Do you think if I do a dance, it will keep the weather on an up-and-up? Yesterday was 16°C at mine, but it still felt a little cold in the evening. I say this and there was a small degree of stripping in the forest. There might have been more if there weren’t so many goddamn people about.
Day 1 of no-hunt season and a public holiday to boot, and the world, his wife and their small dog were out. I will say one thing for hunters: they don’t care about dogs off lead and are generally much more sensible around other people’s animals.
Yesterday, a man shook a stick at Heston and then stood there glowering whilst we put all the dogs back on leads. If he’d done the sensible thing and just walked on, there would have been no issue. Walkers (and their handbag dogs) are much less accepting than the usual people I ‘meet’ in the forest in winter, who usually take a side path long before we get near each other. If they don’t, I do. The problem is, they don’t know the forest very well and they act like YOU’RE the problem with your normal-sized dogs (that one yesterday made even Tilly look like a great galumph)
I guess that’s my six months of peace and quiet gone.
Another thing about hunters is that they are noisy beggars and you usually hear them way before you see them. In the forest, they’re on well-organised meets and are more than aware they’re sharing the forest with potential handbag-sized dogs and their crabby owners in neon blue tracksuits. There’s a kind of routine and a kind of respect. Not always, but mostly. Beyond the forest gates is a different story, I know.
At least I can go back to the usual pathways around here, where the hunters have a habit of pinning you in by accident, and are much less friendly than the organised variety. They’re the kind that think ‘What can I do? I know… I’ll get my gun out.’
Let’s just hope it was bank holiday insanity that brought the walkers all out and that they very soon go back to their gardens with their brand-new baseball caps and their walking sticks and their tiny, tiny dogs. They make me feel like my dogs are a menace, when really they are just dogs. It’s no wonder dogs end up antisocial if people wag sticks at them. If someone jabbed a stick at me, I think I’d want to play with that stick.
Anyway, enough with the grumble. That shiny-tracksuit man is probably grumbling about the pack of dogs that threatened to attack his poor little chihuahua.
I’m kind of getting the garden up to speed (though my vegetable beds are a long, long way from ready)
I’ve planted a whole load more stuff now, since it’s a couple of weeks before the usual last frosts here. There is literally no more room at the Inn. The strawberries are planted up on the floor and every available sill, ledge and shelf is taken up with plant pots.
I’ve even been getting decorative again, with the geraniums I’ve brought out of the washroom and repotted…
I’ve taken a good few cuttings off them and cut them right back. Will see how they get on! Eventually, they will go outside, but for now, they’re getting their pink on next to the pink shutters. I’m not even a pink girl, by and large.
I’ve also started to plant some flowers – sadly lacking in my previous list.
So, what is up and what is in?
- Gardener’s Delight tomatoes
- Super Marmande tomatoes
- Alicante tomatoes
- Super Roma tomatoes
- cauliflower ‘merveille de quatre saisons’
- musselburgh leeks
- Autumn Giant leeks
- sweet banana pepper
- Rachel’s cauliflower seeds that I can’t remember the name of
- cheap aubergines
- expensive aubergines
- savoy cabbage
- oak-leaf lettuce
- red lettuce
- brussels sprouts
- red cabbage
- Webbs lettuce
- tabasco pepper
The courgettes, cornichons, pumpkin and cucumber are all in. I’ve also planted some annual Reine Marguerites, some sunflowers, some delphiniums, some broccoli, some impatiens and some pepper prairie fire. The tomatoes from earlier in the year have all been potted up and are now waiting for a little growth spurt, as they are still very weeny.
The perennial garden is coming back to life, with lupins appearing, monarda making a show, and the achillea which never really went away. There is also some campanula, which seems to have thrived.
I managed to get a whole load of mowing done; I really have no desire to share a ‘before’ and ‘after’ photo, but as you can see from the photo, the bits around the edges reveal how long it had become.
Bit hard to mow when it’s been so wet!
Anyway, as I approach this very busy time, I’m hoping to have a little assistance from some HelpX visitors who are heading my way. I’m very excited. Finally, I might get to see the kind of garden I’d like. Amazing what you can achieve when you have another pair of willing hands. HelpX, for those not in the know, (as recommended by the delightful Mrs Rachelle) is a programme whereby you advertise your property and people offer to come and help in exchange for bed and board. Not a bad thing, if you ask me. People get reviews and you can also pick out offers from people that will most suit your way of life. Great way to see the country and to travel, if you ask me. If I were young again, you might catch me doing it for a summer or two.
Busy day today. Catching up with Miss Hege and then teaching in the afternoon. Hopefully, I’ll be able to squeeze in a little light digging before tomorrow though. Something’s telling me that I need to make hay while the sun shines.