Darling buds

May 2nd

Double bank holiday weekend, and enough deep blue skies to satisfy even me. warm in the sun, but a wicked wind blowing, – “rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, ” – I should say so, the sky was a swirling mass of pink petals town off the cherry, pear and apples trees. For some reason the hens love to eat these petals and as they land in the hen run like spring snow, rush to chase and consume them. I wonder what eggs from hens fed on apple blossom taste like- we shall find out soon.  Chris says the eggs in Uruguay smell and taste a bit of fish, from the fish meal fed to the hens. Yuck.

Chris has been home four days now, chronically tired and with a sore throat for the last two months, but otherwise in good shape considering.  Chatsworth has been loaded with visitors today with long queues in and out. I took Chris and his friends, who have two small boys, to the children’s farm and adventure playground.  Saw the little piglets, orange with black spots, very attractive, though not sure what the mix of breeding.  They also had pigmy goats which reminded me of my goat Susanne in Ghana in 2006. I wonder what became of her in the end, but at least we saved her life for a while. 

My bean nursery has been doing well in the greenhouse, and I will have sufficient for the bean poles I have already put up.  24 galaxy runners, 30 borlottis, about 16 dwarf french which I want to intercrop with the sweet corn.  There is a third plant in the classic trio of corn beans and . . . ? but I can’t remember what it is!  I also have a tray of soya beans but they yet to germinate. – I have them on the high windowsill in the kitchen now.

I am also so pleased to see that my courgettes have germinated nicely, and the marrows are following along today. 140 busy lizzies came in 1/2inch plugs last Thursday and I have pricked them all out and they seem fine and starting to grow a bit.  I have high hopes that these busy lizzies will sell mother’s house for her, as she claimed they did the old one in Gloucestershire. “You can do a lot with a busy lizzy, ” she used to say.

On the allotment, I spent an hour watering on Sunday morning. The sun and wind are drying everything out.  It must be at least six weeks now since we had any rain to speak of.  My new potatoes have come through, and there are also tiny lines of spinach and carrot seedlings, – the pheasants – who are now Mr and Mrs – maybe won’t let them stay in the ground for long.

 It even kept fine for the wedding of William and Kate. All very perfect, and tremendously conservative. The two things I thought jarred most were not inviting the two Labour prime ministers, gross bad manners by some decision maker,  when one saw who did go.- and the Ruritanian like military uniforms everyone was dressed in, even the 89 year old Duke of Edinburgh. It gives the impression that military values equal the height of honour and prestige, (not so)  and that we are a war-dominated nation, like the Spartans. 

I  also hate the sight of the Busby bear skins, and think of all the dead bears. One horse tipped off its guardsman and galloped off home to its stable, overtaking the Royal landeau apparently, though we weren’t shown that on TV.  Good for the horse.  But anyway. W and K managed it very well, and I wish them all the best for a quiet life. He has a very sweet disposition, and she has great peace and poise about her. The DDDof D came home and wore her wedding hat to Church on Sunday. She’d had a very good time, though I am sure we saw more of the actual ceremony than she did (if her eyesight had permitted it anyway) from where they were seated in the transept.

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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