Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How does your garden grow?

You may remember some of the dramaz I've had in the garden. That was only the first implement that succumbed... Anyway, this is what it all looked like at about May time. A flowerbed of reeds and spent primroses. A haymeadow of dandelion clocks underlaid with moss surrounded by various late-middle-age shrubs and seeded saplings.

A riot of ground elder in the corner.

Flowerbeds on a serious slide held back with sandstone rocks.

Ah, the rocks. How many did I dig up?

(bags of small rocks, pebbles, stone, housebricks, guttering, drainage pipe, bolts...)

But The Man, being smashing, decided to get me a landscape gardener for the day for my birthday. In fact it turned out to be two - Italian brothers, who of course were referred to as the Super Mario brothers. ('When are the Super Mario Brothers coming?' 'Have you sorted a day for the Super Mario Brothers to come?' 'Shall I write a list for the Super Mario Brothers?') They weren't quite Italian stallions in the end but they were very nice, and as well as grubbing up loads of dead bushes and seeded trees, took away the lawn.

And then some other nice men came from The Man's work and laid the turf.
Mmm, grass. With an edge.
All these plants from the garden centre were waiting desperately for a flowerbed to become clear for them.

Some nine hours of digging and two wheelybins full of reeds and ivy roots later...

Some were presents from The Man's mum. Aw.

Is this peony (which was supposed to be white according to the label) ever going to open? It's been a bud for 6 weeks, I swear!

Nereide lilies from bulb.

First tomatillo flower! And the tomatoes are getting big too. (I still have no idea what a tomatillo is going to be like.)

Foxgloves. I love the little faces on the buds before they open, all squished up eyes and grumpy looking.

Buds everywhere...

And the best bit, the monster BBQ. Love it! It's already been used a lot, including a lunch for 10 of the family.

Next year hopefully we'll have more plants in the new spaces, and some fruit and veggies. So exciting! Can't wait to have a real harvest. Clare has given me two courgette plants so if I don't kill them, we can have some Real Food from the garden. Perhaps even a ratatouille from courgettes and tomatoes and tomatilloes. Who knows?!
I am perhaps a little overexcited by all this. Sorry. :)

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Dear Lady...

Dear Lady on the Train,

It doesn't matter how loudly and frequently you complain about gentlemen commuters not giving you a seat, the very fact that you've mentioned it has immediately glued their buttocks to the upholstery. Please be aware that commuters are creatures of habit. They have their bit of their carriage and their routine with their newspaper / ipod / blackberry / snoring and after a long day of pontificating and many years of practice will stick to this routine through hell or high water. A train has to be stuck stationary for a minimum of two hours before a commuter will speak to a fellow commuter whom he sees every single day. That is how rigorously anything which doesn't comply with the routine is ignored. He can quite easily ignore you for the usual 45 minute journey.

A commuter feels justified in this possessiveness of his seat when he has paid three and a half grand for it and tailored his day to ensure he gets to the station early enough to claim it. You with your lowly off-peak return, scrambling on at London Bridge, are way down in the pecking order.

Also, if the conductor kindly tells you there are seats further forward in the train, take his advice and use them instead of yabbering on when I am trying to work. Unless you would like to take my exam for me next week?

Lastly, complaining that you are 72 and your travelling companion is pregnant is not going to encourage gallantry, especially when you clearly are not 72 and your travelling companion is carrying her belongings in a bag marked 'HM Prison Service'.


A Lady Commuter.