Saturday, April 05, 2008

Despite Conditions

Delphinium seedlings. Look behind these little seedlings. Can you see how desperately some of the glass in this greenhouse needs to be cleaned?

Lupin seedlings.

I was all set to feel miserable and thwarted with respect to the garden and the weather again this week but HA! At about 9 am though the wind was up, the sun was shining so out I went to do battle with the jobs that are steadily lining up outside. I ended up removing my coat and hanging it on a hook as I worked in the greenhouse. It was so lovely inside that greenhouse out of the wind that I got all the sowing and pricking out jobs done that I wanted to accomplish this weekend.
The seeds in these pots are cucumber, courgette (2 varieties) pepper and pumpkin. The seed tray contains sprouting broccoli. Incidentally, the sweet corn in square cardboard pots on the left of this photo have started to sprout.

By 1:00 when I stopped for lunch it was almost balmy. It was then that Henry pressed George into service and they started digging the foundations for our new patio on the south and sheltered side of the house. As I don't normally have company outside, I went around to that side of the house to do some pruning. Julio, the helpful cat inspected everything I did very carefully, He gnawed on some of the branches I had cut just to ensure that they were dead. He also ran after and clawed any branches I was dragging over the grass. Very helpful cat!

While I was out, one of the people in our community, Mike the Gamekeeper stopped by. He said that when he passed the house last night, there was a fox in the garden by the chicken house. I said that I knew about this fox and this was the reason that the hens were not let out at all at the moment. Foxes now have young to feed and I don't want them to feed my fat hens to their babies. In years gone by I have had foxes take chickens from the garden during the day while I'm home. Mike the Gamekeeper said that he couldn't get a good shot at the fox last night, but he'll catch it over in the woods across the road very soon. Naturally, I offered Mike the Gamekeeper a mug of tea as we chatted but he declined as he was very busy and had to get on. Before he left, he handed me a new business card that he had printed up. He is in the pest control business now! I about squealed with joy when he said that he'd get rid of our moles for us! All his traps are out at the moment, but next week (he promises) he will be back and in our front garden to trap the moles.

It was his professional opinion that the moles we have are due to my tendency toward organic gardening. He says that these little guys (which are probably last year's babies) are after all the worms that are wiggling freely in my eco-friendly garden.
After Mike the Gamekeeper left, I got all the broken glass from the greenhouse repair, into a box and ready for taking to the dump to get recycled. I'll probably take the newspapers too as we habitually forget to set our newspapers out on collection day.
Then it started to hail. We all ran for our coats. I was so sure that it was just a cloud and the hail would pass. The hail was bouncing off George's hair and sticking in the rat's nest that is my hair today. It started to hail harder. Julio took shelter under an old window that is leaning against the house and I started to collect all the tools because we all gave up trying to work outside.Hail in the foxglove.

All outside garden jobs have come to a halt. The weather forecast was for horrible weather this weekend and I feel that this day's unexpected window of decent weather was a real gift.


Update: It is 5:30 now and SNOWING!

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