I went out this morning with Diane and visited several nurseries to look for potential plants that could look ok in our mini wild flower meadow... it is too late for any seeds sown to make a display. It is a fruitless search, I see nothing appropriate and even if I did I was shocked by the prices. I do not buy many plants from nurseries, except from Nik's (Denham) which are very reasonably priced, I might also buy a few from Ducks Hill Nursery (Ruislip). However, to buy plants from nurseries on the scale that I require would probably bankrupt me. Most of my plants are grown from seed, some are propagated and the remainder come as tiny unpromising specimens from cheap catalogues (e.g Parkers) and are then 'grown on'. The wild flower meadow will have to be done properly, sowing seeds and wait till next year!
I do buy two more unusual bird cages from our local 'collectables' shop to add to my display that I am creating with the succulents - some of them are going into the cages! The base of one of these is a perfect fit for my seed tray of baby succulents. This is a great solution for my solitary 'leaf cutter bee', who is living in the tray! I had seen him the day before sitting motionless outside his hole looking quite grumpy! Now he will not have to be disturbed and his home is protected by being in the cage! I carried on working out how to arrange the remaining succulents into three sinks in the back garden. This took much longer than expected, but I was finally satisfied with the results. One group was planted amongst broken flower pots, another group (all the same variety but varying sizes) had their pots sunk into the gravel and the final specimens went into an arrangement with gravel and shells. I then spent time organising the table of curiosities to include the contents of the tables that I previously sat outside the polytunnel (these tables have moved so the view of the stained glass panels will not be obstructed).
At the end of the day I helped Patrick cut the edge off the polytunnel roof - the sheets were slightly too long. This has to be done with Patricks scariest angle grinder and it is a very nerve racking procedure. At the moment we have no help because Meave, Aideen and James have gone on a short break to Venice and Diane is about to go to Bristol. I can tell that finishing the polytunnel is going to be complicated, each job is trickier than anticipated! For dinner - stroganoff - I include a salad of cucumber, tomato, red onion and basil, all from the garden, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.