I was very pleased with yesterday’s progress but every day cannot be that productive. The problem with planting things out is that beds have to be prepared…it would be rather pointless putting a small seedling plant (especially a depressed one) into a sea of weeds, we know who would win! It was possible to plant so much yesterday because the beds I was planting into were relatively weed free. Today is a different story because the trays of annuals that need planting out would be ideal for the vine mount. Unfortunately, the upper two tiers of the vine mount where I would plant them are full of very healthy weeds, this is partly because these terraces are full of our own compost which is full of weed seeds and also because I’ve had no time to weed the mount because my attention has been taken up with planting out the vegetable garden! Before I start on the vine mount, I plant out the tray of miserable zinnias in between some rather exotic Californian poppies (different colours/frilly petals) that surround the two beds in which I planted the leeks. Not all of these zinnias can be salvaged, but most of them I cut back and plant. Hopefully I won’t lose too many plants overall, but inevitably I might not manage to plant out everything I’ve grown from seed, some of it will have suffered from being left too long, but so far I’ve hardly lost anything!
It is quite chilly today, the wind is quite strong and there are several showers of rain. I put on a waterproof and retain the shorts and customised crocs which work well in the rain and head for the mount (bare legs soon dry). I have been eager to weed the mount for ages (it has already been completely weeded at least once!) because I don’t like it looking untidy and it will be satisfying to do the job. However, it is fiddly because amongst the weeds are the very fine leaves of the Ixias bulbs which are as thin as a blade of grass and easy to miss! This is rather disappointing as I planted loads of these (c.600) and it looks as if lots have not come up and those that have, look rather sad. Maybe this is why they were on ‘special offer’ (£1.99 for 50!) but I will give them the benefit of the doubt for now, they might surprise me. I start weeding the ‘step’ side of the mount and then bring out two trays of antirrhinums – about 80 plants. People may recall that I ended up with lots of antirrhinum seedlings. This is because the seed is very small and it is almost impossible to sow the seed individually. As a result, I had several seedlings in each module and this year I took the time to transplant these spare seedlings into new trays, as a result I have at least 7 trays of antirrhinums which is c.280 plants! They might have been tiny seeds but now the plants are very tall because their roots have gone through the base of the trays and into the woven weed suppressing mat. This means I have to cut every plant down to a manageable size to try and help it survive the next few weeks. Luckily, the weather is damp and cool which should help the situation.
Meanwhile, in the orchard the rest of the family plus James and later in the day Mary, who arrives for her weekly visit, are making the most of the dumper truck before it leaves and are tidying up all of the logs/branches and poles from the felled nut trees. These are then being stacked in the compost yard graded according to size, smaller poles (the smallest suitable for beanpoles etc.), medium and larger logs (still quite long). This is a massive job and we end up with a very large stack which they then cover with polythene. We have certainly had good use out of the dumper truck!!