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Painful Planting

13 MAY 2019

We have now discovered that there are companies that will come out and deal with the Box Tree Moth Caterpillars although it would probably be expensive. Some companies work organically and there is a product that can be sprayed on the hedge that will kill the Caterpillars when they eat it. We decided to order some of this stuff but in the meantime I continue my own slow progress along the hedge and remove another hundred or so caterpillars!.

Time seems to escape from me today but I do manage to make a start on planting the Sweet Peas. This is a big job (another one) . I count up the Sweet Peas that have germinated in the root trainers and there is a total of 177. My plan is to plant them on the outside of the Fruit Cage walls where they can grow up the netting. A lovely idea , if they all flourish, but incredibly tricky to manoeuvre my rather large and stiff frame into a very narrow gap between the Fruit Cage wall and a line of Alliums that I must not damage. There is no room to kneel so I have to bend double to plant the very long and brittle plants and tie each of them to their own individual cane – some need two ties!. I realise on entering the bed that the small delicate shoots peeping up in the middle of the earth are Peacock Tigers bulbs which I had forgotten I had planted earlier in the year – another thing to avoid under my feet. I am also quite clumsy and my balance is not great so I am aware that this might turn out to be one of the most painful planting jobs that I have had to do for quite some time. I manage to plant one end of the Cage, 22 plants in total – a drop in the ocean.

After teaching, in the fading light, Aideen, James & I go to unearth a set of decorated organ pipes which have been lying in storage in the orchard for some time. They have been wrapped in bubble plastic and polythene for a few years, having had to be moved from various places in the past, where they had got in the way of doing other things. I have had a crazy plan for introducing these intriguing and rather beautiful pipes into the garden, but first we need to set them out to see what we have got and to come up with a good arrangement. Patrick has also made a start on the making of an obelisk planter for the Kitchen Garden, which we put into position in it’s bed to see how it looks. It seems to work well and the plan is to have four of them set around the pond which should make a nice feature.

Finally, I make a start on planting out Mark’s hanging baskets. Mark is the director of Harrow Young Musicians and every year he deposits his two baskets with me to sort out for him.

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