it so much he kept dashing out into the garden to snatch and munch another tomato, not really caring if it was ripe or not. We’ll skip lightly over the large sections of stem that were casualties of their learning process…

    1. Thanks Damo, really must do a post on the tomatoes, some of them are getting quite prolific now, filled a trug with leaves and sideshoots but can at least now get in to the greenhouse without ducking…

  25. Well done to TNG, for a non gardener he’s doing exceptionally well! And well done to you too :)

    Those gorgeous vegetables are enough testament to your gardening efforts and skills. And don’t worry about tidying too much, your energy will pick up eventually and when it does it will be easy peasy to get stuck in again. Take it easy :)

    1. We have been reaping the results of his tomato care all BH weekend, feeding tomato hungry nephews as well as 8 adults. I have a secret plan to get him doing the side shoot removal too, but shhh, don’t tell him… As for me, apart from a little dahlia dead heading I plan on being very lazy for a few days, I have an excellent book on the go.

  26. Janet, no wonder your post got such a fantastic response. You women have the ability to make us take pleasure in what we generally would have no time for. Mind you I think TNG may also be a secret garden lover. fantastic results in your plot.

    1. Hi Alistair, it does seem to have struck a chord with people. As for TNG, he does enjoy being outdoors, so I have hopes of awakening his inner gardener more given time…

  27. Hey this is really amazing that we can plant our trees for selves and have a healthy food also. I Think this can be a very cool practice by every woman or either a cooking person or a gardener. I like the post and also the pictures.

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