29 MAY 2020
Today started with something positive. I popped outside briefly before going to the Annexe and checked the calibrachoas and they had mainly revived – hurray! However, a plant that has wilted badly, even if it revives, will have sustained some damage to its tissues and will be weakened, so I will have to take great care of them.
Today’s care session in the Annexe breaks my present record 08:30-12:00… three and a half hours! This is because just as I had thought I had finished, the district nurse and then Rapid Response arrived. Rapid Response were not here for long, but the lovely district nurse had lots of things to check, and thought it would be a good thing to try Jean in the bed to ease her pressure sore. Jean had been complaining (understandably) about a list of things since the nurse arrived, including being uncomfortable in the chair. However, moving to the bed just increased her complaints, she really does not like to lie down. Although much work was done to make her comfortable, she was not happy and not interested in being told that being put into the bed was to help her. The bed has not been supplied with a rail so I had to sit with Jean for the 30/40 minutes that she remained in the bed. We then gave in and returned her to the chair. We are hoping to be given a rail which will make using the bed safer.
When I got outside, I continued sorting out the middle bed in the polytunnel. I also made another attempt to persuade Patrick and anyone who would help him (Diane) to construct our latest organ pipe sculpture which will use up the last of the large metal pipes. This will be positioned in the middle of the pumpkin bed, which is why I need it in place so I can plant the pumpkins! They finalise the design and make some progress until halted by the lack of ballast to make the concrete, I will now have to wait until Monday.
Aideen digs out the remaining display bed tulips which is great, but the soil in the beds looks like a hardcore foundation for a car park! A lot of work will need to be done before the dahlias can be planted.
The blanket weed situation in the pond is still bad so I decide I will have to get in the pond to do a better job of removing it. This is quite pleasant if rather weedy, I can feel the blanket weed round my legs and the bees are quite disapproving of me removing it, but luckily don’t sting me.
I spend some more time in the polytunnel transplanting rays and then as it gets cooler (the news says we have had the hottest spring since 1880, when records began) I go out to the cold frames. I persuade Meave to come and help me, asking her to weed the surface of dahlia pots, whilst I check the trays of companion planting, cutting out growing tips to encourage ‘bushing out’ etc. During this I come across a tray of my favourite, trusty cosmos ‘Dazzler’, grown leggy as usual (this happens every year but doesn’t seem to hold them back). This is a giant magenta variety of cosmos which I originally received as a free pack of seeds. I decide to plant them out (even though its 9pm!), they go in the same place every year – around the chimney pots that sit in the middle of my two lettuce beds. I plant each of the 26 cosmos with a tall cane to support them, the plants will end up taller than me, and give them a good soak, now summer can begin!
James has helped with the watering again, but I decide to individually water all 60 calibrachoas, balancing precariously along the terrace just in case they are missed. I must be careful not to overwater them now!