We were expecting bad weather again today and were therefore surprised to see the sun this morning. Patrick was in his office bright and early, determined to finish the last parts of the Planning Application so Aideen will allow him to go back outside!
I gather a decent amount of tomatoes for my favourite breakfast, grilled tomatoes on toast with marmite and cheese, to set myself up for the day. Aideen goes to the office to join her dad and I go outside to carry on with the dahlias.
A triumphant Patrick emerges at 11:30am having finished everything he needed to do and he and the girls go out into the orchard to gather leaves…again!
At lunch, Meave tries to prepare something hot which turns out to be hotter than she intended when a sprinkle of my new chilli powder accidentally becomes a dollop! She then has to add every calming ingredient in sight; yoghurt, wine, lemon juice and mango chutney to make her spicy vegetable pasta edible, we were certainly warmed up by lunch and agreed my chilli powder is powerful and should be approached with caution!
I manage to clear the remaining two display beds of dahlias, not bad going as today I’m working alone as Aideen is with her sisters clearing the leaves. This job is especially important to keep the stream clear which is now flowing powerfully because of the recent heavy rain. If the outlet pipe becomes blocked with leaves, the orchard can fill up like a sink and flood dramatically.
It is lovely to see the stream flowing and I dream of the time when it is restored so it can run continuously.
Before it gets dark, I go into the vegetable garden to collect produce for dinner; leeks, three small red cabbages, two swedes, potatoes, apples and rosemary. Tonight, we are having chicken, leek and mushroom pie, roast potato with rosemary and garlic, red cabbage with apple and mashed swede…there will not be any chillies!
A pleasant surprise
Today did not get off to a good start. Grandad’s night time catheter bag must have been faulty and I was greeted by a small flood when I went over to get him up. On my return to make his breakfast, I noticed one of the cats had been sick in the dog kennel! Unfortunately, all such ‘clear up’ jobs seem to fall under my jurisdiction. However, I did receive a pleasant surprise when I went out to the kitchen garden. I discovered raspberries in the fruit cage and I was able to fill a medium sized bowl, which I consumed with relish!
Unfortunately, I do not have Aideen to help me today because she is helping Diane to cut the front field hedge. I start by removing any dahlias from the fruit cage borders and prune the step over apples whilst I am there. I then go up on the mount to remove the dahlias from the containers around the gazebo. I also cut away the dead stems of the annual climbers. I think I will replant the containers with some vigorous and hardy climbing roses for next year. I then gave everything a good sweep and turned my attentions to the terraces. By the end of the day, I had cleared two terraces on one side of the mount, full of weed growth and annuals that have now finished. This will prepare the terraces to be topped up with compost prior to planting more bulbs! I am planning to use the spent mushroom compost to top up the terrace beds, although it does occur to me, that might lead to Mount full of mushrooms next year.