5 APRIL 2020
Today is a beautiful sunny day and because of this the Government is worried that too many people will want to go outside to socialise in parks. Unfortunately, they are probably correct to be worried and it is therefore likely that we will all end up with having the right to exercise taken away over the coming weeks. I pray that this does not happen as not everyone is fortunate enough to have a garden space they can escape to. I think this terrible situation that we are all in at the moment will revolutionise people’s attitude to gardens and allotments. No longer will people want their houses to be as big as possible with their gardens as small and low maintenance as possible and Councils will have to start increasing space available for allotments, rather than selling it off. Gardens have become both private and public havens these past few weeks and provide solace and comfort for everyone and the potential to be at least partly self sufficient.
On the subject of self sufficiency, I continue on my quest to make space on the Polytunnel work bench. Patrick comes to visit me as he is trying to put bolts on the Polytunnel doors so I don’t have to manoeuvre large lumps of heavy concrete each morning and evening to keep them shut at night. I also think he is sneaking away from Diane, who is trying to help him sort out his workshop which has got in a real mess, but he would much prefer do anything else rather than tidy it up. I think Patrick is quite surprised at how many pots and plants are packed into the Polytunnel and he suggests that we should take some photos to put on the website to give an idea of how it all is organised and gets under way. Meave offers to come and film a short video of me walking around the Polytunnel explaining what is there. I am wearing my original (working) shorts, the shorts I wore when I first came to Church Gardens about 24 years ago. These shorts have massive tears and holes, but I hope this will provide a bit of amusement to any viewers of our video and will cheer them up. I don’t think I will ever be able to get rid of these shorts so I might need to do a bit a repair work on them sometime soon.
My plan to make more space is being slightly foiled by the seedlings of a couple of varieties of plants. Because their seed was so incredibly tiny, I have sown far more than one in each module, and about five or six have germinated in each one. This was particularly the case with the Antirrhinums, and I decide to separate them and plant them out separately where possible. This is very fiddly and results in now having several new trays of Antirrhinums to find space for.
However, I am not complaining. It is blissful in the Polytunnel because I now have opening windows on the side of the tunnel above the work bench which give me a beautiful view of the gardens and brings in a lovely breeze, which makes all the hanging chimes gently ring while I work and listen to Radio 4. James, Meave and Aideen (after she finishes practicing), continue to dig to the foundation for the path. Diane, eventually with help from Patrick, continues to try and sort out the workshop – the problem is that when every project is going on things have to be searched for and other things get pulled out of place and left and then tools are put on the floor rather than being put away and then there are endless boxes of screws to cope with – it all definitely needs a good sort out now and then and what better time to do it. However, as Patrick and Diane sort through things, he keeps finding things that have been left in there that require fixing. He then disappears to sort out a “little” job so the day is punctuated by Diane shouting for her Dad when he does not come back … I don’t envy her!
At the end of the day, Meave decides to makes us all an Aperol Spritz as a treat, she does not have quite the right ingredients but the result is lovely and we all sit down together and then go and listen to the Queen’s speech. The Queen is amazing as always and the speech has exactly the right tone – we are all quite moved.