North wind

It was a race to get the work done before the cold northerly wind pushed me indoors.   But there I was, in the almost dark, digging parsnips and a jostaberry. Ah the things we do in winter.

Twas a day of three halves. Well, segments. Actually being poor at mental arithemetic was the start of the day.   I had measured out the vegetable beds yesterday and  then was completely unable to do the calculations: one metre wide beds, thirty centimeter rows in between. How many fit in each bed?

It was frankly beyond me.   So I did what all arithmetically challenged do: I cut a huge length of twine, grabbed some gaffer tape and marked off the intervals I needed on one long piece of string.  

And it worked.   I now know what I have in the vegetable garden; beds of five, four and three. And a half.

And from there it was just one small step from marking it out to going completely mad with a spade and making the new beds. I blame Joy Larkcom for the inspiration.

If you squint, you can see that by the end of the day I managed to dig out the five beds in the top left quadrant.   This will be where I plant my carrots, parsnips and flowers.   So the least urgent bed of all.   But I am hampered by existing crops.   I am after all re aligning the whole garden here, so the cloches will be facing the other way.  Â  And there is still cabbage, chard and spinach underneath.

But I’ve made a start on what will surely be a very busy spring.

My other job was to weed the plum bank in preparation for mulching.   It is a very lush old bed that has huge amounts of very deep soil. A waste you might say just to plant rosemary and perovskias.

But for a part time garden, this has to be the solution.   And with a heavy mulch I ought not to be fretting about this part of the garden for quite a while.

Out came the weeds, I avoided treading on the fragile sticks of the perovskia (Russian sage) and I have spotted some gaps where I can add a few more plants from the calabert garden.

The soil is cold still, but I swear the weeds were sprouting just as I was pulling them out.   This wild winter is playing havoc with garden plans.

But like all things, this mild weather has to end.

And by the early afternoon the wind was picking up and the temperature was heading down.

Nothing to do but get chipping and pull the beany down a bit lower.   I love my chipper.   Because the end product from all these sticks and branches is the most perfect mulch.   It is well aged and goes perfectly in the among the shrubs in the soft fruit orchard.

I just need about two more days to get it all chipped. I don’t work quickly as the branches are in a perfect tangle, and if I get energetic, the power cable falls out the back of the machine.   Maybe I should end the day with the start – get out the gaffer tape and make life easier.   I just need to defrost my fingers first.