criminal elements

Rain most of yesterday and overnight last night, so with the joy of fresh growth comes the inevitable spurt of weeds.  I will have to keep my trusty hoe handy which I think is the best way to keep on top of them, especially the dandelions which will be in full growth for the next three or four weeks. They traditionally flower on St George’s Day and I take my revenge by picking a few gallons of flowers for dandelion wine, the first brew of the year!   The nettles in the allotment corners are still babies so I intend to pick  them and make them into soup this week.

A real criminal has been secretly nibbling at the sweet pea seedlings in the geenhouse, and then not even consuming the evidence. tragic little shoots left next to the stems.  The same little beastie has also been consuming the tops of the Cosmos seedlings which had grown so well.  If I wasn’t a natural pacifist I would sit up at midnight with a torch and a horticultural equivalent of a shotgun in there. I have checked the bottom of  the pots for slugs but think the culprit might be a tiny snail I saw in a crevice of the plastic walls.

David says I should move everything out of the greenhouse which doesn’t need to be there, eg. trays of spare pots etc, which is good advice, and then wash everything down with what we call “The professor’s solution”, armillatox, which is wonderful at cleaning up most fungus and mould type things.  I will wait until after the rain and then have a go at a big clean up.

A great website from the states, the Dervaes family “little homestead in the city” had a “whackem” organic aphid killer recipe this week which read like something out of Macbeth. I’ll put in a link here if I can- garlic, onion, cayenne pepper and soft soap were just a few of its ingredients- brought tears to the eyes!

Dave and Julia finally move out today. I have bought several funky things in their yard sale, while giving them a hand, including a vintage Levi jacket, which  is something I have always wanted!  I have also gained two or three dozen more Kilner jars with the necessary screw tops of seals. – wonderful, as bottled fruit actually tastes much better than frozen, and is better fuel wise. Their best present though has been a delightful little witch hazel tree, the sort with convoluted branches. It is flying a very perky array of catkins and will look lovely at the end of the bark path in the allotment,

We had a Lent focus lunch after Church in Sunday for Libya with one of our villagers being Libyan and wanting to give an illustrated talk. More than fifty stayed and a few more people joined us so it was a successful event. We raised £400.  News from there sounds grim, and there seems no senior leadership from the opposition side. That really worries me, and I am naturally against solving any problem by sending in more weaponry. The cost of the tomahawks etc has already been huge. 

 The government priorities are all for bellicosity, while closing hundreds of theatres and arts groups by a £100 million cut just this month.. An earlier UN resolution setting up an arms embargo to Libya should be taken much more seriously, If it had been obeyed then Gaddafi wouldn’t have all the superior tanks etc he has.  same old story!

Just to say the hens have bucked their ideas up, so eggs have started coming in much better numbers and the Welsummer colour is excellent. The champion egg show will be at The Great Yorkshire show this year, so David is keen to exhibit. Its DDD of D’s 91st birthday today. I think he will give her a single W. egg as a birthday present, the same as a few years ago, when it was a great success.

About mrsgarnettsgarden

After a life in International Development where I have seen many resililent women farmers bring abundance out of almost nothing, I'm now more often at home in Derbyshire with my husband David, a retired Archdeacon who runs the churches on the Chatsworth estate. Our garden and my allotment are the setting for a little diary of plants and pottering, aided and abetted by our dogs, Spaniel jess, and Collie, Pip. David is a hen fanatic so the chicken runs encroach ever nearer the house. I work freelance as an assessor for Comic Relief International grants, and also run a little not for profit agency to help African women get going in business, called "Lasting Solutions."
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