South Bucks U3A
I'm up very early but luckily not much watering required - the joys of rainfall. I start by cutting back the peach tree by the orchard gate but I realise it does not have all of its training wires in place to tie it to. I then check the 'bee area' to check the natural/wild garden hasn't become too wild! This involves removing encroaching weeds and cutting back surrounding vegetation lightly, because I want it to look as natural as possible. I remove quite a lot of 'wild hop' which has covered nearly everything. Generally I'm delighted with this area, everything is growing well and the bees are busy and content. I then weeded the rose bed ( I will plant more bedding into this area) and then I took over weeding the miniature orchard lawn from Diane (she really hates weeding!). We are going to try to convert this small area of grass to a wild flower/meadow area, but first I have to remove all the big perennial weeds. I have rarely seen so many dandelions and it is practically impossible to remove all of their root. We have a large group visiting today, South Bucks U3A, potentially 40 people! (38 actually arrived) After some initial difficulty finding us, they arrived and I gave them a split guided tour. (two guided tours, splitting the group in half, with staggered refreshments) This is hard work, but definitely the best way to cope with a larger group. They were a very nice, engaged group of people, who asked lots of interested questions. We had lovely comments as they left and messages of thanks afterwards, saying they had been make to feel very welcome which is reassuring to hear. They bought lots of guide books, and quite a few people said they would return for the Open Day. Patrick, Diane, Aideen and myself then went for a well earned Wimpy and on my return I continued to weed the Manuka beds until the light faded. Patrick spent a bit of time fixing the sheet of polycarbonate plastic on the polytunnel and Pip (our black cat) jumped up on the roof beside him. She successfully walked up and down the new section of roof but when she ventured onto the curved edge she slipped and fell off the roof! I was given a very accusing look, when I rushed outside the tunnel to check she was ok. Obviously it is not possible to dig claws into the plastic, which was the main intention for replacing the polythene...but I suspect the cats will not be impressed!