Monday, 23 October 2017

Gardening continues ...

Instead of watching a Netflix movie before getting up to work in the garden yesterday, I caught up on Adrian and Adam's nb Briar Rose blog about their epic journey aka The North West Passage - I am aware that they have a great deal of boating stamina and can do huge number of hours each day (it's being so youthful, you know!), but reading about it (started from the end and read back to where they left us and Jaq at Tixall Wide) made me tired again. But valiantly, I got up and finished the unpacking, and then went out to get some gardening done.

I managed to empty the raised vege garden (RVG) of all its plants plus an extensive root system of mint, left the large perpetual rocket in place, and saved some things to be replanted:
  • a couple of other small perpetual rocket plants, plus 
  • some mint shoots for transplanting into an isolated container (to curtail the triffids-taking-over-the-world syndrome) and 
  • about 9 hydrangea cuttings put in the RVG earlier in the year that had happily taken and were thriving.
Then it was into the car and off to buy some mulch and compost/potting mix. At 40 litres per bag they were too heavy for me to lift sensibly, so staff loaded them into the boot, and back home David transported them from the car to the RVG in the wheelbarrow - that is Bruce and Gary's, by the way, as we don't own one, but every time David tries to give it back, they say they know where it lives now and can come and 'borrow' it whenever they need to. Lovely, aren't they?

In to the RVG went 80 litres of commercial mulch, then 3 wheelbarrow loads of mulch that is currently residing on our drive (and needs to be out of here before the motorhome** gets here in a month), followed by 80 litres of compost/potting mix. Then I planted the coriander and basil seedlings (some Thai basil in there - yay!!) and the lettuce seedlings. The small potted cherry tomato plant went into a pot and is in the middle of the RVG.

Planting has begun

Happy sprouting hydrangea cuttings

Luke and Diane turned up unexpectedly yesterday arvo with Lyall as the walking wounded, requiring grazed bleeding knee repair and grazed belly repair. Doctor Marilyn was on duty with the trusty Ayrtons ointment (no longer made, dammit!), the plasters, but both preceded by wound washing. I'd have to say that toilet lids are such a handy device as they double quite usefully as seats for patients requiring first aid.

It is great having Luke and Di as surrogate children, by the way. Doesn't mean we love Tim and Kirsty any less, but they are both too far away to be helpful on home handyperson jobs that are now beyond us.
  •  After I had cleaned (with hot water and white vinegar) the outdoor table glass that has been in the garage since we left back in May Luke helped me carry it around and place it again on the table - today it still looks sparkling clean, but that won't last long in the breeze.
  • Lyall recovered well from his injuries and was sent down (by his father) into the sinkhole on the motorhome pad to clear away the leaves. He retreated rapidly when he saw a spider, but not to worry - there weren't many leaves in there and they'll rot away quite happily I think. We just need to put chicken wire over the grill before next autumn so the full crop of falling maple tree leaves doesn't end up down there ... 
  • The RVG had a distinct tilt from back to front - mainly because the corner framing at the front wasn't extended into the ground while the rear ones were (already there as part of a manky old bean frame). So Luke raised the front section - amazing what a spade and garden fork (with suitably strong shafts) can do when wedged under the front bottom plank and levered up using my weight and Luke's.   He rammed a piece of 4x2 under each front corner, and Bob's your uncle. Looks like it was always level!!
The RVG has had a front face lift and now looks pretty level. See the newspaper packs of cos lettuce waiting to be planted when it's a bit cooler this evening? And down to the right of the RVG is the section I weeded today - some spreading thyme is now in place.

Lyall is attempting the blunt instrument solution to effect the termination with extreme prejudice of a small spider ...

Spider conquered, back in the hole goes that child - it is the opposite of chimney sweeps ...

Working, boss!

I have decided that if I do 20 - 30 minutes of weeding a day, I can probably keep on top of the demands of the garden ...

I did more than that yesterday, and did 30 minutes today: a bit more weeding and then I planted the spreading thyme seedlings - some by the RVG, some under the kitchen window and some by the clothesline - it spreads and can be used as lawn or ground cover so sounds ideal to me. On our supermarket visit earlier today I bought some baby cos and cos lettuce seedlings - Cafe Rata's vege garden is back in business!

However I'd have to say that gardening is much easier in the rooftop allotment on nb Waka Huia - no bending, for a start!

** Re the motorhome:
  • It has left Durban and is on its way across the Indian Ocean towards Freemantle, then around the southern coast of Australia, up to Sydney and Brisbane (not sure if it calls in to Adelaide on the way) then around the top of NZ and down to Auckland. Current ETA is 17 November  but likely to be a day or so later, but definitely not earlier!
  • The name is changing - you may remember that we decided on Vangelic (it's a van, my first name is Angela and I am angelic, and the inspiration came from my shouting out the answer to who wrote the music to Chariots of Fire at a pub quiz I wasn't in a team for ... ) However our original name for it was CROW, an acronym for Cafe Rata On Wheels. David didn't like that, hence it was subject to change ...
  • But back when we were moored up at Mount Sorrel, Kirsty (the lovely daughter) rang and indicated that Vangelic was a bit nothing and needed too much explaining. I explained about CROW and she was definitely definite that needed to be the name. Her thinking was this:
    • Crows are covids and covids are apparently the cleverest birds
    • I am a clever bird (OK, that was my addition to the discussion but Kirsty agreed)
    • Cafe Rata on Wheels expresses what will most likely occur with the motorhome
    • I said I would work on her father who was extremely resistant...
  • Fast forward to couple of weeks later and I watched a YouTube video of a Michael Parkinson  interview with David Attenborough (and Billy Connolly) in 1998 Here's the link to it: Michael Parkinson, Billy Connolly and David Attenborough
    • David Attenborough (at about minute 27, if you don't want to watch Billy Connolly and why wouldn't you - he is hilarious) tells the story of a carrion crow in a city in Japan that uses trucks at traffic lights to crack walnuts ...
    • So as we were cruising along towards Debdale, I told David about this, and about my being a clever bird. He said 'OK, I give in, CROW it is.' Yay!!!


Carol said...

Great blog post Marilyn! at 7:15 this morning we thoroughly enjoyed watching Parkinson with Billy Connolly and David Attenborough - set us up for the day! Thank you. xx

Marilyn McDonald said...

I do hope George isn't planning Billy Connolly's sex and die ... And wasn't the crow story amazing?


Jennie said...

Oh thank you Marilyn - I too enjoyed watching Parky - a programme we both used to love. Such a great interviewer. And yes the crow story was amazing. Jennie xx

Marilyn McDonald said...

Hi Jennie,
I'm glad you enjoyed the Parkinson episode. He did have the art of letting the guests tell their stories, which is a sign of a very good interviewer, I think. Of course, stopping Billy Connolly would be a hiding to nothing ...