Adolescence can be a painful time. While everyone else's voices go down an octive practically overnight, the late developers are still singing boy soprano. Well, that's what it's been like for my broccoli.
I was visiting a friend's house the other day when reality hit. There it was in her garden - an early flowering broccoli plant - sitting there mocking me. "Oh, that" my friend said casually, "it's been like that for weeks". It's not fair. For 4 months I had been patiently watching and watering my plants with no results.
I am sure that for the parent of any slow-developing teenager, there is the temptation to imagine the worst. I began to despair that they would ever reach maturity. I wondered whether I had deprived them of sun, or whether my natural worm wee fertiliser was not enough. What had we done to deserve this?
Then, one day when I had almost given up all hope, my broccoli plants began to flower - all of their own accord. Of course, they still have a bit more growing to do, but I'm pleased to say that my gardening confidence has had it's own little growth spurt too. After all, there's nothing wrong with being a late bloomer, is there?