Good things take sooo long

Standing in a tidy corner of the garden is one of those shiny black towers that produces lovely dark compost to spread about and help the plants grow.

It arrived about a month ago and was quickly filled to almost its 80-litre capacity in a matter of minutes. Carefully following the instructions, brown and green waste were layered to provide the ideal conditions for producing the perfect compost. New material is added in the form of kitchen scraps and wilted flowers.

I haven't lifted the hatches at the bottom to check what's happening, but it does seem a long way from producing the goods. Like that cheese ad - good things take time.

Who has time to wait for these things, though? Not me.

We have expanses of dry, bare earth crying out for good compost to help the growth when we get planting, and the 80-litre bin is going to come up short. The good feeling of returning the goodness to the soil is not altogether winning the emotional race.

The investment in a bin seemed a better long-term outlay than buying in a truckload of the stuff. It hurts paying to deposit garden waste to the recycling centre, where they turn it into beautifully rich, dark mulch, but then you have to pay to make a withdrawal, which goes against the Scots genes.

It is inevitable that a sizeable load of that greenwaste mulch will end up in a pile on the drive to be shovelled around the estate, but it does make me feel a bit more "environmental" to be creating some of the stuff at the same time.

It's like an experiment at school, watching everything happen. It's just taking so long.

The Marlborough Express