No School Today!
Normally I would be in school today but a combination of things have conspired to keep me at home. My lovely pianist, Anne, who accompanies my singing assemblies was not available today and the thought of leading groups of several hundred children to sing, when I've got tonsillitis with no piano accompaniment felt over ambitious. Just to confirm this decision, I've still not got my car back after its upset on Monday. I seize the opportunity of an extra day in the garden, you don't need a voice to work in the garden, and it turns out to be a very productive day! I started by planting a third tray of Zinnias amongst the courgettes. I then decided to have a binge on trying to plant all of the vegetables waiting to go into the 'sweetcorn quarter' of the vegetable garden. The weather is warm, humid and showery, ideal for planting. I start by planting a bed with parsnips (after adding compost) surrounded by golden leaved Purslane and interplanted with green leaved Purslane. I edged this bed with curly leaved parsley and filled in the end of the bed with flat leaved parsley. I then planted out the samphire (these are very small and not many germinated) at the end of one sweetcorn bed and the saltwort at the end of the next bed behind the fennel - these plants look very strong and are very intriguing to look at. Every bed I planted today I added compost first. I then planted the Dill at the end of the other sweetcorn bed. I then went up to a medium sized bed (where the Kale grew last year) and planted all the Endive, the Pak Choi that hadn't gone to seed, some 'Pink Dragon' radish and the coriander. At this point Aideen came out to help, she took out a few weeds from the remaining large bed (that is also home to some left over box bushes) and fetched three barrows of compost to spread on it. I then arranged two trays of multi-coloured chard in patterns throughout the bed and then Aideen helped me to plant them. This was quite a historic moment - Aideen asked to plant something... no one else has ever planted something in the garden except me... I felt quite moved, she really does show an interest in the garden and I was very grateful for the help. I then had to go in to teach, and I left her 'dead heading' roses. She then spent the evening helping her dad shift soil from his 'vine mount'. It was still light when I finished teaching so I came back outside to weed the celery/celeriac bed. These plants are quite slow growing and become buried by annual weeds very quickly.