Sunday May 15th.
The horse trials are on this weekend. Last week they were worried that the ground would be so hard they couldn’t hold them. -last year they had to cancel because the weather was too wet- but this week we have had rain most days, so probably OK. I haven’t been yet but may be able to drive Mum over for a look this afternoon. Pip is the only dog I know who follows the cross country with huge interest. He follows each horse and rider come down from the top of the park and carefully watches them over the water jump by Queen Mary’s Bower. Spaniels and retrievers etc. look the other way and seem very bored.
Between showers we have been busy in the garden. My enthusiastic ordering from Jersey Plants has resulted in a pricking out nightmare of finding homes for 160 geraniums, 160 busy lizzies and 160 trailing petunias! Entirely my own fault, but I became obsessed with giving each infant plant a fair chance of a life. The green house is bursting at the seams with trays and pots everywhere. I also have a tray of penstemens I grew and have still to pot on and there are loads of baby pansies in one of the big display pots I want to transplant and grow on.
Working in London Wed and Thurs, thinking about trafficked children and little slaves across the world we are campaigning about, and made me think the difference between me fussing about my tiny plug plants and how we throw children to the most horrible fates. Something biblical there about sparrows falling.
Jane and I between us are collecting a good supply of possible things to sell on the plant stall we have discovered we are down to run at our open gardens “Hidden gardens of Edensor” day on July 2nd. She has raised twenty or more little sages. I have bits and pieces all over, but must think what I can sow now which might be sellable in 6 weeks time. Certainly there will be some geraniums, bls and petunias! Come over and see the little allotment!
The peas and soya beans have both been a disaster to seed even in the greenhouse. They have dissolved into a little patch of flour in the pots! I must have had the compost too wet. – never seen this problem before. On the other hand the peas I sowed straight into the grown under a net have actually come through the soil at last, so I may get some sort of crop! Good news on the kitchen window system for the courgettes and marrows, as I have several good specimens of both, and Jane has given me a cucumber plant. I will have enough salad producing plants and summer crops now I think. Two butternut squashes also germinated, – I usually have no luck with squashes.
I have planted out all the sweetcorn now with little french beans round the outside lines. Jerusalem artichokes behind them are doing their own thing and I haven’t the energy to pull them up, – I rather like JAs anyway. Asparagus produces three shoots a day, enough for a sandwich. Our salads are all good now though, and my radishes will be ready in a week or so. They have recovered from the pheasant predations but it put their growth back a fortnight.
The broad beans have benefited from the rain and are now more than 1ft tall. They will flower soon. The potatoes too are up and looking quite flourishing, I keep earthing them up. Last year’s drought in April and May gave very poor crops but I am more optimistic this time as the showers have been quite heavy.
Sad news on the chick front, the last broodie produced three lively live chicks but two have since died for no apparent reason, so she too has just one solitary chick. Not very good, six chicks altogether from three clutches.
In London I had a very quick meeting with Penny who had come up to a St Bart’s reunion day,and promised I would do some more thinking about her Karamojo street children project ideas. I then went off to the Cadogan Hall to hear the Orchestra of the Swan and John Lill play Beethoven’s 3rd, after a flier had been pushed into my hand on the South Bank last week. Very glad I did, they are very crisp, tight young orchestra with excellent sound. John Lill was so good it was almost like turning on a record. very competent indeed but experienced and reliable rather than heart wrenching. Maybe B3 doesn’t need that kind of emotion anyway. The hall looked just like an old URC church on a grand scale. I wonder if it was once. huge balcony where I sat in the cheapest seats! Last night here, we had a concert by Rennaisance Voices, a very good local chamber choir who have been going for a while, in aid of “Friends of the Peak District”. Mainly 16th and 17th century pieces. Lovely sound, but by the end of the evening one kind of feels one’s had enough of the Tudors. That’s all for now folks!