Today is wet so I start in the polytunnel potting up the latest plug plants. These are Cosmos, Lemon Sherbet x 66, Antirrhinum, Madam Butterfly x 66 and Zinnia, Zahara x 66. I then decide to go outside in the rain and weed the ‘organ pipe bed’. This is very important as it is the first thing people will see at the Open Day and it is full of lovely things. But it will be tricky and fiddly to weed, as I will literally have to ‘tiptoe through the tulips’. It is a very delicate operation, as I don’t want to damage any blooms. I have to carry my weeding bucket, there is no room to put it down, I can’t kneel down for the same reason, I have to bend over to pick out the weeds. Even then, there is a danger of snapping a tulip as I lean over- some are quite tall and there is not much space between them. It is like an agonising game of Twister, which takes about 5 hours! Another hazard becomes apparent when I am balanced precariously in the middle of the bed- the Hostas are beginning to come through. I am partly delighted to see them, because I wasn’t sure that they had survived the winter and partly terrified I will tread on them. Presently they are very small, dark coloured spikes which blend in with the earth! However, I can’t be grumpy about this difficult job, because I am so pleased with all the plants. The ‘Bleeding Hearts’ are beginning to flower, all the baby Astilbes are coming up, the Fox Gloves look really healthy, there are buds on the Azaleas and Rhododendrons, the primulas I propagated last year are blooming and the tulips and daffodils are starting to put on a great display. I’m inspired to finish the job and I then weed the narrow border that runs in front of the house and also weeded the parking area in front of it for good measure. By this time, I’m quite exhausted and my fingers are tingling ridiculously from baby stinging nettles stings- I rarely bother with gloves, and have a probably foolish notion, that the stings stimulate the blood flow and help stiffness in the joints. I’m sure I’ve read this somewhere… this is the eternal problem of being a bookaholic, I’m surrounded by thousands of books (no, I’m not exaggerated) and I’m constantly reading, but the problem is remembering where you have read things! It’s a bit like a squirrel, trying to remember where it has buried its nuts. I guess this is why google was invented. Tired, but satisfied with my hard work, I go to find Patrick and Aideen, who are putting roof tiles on the playhouse. I stay and help them until it is dark. Aideen say’s “do we need a structural engineer to check whether the playhouse can bear the weight of the roof tiles?”, Patrick says “if it’s still standing in the morning, it will be ok”.