The weather is now much milder, but very wet, so I decide to work in the tunnel today. Aideen is making more paper, which she attempts to do indoors. Normally, this job is done outside because it is quite messy, but Aideen soon discovers it is much more pleasant working inside, as it is not much fun dealing with big containers of cold water in winter conditions. It is also much quicker to dry paper in the extension, maybe assisted by the underfloor heating. Aideen uses the handmade paper for many of her pressed flower pictures. I am very glad to see that her pressed flower art enterprise is going very well.
When I get outside to the tunnel, I decide the first thing that needs to be done is to plant out some of my sweet peas. I presently have four root trainers of sweet peas, hiding from mice attack, in my long propagators. If I want to sow seeds, the sweet peas need to move, and the most sensible thing to do is to plant them. Some of them will be planted along the side wall of the tunnel to make an early colourful and highly perfumed display, the rest go around the fruit cage. As with everything in life, I find one thing leads to another. I can’t plant the sweet peas until the back wall of the tunnel is cleared of dead climbers. This job was partly done some time ago, but it is quite tricky as I have a passion flower growing healthily at one end. Also, last year I grew Asarina Scandems Vintage from seed, which although tender, is perennial, and it has survived the winter so far and is still flowering. This is a very delicate, fragile looking climber, with beautiful lilac blooms. I obviously do not want to accidentally damage this plant, so removing dead ipomea etc. was a lengthy operation, especially whilst balancing between winter salads!
I stayed out until about 5pm and then came in to carry on sewing before our talk at 7:30pm. This talk was to Ruislip Central Horticultural Society, scheduled for after their A.G.M. The lady organising the talk had visited Church Gardens on a guided tour and had also previously heard the talk. However, the group had been booked to visit last year but had been unable to visit due to Covid, therefore the garden was new to them. Their response was most gratifying and they had lots of questions, including “Did I have professional guidance in design and planting?” and “Did we have gardeners?”, which was quite a compliment. Aideen immediately interjected with “no, it’s all down to books…mum is a bookaholic”. This group have a visit rescheduled for July, so let’s hope that goes ahead and we can meet them in person.