Saturday, 26 March 2011

Things Can Only Get Better

Whilst the allotment is looking ever more fabulous by the hour, the same cannot be said for the back garden here at the Manor. (Nor the front garden come to that, but at least the front garden is green and requires probably only an afternoon of tidy'n' weed to get it shipshape for Spring.)

Three hours at the allotment this morning and the fruit cage is pristine, the polytunnel is pristine and the bits that aren't quite pristine are almost there. Seeds are popping up in the polytunnel, and the outside beds have been covered with polythene and cloches to give the ground a bit of a warming boost.

Three hours in the back garden this afternoon and we have a cross between a quagmire and a gravel pit. It could do with covering with a polythene sheet, if only to hide the mess.

The Much Malarkey Manor Grand Garden Re-Design is under way. And now we've started, we have to keep going forward because there is nowhere to go back. Not if we want to stop the garden looking forever like a meteor has hit it, anyway.

The plan, formulated last night, was to allotmenteer this morning, then build the living willow structure this afternoon. However, we were scuppered by some unexpected rain. So we watched the instructional DVD that came with the structure to try and get a grip on what we had to do, then we went to a garden centre to buy some odds and bits, then came home and finally the rain stopped and Andy decided to go outside and prepare the area for the willow arch.

And I decided to start planning my herb bed.

The chickens helped. I dug one way - the right way - and they ate worms and dug everything back the other (wrong) way in case they had missed any.

'You are undefining my edges,' I said.
'Your edges?' said Mrs Slocombe.
'My edges,' I said. 'My sharp edges that define where the box hedge for my herb garden is going to be. You have mussed them up.'
'But there are worms,' said Mrs Slocombe.
'I don't care,' I said. 'If you are going to dig with me, then I want you to dig inwards, not outwards. Do you think you can manage that?'
'No,' said Mrs Slocombe, and went to inspect the hops which are just starting to throw little teeny, juicy purple shoots up the fence and which I had the foresight to cover up with a mesh basket so greedy little chicken beaks couldn't get to them.

Mrs Pumphrey was no better. In fact, she was worse because she is a more proficient digger than Slocombe and can cover a large area of ground in a short space of time.
'So your plan is to make a stepping stone path from the back door to the willow arch, edge it with box, build a substantial herb garden, again edged with box, and put nut trees next to the honeysuckle?' said Mrs P.
'Yes,' said I.
'HA!' said Mrs Pumphrey.

Well, that is our plan, chickens prevailing.

Finally, I should like to say big 'CONGRATULATIONS!!!' to our friends Sian and Richard on the safe arrival last night of a healthy baby boy, a little brother for Taryn. The news came via text this morning, with the additional information that the baby's name was Tofollow.

Interesting selection, I thought. Must be a Welsh thing.

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