30 APRIL 2020
Having avidly watched Captain Tom’s 100th Birthday celebrations and his Spitfire flypast, I was particularly taken with a lovely image of him, with Spitfires and a rainbow over the top. It seemed rather fitting that in the evening shortly before clapping for the NHS, there was a magnificent double rainbow that formed, faded and then reformed even brighter over the garden – a good omen I’m sure!
The wet weather continues, with some particularly heavy showers during the day. James and Diane are barrowing well rotted manure to the mushroom house and have to shelter with me and Bella in the polytunnel several times. We ordered two, 1 tonne bags of manure but because we are now filling four, 3m x 1m beds/boxes (because I miscalculated the mushroom spawn order) at the end of the barrowing only three beds are filled. We will need another bag, and also I now realise, some chalk. This has to be mixed with a peat like compost and added to the surface of the beds. This is all a steep learning curve for me, I’ve never grown mushrooms before.
I am finding the wet weather very useful in multiple ways, apart from its benefit to the garden, in between showers I finish planting the phlox and verbena around the potato beds, and when it rains I set about rearranging the central bed inside the polytunnel. I now have to remove everything from the edges of the bed in order to start planting out cucumbers and cucamelons (first time I’ve grown these) and tomatoes. I fill the remaining cold frame space with a mixture of dahlias and cannas, and other plants are carefully lined up in the spaces between the lines of newly planted chillies and peppers. These plants are still tiny so there is room between rows at the moment. I plant my cucumbers into pots, with the bottoms removed to slightly raise them above the soil level to try to protect them from ‘stem rot’. If it wasn’t for the wet weather, I wouldn’t be getting this job done so early.
Later on I pick masses of spinach to add into the mince, potato and pea curry – it is another remarkable fact that however much spinach you add to a dish it cooks down to very little – very clever – think of all that iron, Popeye has nothing on us!