• Kay

Kath’s lettuce bed


For many years now I have organised a summer concert for our church youth choir and All Age Band. It is a very enjoyable event and is a lovely opportunity to showcase local talent and raise money for a good cause. It is very strange to reflect on everything that has been cancelled, this virus has affected our profession very hard, our choirs cannot sing and our wind players cannot blow. I have been out of my ‘working loop’ for so long that I was only just aware that I was in July, and at 7pm when the concert would have started, I was planting a lettuce, so I paused for a moment and reflected on the concert that might have been and sent out fond thoughts to all my choir and band members. Ironically the lettuces I was planting had come from one of my adult pupils and band members. She had sown a surplus and brought the spares around to me and I’ve now planted them in their own little bed – thank you Kath!

Today has been very productive horticulturally if not musically although in the evening Aideen did play me some new Coldplay songs that would work well for the choir and one that she and her sisters might sing with the harp. Maybe we could still do it and put it online?

Today I start by tying up all the cucumbers, tomatoes and sunflowers in the polytunnel and dead heading the roses in the fruit tree border. I have to say, that despite my best efforts, Achillea ‘Cloth of Gold’ is still flopping and looking messy, the last round of wind and rain was obviously too much for it – can anyone grow this plant neatly? I then returned to the beds adjacent to the fountain that I was weeding yesterday. First, I continued to tidy them up- these are my first delphiniums that I am cutting down to the ground to see if I can get a second flowering (I have learnt in the past year that the best way to treat delphiniums is to cut them to the ground when flowering is finished rather than just deadheading them). In the areas that are then opened up I plant out all the amaranthus (2 varieties – Velvet Curtains & Crimson Fountain), more than 60 plants- these will hopefully grow up to match the height of the valerian. I then plant 6 hollyhocks into the other two beds, (weeded previously) and about 25 Trailing & Pot Verbena Samira which I dead head first. After this, I weed the tiny raised bed which houses the Ariana berry bush (the most vitamin rich berry in the garden) and that is where I plant Kath’s lettuces with some white cosmos. I then plant out some F1 Delizz strawberries in the fruit cage. These were ordered from the Organic Categlogue. These are ‘day neutral’ meaning that unlike regular strawberries, the shortening daylight hours will not stop them fruiting after the summer equinox. Also, they have unusual coloured flowers, traditional white, pale pink and unusual dark pink. They looked miserable when they finally arrived, I think they had been lost in transit for some time, and four died. I’ve managed to revive the remainder and now they can go out into the wide world. I finish the day weeding the bottom bed of the vine mount, all four sides! Aideen and Meave with help from James later in the day spend their time taking loose bricks off the top of the wall and cleaning them. I am happy with today’s work, not a concert, but a different type of creativity.

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