Saturday, 16th May, 2020

[Day 61]

Today has been rather an unusual day, probably relating to the fact that it is the weekend. For a start, we saw none of our usual friends to have a chat with on the way up and down the hill – this is probably a function of the fact that everyone has a somewhat different routine at the weekend and there were certainly a lot more children evident in the park and faces that we didn’t recognise. In the afternoon, I had two little ‘projects’ to carry out. The first of these involved planting a whole variety of seeds with my daughter-in-law We have a large seed-planting tray that helps to confine the mess on our outside table. As we didn’t have any specialised seed compost, we used ordinary compost leavened with a dose of vermiculite which we happened to have in stock. The seeds are some years old now and we have had them in stock for some time so we have not lost anything if they fail to germinate. But if they do, we ought to have a supply of foxglove, sweet peas, hollyhocks and others whose name I have forgotten. We happened to have in stock some lightweight seed trays with attendant plastic covers (a little like a mini-cloche) and we now have 3-4 stored away safely in our airing room (to assist germination) before we will bring them downstairs and outsides to encourage them to ‘harden off’ (if any germinate, that is).

In the late afternoon,I turned my attention to tidying up the neglected corner of ‘Mog’s Den‘ in the garden. But a word of explanation is in order to understand what is going on. Right at the edge of our formal garden there is a sharply sloping bank of hitherto neglected land (I think it was neglected because in formal terms it lay between our formal boundary and a stock fence erected by the owner of the field which used to adjoin our garden) When we moved into the house 12 years ago, this area was full of 5-6 ft high nettles, brambles, holly, ivy and goodness knows what else. I have gradually reclaimed this space (now legally ours) and converted some of it into a woodland garden, complete with a slate path, forest bark to cover the slopes and shade-loving ever-green plants like Skimmia and a couple of fruit trees. But I did have an area upon which I had constructed a knee-high work area with some paving slabs- in the past, I had used to organise some cuttings but it was full of a great deal of clutter which included bags of compost, topsoil, my own sieved soil, spare sand, slate, buckets and containers of every description not to mention a mini-greenhouse with creosote, gardening implements, gloves, knives, string, scissors, plant ties. With a certain amount of neglect and the combined effects of wind and rain playing havoc, then the whole area had become a right mess and needed a good tidying up (to put it mildly) However after an hour and a half of sorting out, throwing away and relocation I had restored a degree of order to the whole so it is now looking a bit more shape-shape. I have set myself a mini-project of constructing a little curving path up a slope to my storage area beyond the fence. Some time ago in Poundland, I had invested in some little lattice arrangements of wood being sold off for £1 (I think to put plant pots and the like) but I think I can utilise them for a somewhat different purpose and use them to construct the steps for my path. I suspect I will going to do some sawing to construct a series of little pegs in order to construct a curve. Mind you, I often think that instead of opting for a mathematical precision, it is better to judge things by eye as it is the overall impression that counts in the end (and one doesn’t have to be too perfectionist about it after all!)