26 MAY 2020
Jean has a quiet night and is not only still in her chair when when we go over in the morning, she is still asleep. When all morning duties are complete in the Annexe and I am just about to have breakfast, a district nurse arrives. She has to come to give dad a vitamin B12 injection, and to check Jeans pressure sore and legs. It is another lengthy visit, because many of the things I have just done are then redone, e.g. cleaning, dressings, ointments etc. Also another thing I have noticed in the last few days, many of the instructions I am given by one healthcare professional are then contradicted by the next. I have mixed feelings about this situation… It is great to have medical support and they are all lovely people but you never know when people are arriving and they are different people every time. I have to explain our situation afresh at every visit and each nurse/physio has their own opinion, and I am often left feeling confused, inadequate and worried about the quality of care we are providing. This is exacerbated by all of them bringing up the subject of carers. I may well have to seek the help of carers when the girls are not here to help, but my previous experience of carers who were temporarily provided by Rapid Response when dad came out of hospital (we were not looking after Jean then) was again mixed. Again they were lovely people, but different almost every day and they could arrive anytime between 08:30-11:30am. This was no good for dad who is incontinent… he could not be left in bed until after 11am. Therefore, I had already got him up and washed long before the carer had arrived, rather removing the point of the carer. I decided then that both dad and I preferred to have more control over what was happening. A very wise co-ordinator lady from Rapid Response, had warned me back in November that I may well feel overwhelmed by the various visits at the time, well that is rather how I feel now. Part of the problem is that there is no good answer to Jean’s situation, presently they are still debating the bed/chair conundrum, the most recent district nurse to visit, thinks we need both chair and bed in the living room! I do not want to sound ungrateful and there are times that we need help, but I quite like being left to our own routine to manage this difficult situation, in a way that best suits us all.
Its practically lunchtime by the time I get outside and it is now extremely hot. This causes more dilemmas…(I can feel it is that type of day). I have masses of plants to plant but it is not ideal to plant them when the sun is beating down and the soil is either baked hard or dusty. I delay the decision of what to do by dead heading sweet peas and carrying out normal watering. My main section of hose used for all daily tasks has sprung yet another leak which catches me unawares, spraying me in cold water several times… what is it about me and hosepipes!
James comes out in the afternoon to help and I give him the task of setting up the bean pole wigwams – I have noticed the runner beans (another plant requiring planting out) are becoming entangled. Unfortunately, when he checks the pole position with me later I realise he has positioned them too close to the edges of the bed, not leaving me sufficient space for the bean and companion planting. I very guiltily explain this and he is very magnanimous about moving all the poles further into the bed – I must communicate better and not expect people to read my mind.
I decide to continue weeding, making space in the middle triangles of the central borders for my crowd of lilies waiting in the polytunnel. When I plant the first ones (Martagon) I realise that I may have made an error planting them in pots first. The lilies had not formed many roots and the compost fell away from the bulbs. I have planted them but I am not hopeful of success with blooms. This is disappointing, I had tried pre-planting them in pots, to avoid the bulb disappearing without trace if planted directly into the border (which has happened before). I have not had much success with lilies, perhaps they do not like our soil or I am putting them in the wrong place. Like all of my horticultural endeavours, this latest experience is a case of trial and error and/or repeated reference to books, and it doesn’t always work out ok. I decide to continue and dig out areas ready for planting (with difficulty, the soil is very dry) for the Goliath, Giant Oriental and Regale lilies, fortunately they seem to have formed better root systems and are holding on to some compost, which makes me feel more optimistic. As usual by the time I am planting these lilies time is marching on, it’s nearly 8pm, and I’m aware that I am supposed to be making dinner and the pastry for the giant quiche I am planning, needs to be made and chilled in the fridge (for those of you who do not know our family personally we eat ridiculously late!). At this same moment I glance into the neighbouring triangular section of the border and spot some very unhappy looking rudbeckias and asters… it is too hot and dry for them. The stress I now feel knowing that we are probably in one of those long hot, dry spells which now seem to be the norm, thanks to global warming no doubt, which will now necessitate hours of watering to just keep the garden alive, brings on a ‘hot flush’ appropriate under the circumstances I suppose! I now start to panic, pastry/watering? I look for help, Diane and Meave are out for a run, James is in the middle of an ‘online’ quiz, Aideen is taking part in an ‘online’ Guildhall concert, it is ‘trusty Patrick’ to the rescue, he takes over watering, and I go and prepare the dinner.
One very good piece of news is Church Gardens is featured in the latest edition of ‘The English Garden Magazine’ in an article called ‘Custodians of Hope’ by Sue Bradley. This article is about four families who have saved lost gardens. I cannot believe we are in such illustrious company and hopefully it will bring our garden some positive attention.