• Kay

Is it a mushroom?


Today is the hottest day of the year so far and it is set to get hotter, this makes me worry. Although it was raining only a couple of days ago, I know I will need to restart serious watering to maintain at least part of the moisture levels in the soil. I don’t know if it is the thought of hours of watering added to my busy gardening schedule, but my mood is lower than yesterday. I am worried about Jean because I have not heard from the doctor at the hospital as expected and then I start to fret about whether she will be coming home. It has been wonderful to have a break from such intensive caring duties but now I am doubtful that I will be able to cope when she comes home. Self-doubt is a terrible thing and it can pervade everything if you are not careful. I then start to feel inadequate about the garden. If I’m honest with myself, I know it is impossible to look after a garden like this on my own (Patrick, James and the girls are magnificent in their major projects that are constantly ongoing, but the actual ‘gardening’ is almost entirely left to me) , I am constantly ‘chasing my tail’/‘firefighting’. What I need are clones of myself to do different jobs. One ‘Kay’ could be in charge of dead heading for a start! The best way to deal with this despairing mood is to breathe in deeply the beautiful perfume of the garden and make a sensible list of priorities.

Today, I finish planting the last two dahlia display beds which is a big job completed and only one ‘Bishop of Llandaff dahlia’ (brilliant red flowers dark leaves) is looking seriously sorry for itself.

As the next few days are due to be so hot it is best to avoid planting out anything small and vulnerable. Tomorrow, I will try to weed the central border areas where I will plant the remaining cannas and bananas – Meave very kindly picked up a fourth banana plant yesterday. After this, I will concentrate on weeding beds where I know I need to plant my remaining bedding and companion plants and the final vegetables but I will restrain myself from planting until it cools down. I decided to pop into the mushroom house to see if anything has happened yet and I spot what I think are tiny mushrooms, their tops no bigger than a glass headed pin. This is very exciting but I am wary of getting too carried away after the pomegranate fiasco.

At about 8:30pm I start watering…all the new vegetables, the dahlias, the vine mount and the sweet peas around the fruit cage and then the organ pipe bed. This takes until 10:20pm by which time Grandad is buzzing his buzzer repeatedly for me to go over to the annexe. The girls have been answering his buzzer, but at this time of the evening only I will do…I suppose I should feel flattered but actually I just feel fraught. Tomorrow is a new day, Grandad’s birthday, he will be 88 and our 31st wedding anniversary…we are also being visited by the Borough arboricultural manager to discuss the trees growing on and over the arcaded wall and the bee inspector to check our bees don’t have the horrible disease, let’s hope it is a good day!

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