Updated: Feb 28, 2019
Had hoped to get outside early this morning, as it is still unusually warm and sunny. However, I was kept inside by sorting out bookings for visits to the garden with Aideen. Administration can be time consuming - Grandad - ever helpful - said, "Hope you're not becoming a victim of your own success... you've created a garden monster". He then did an impersonation of a monster... thanks Grandad!
I finally got outside and put six new plants into the Alpine bed, the intention was to fill some gaps, but planting was tricky due to lots of little bulbs coming through and having to balance on the small walls between the beds, not easy for an ungainly individual like me. However, it is well worth the effort because the Alpine beds are so pretty - this is Grandad's favourite part in the garden. Each section has a different type of Iris Reticulata blooming at the moment. These tiny blooms are exquisite and look lovely combined with the little dwarf daffodils "Tête-à-tête" popping up through the gravel. I think it's very important to have areas in the garden where small delicate plants can be appreciated close up, and it shouldn't be neglected even in a big garden like ours.
I then wrote a list of things I need to do quite soon, I am always doing this but it does help me, it is so easy to forget something. I decided to water all of the pots as it has been so warm and then decided that I should start planting the onion sets, shallots, and spring planted garlic. But in order to do this, a bed had to be prepared, I chose one next to the Autumn planted onions and garlic. It was about seven metres long and just over a metre wide, it needed weeding (luckily the weeds were not too big) and compost adding. Unfortunately, the present compost heap that is ready for use is in the far corner of the orchard! The round trip to collect the compost plus digging it out, takes about 10 minutes and part of the return journey with a full barrow is up hill - not very ideal according to Permaculture principles but quite normal when dealing with the idiosyncrasies of a historic garden i.e. things are not always in the convenient place. Moving four barrows of compost therefore took about three quarters of an hour! I then planted the first lot of onion sets "Centurion", I will have to finish this job on Thursday because I work all day and evening tomorrow.
A final note on animals in the garden - we have a dog and three cats - does anybody else have a dog that chases aeroplanes... is this a 'Collie' thing? Unfortunately, we are under a Heathrow flight path and trying to cope with a Collie travelling at speed, whilst looking at the sky, is not ideal for the crocus lawn in particular!