While I have a scientific background from too many years ago that I care to count, I would like to reassure you that I haven’t been dabbling in genetic modification in my garden shed. I have been doing some good old fashioned digging.
The digging in itself, while back breaking and a bit laborious, has been a welcome escape to my week. It is the school holidays. In this situation any time alone in the garden digging is a pleasurable escape. It is almost as desirable as time weeding in the school holidays. Any other time these two chores are just that – chores. A dreaded must do.
These holidays have been good… hmm good. The first week there was a storm. A big storm. Really strong winds, loads of rain and all the usual stormy conditions. Suddenly xbox parenting isn’t such a bad thing. Meanwhile in the breaks in the rain I was wrestling sheets of cardboard in 50km winds to line the bottom of my latest raised bed. The show must go on – the garden needs to be ready for spring. I nearly got blown away!
During these holidays we welcomed a visit from two lovely city kids for a week to spend time with their country cousins. However after the fall from the hay bales and trip to A&E for x-rays, once again xbox parenting seemed somehow safer. The storm disappeared leaving blue sky days laced with an icy start. It made it much easier to work the garden. Despite all the rain, the driving wind dried the soil out just as quickly as it had become sodden.
A thought casually mentioned in the last blog post became cemented in reality and I set about moving the raspberries. I built two new beds, because I have two different types – autumn fruiting and spring and autumn fruiting so I will be able to treat them individually – once I figure out for once and for all what they actually need. Then I set about removing the choicest canes from the weedy mess that was supposed to be the cherished home of such delicious wee fruit. Once I had taken what could fit into the new bed – although I may have over done it there – I salvaged the remaining healthy looking canes and bundled them in eight groups of ten, which I shall give away like some kind of benevolent raspberry fairy.
My gardening was interrupted by yet another trip to A&E and still nothing is broken. Surely this makes for great parenting to have nothing broken after two trips to A&E! To lift moral for my poor wee patient we decided to build a fairy garden, with butterflies, a pink Hypoestes polka dot plant, moss, brightly coloured pebbles and a lot of creativity. You can imagine her delight the following morning when there was evidence of a visitation from not one but two fairies to the garden – judging by the fact there was blue AND silver glitter!
With the cousins safely returned to their own home and an emergency trip to the doctor with the Joeyosaurus – he’s ok now, and the premature demise of my laptop, I really needed some serious garden time so I sorted out my poor neglected blueberry bushes. I am surprized they haven’t been choked to death by the weeds engulfing them. Initially my berry shrubs were planted straight in the ground. I quickly saw the error of my ways as they soon became little islands surrounded by a swampy sea of winter floody water. So I built them their own little raised beds, but they were a pain to mow around and the weeds soon crept in. So berry by berry I have replaced their beds with a more communal set up. Red currants with red currants, black currants with black currants and more recently gooseberries with gooseberries. Finally it was the turn of the blueberries and I must say they look mighty fine in their new home and it shall be easier to give them the love they deserve. I all have to do now is mulch them with the remains of last year’s Christmas tree!
Although there was one further casualty in my week. Instead of parking the car in its normal spot and lugging the compost to the garden, I drove the car to the garden and unloaded the compost beside it and reparked the car. On returning the garden I realised I had run over my 3 pronged cultivator and broken it. Luckily at the time it was facing down or I would have some explaining to do…. Sorry Hubby the Un-Gardener, in a week of carnage I have saved the best for last – I think I broke the car!
Come again soon – I think I only have 8 beds to go to clear the lot, which seems quite doable!
Sarah the Gardener : o )