4 APRIL 2020
Today the weather is beautiful, starting misty always tends to lead to a warm day in my experience. I decide it is the perfect day to wash the bedding because it can dry outside instead of using our infuriating tumble dryer which spends many, many hours just getting washing to a damp state at best.
Today, I am trying to sort out all of the seedlings grown so far, potting them on and moving them off the bench in order to create space for the next round of seed sowing. I bring the Chilli, Pepper and Aubergine seedlings from the house extension and remove all of the Chinese / Japanese Greens that are now tall and blooming with bright yellow flowers and plant the Chilis, etc. in their place. As usual, I am a bit short of space so I plant the Peppers in between my existing Lettuce. By the time the Peppers grow, we will have eaten the Lettuce. Any small seedlings get left in the tray for now and I fill the gaps with a mixture of other plants, mainly flowers from other trays, again to make more planting space.
James, Aideen and Meave carry on with digging for the new pathway. The turves removed at the start of this job were taken up to the Compost Yard and stacked. As they decompose, they will produce excellent loam which I can use in a potting compost mix further down the line. The Mushroom Spawn arrive by delivery – the first box contains 15 packets of 100g Brown Chestnut Mushroom Spawn, and the instructions say each 100g packet will cover 0.5sq.m. of compost. A note explains that a second box with 15 packs of White Mushroom Spawn will come in two weeks time. These instructions are far clearer than those in the catalogue and I now realise that I might have overordered as I appear to have enough Brown Spawn to cover 7.5sq.m. of compost and I will have the same amount of White. The two beds we were planning, have a total area of 6.0 sq.m! Patrick’s suggested solution is to make two more beds – he likes mushrooms – and I can always plant them out a bit more generously. It also stipules that the Spawn have to be stored in the fridge so I safely tuck them in there.
Because the weather is good, Patrick has decided that he will make a start on the tiling on the top of the Mount. Patrick and Aideen spend ages setting out the pattern with string lines and laying out some of the tiles to give an idea as to how they might work and how they will look. Aideen calls me to have a look, and seems unusually excited (for her) – she is normally very low key and cautious about new things. I climb up to look and I can understand her enthusiasm. It is really pretty and the little mosaic tiles sparkle in the sun. Unfortunately, it soon becomes apparent that the overall level of the concrete top is a little low and will need topping up with a levelling compound of some sort before they can start tiling. At other times, you could just nip down to Wickes or wherever and pick up some bags and get it done quickly but now it involves searching online to see who might have some, is it in stock, can they deliver and when – this might delay things a bit.
At the end of the day Meave surprises us all by asking that I help her to find a bucket of fragments of broken crockery finds that we have stored somewhere. She is coming across some more bits as she is digging out for the pathway and this inspires her to think that she would like to try and make a Mosaic with them. We have been digging up bits of broken earthenware and china since we came to Church Gardens and we have collected them into buckets and flower pots over the years, always vaguely planning to make a Mosaic. It is a standing joke in the family that throughout Meave’s childhood, I would come up with a wide variety of different hobbies / crafts for her to try and to hopefully find something that would grab her interest, beyond her passion for mathematics, her phone and sleeping, but I have always failed. Now, at almost 25 years old, in the middle of a World Pandemic, she has finally shown an interest in something!