September 18, 2008

Denys McCracken: Daft Laddie Days – Settin' the garden

By Denys McCracken

Settin' the garden

The boss grabbed me by the lugs one morning and led me into his garden. I was informed it was "time te set the garden". And the first part of this annual spring ritual was "te set the tetties". So a line was put out and a spade width dug down the side of it. The garden line was then moved the width of the stick it was wound on and another spade's width dug up to it making a trench beside it. This was the process of "trenchin".

Then a layer of good rotted muck was place in the trench and one handful per yard (and nee mare) of "tornip manure" was applied. The seed tetties were placed in this trench exactly ten inches apart. Then the line was moved and the whole process repeated across the garden.

Aa was ganin weel and was half way across the patch and came up against the previous year's Brussel sproots. They looked old and finished to me so I pulled them out and hoyed them ower the wall into the close for the tups. Well, the old man nearly had a fit when he found out, as evidently there were two or three sprouts left! The sproots wor histry man – and I came close to joining them!

A month later I was muckin' oot the hemmels when doon the yard came the owld boss, never saying a word and grabbed me lug and hingin on led me up the yard in front of all the other men and into the garden where the tetties were all bursting through in nice neat rows.

He pointed at one which was out of line by a couple of inches and he demanded to know why. I said perhaps the shoot was crooked which seemed a reasonable explanation. Well, I honestly thought he was going to die of apoplexy on the spot. He thundered eventually - "Git oot of me sight"!

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