Not on tour!
We would normally be on a tour in Venice at this time of the year, but for a variety of reasons the music school Venice tour has not taken place this year. This is a shame, but the extra time it gives us is a massive bonus and I also don't have the worry of entrusting my precious gardens to anyone else and worrying about the watering being done properly. Due to previous rainfall, I only watered the polytunnel. cold frames, Auricula theatre and containers to start with. I then started the day by tying in the Russian sage, in the fruit tree border, that tends to flop after rain. Russian sage is my favourite plant, it has everything, beautiful flowers, a lovely shade of lilac and it is soft to touch with a very appealing scent, if you like sage! The bees adore it and each of the six plants ( the bed is planted in six 10m repeating sections) is literally covered in bees. It is an actual pleasure to deal with this plant. Throughout the day, Aideen, Diane and Meave came out in 2hr shifts to help Patrick dig the mushroom house - as usual he has underestimated the work involved in this project! In-between, Aideen is bringing out all of the remaining metal organ pipes and putting them in groups. Periodically I come and help with this job - my intention is to use up all of the remaining metal pipes to decorate the pumpkin patch fence. We try out various pipes for size on the fence and decide that the biggest set are too big for this project and they have to return to their pallet in the orchard - I will have to think of a different solution for these giants! I then took all the begonias out of the cold frames and grouped them by variety (c40 plants). I then started planting them at the front of the house in the trough, small side bed and organ bed, along with all the primulas removed from the Auricula Theatre and foxgloves - Pam's Split - grown from seed. Aideen and I started to position the pipes in groups on the fence attaching them with string (another use for my favourite string that Nik would never have guessed!) We are very happy with the effect, the new undulating shape of the fence looks particularly effective behind the central border. It is a constant delight how unlikely salvaged objects set off plants and flowers so well. That night I dug up potatoes and picked peas, broccoli, beans and courgettes for dinner - but first I had to water in all the new plants.