Visit the Fish Shop
ON SALE NOW! Moveable Feast Live
I’m now about 6 weeks into recovery but the broken wing is still healing and causing me endless frustrations. At least I can now pull a T shirt over my head but as I am feeling the absence of gym time,stretching the waistband of the trousers over to button them is a trial when they first come out the laundry. I am constantly reminding myself to forego the right hand maneuvers such as the long sleeved shirt when a cuff goes over my wrist and I flick my hand to free it or the inadvertent reach for the bottle of wine on the top shelf at Tescos. The sharp twinge of pain that arrives is like a cattle prod reeducation. I still can’t sleep on my right side and as I can’t perform any back exercises to strengthen up my core muscles I’m finding aches and twinges returning in my lower spine as I am constantly on my left side or on my back. The first physio visit was positive and I have another tomorrow morning to ascertain where I go next. It does grind me down knowing there’s still many more months of this but the hope of driving a car in the next weeks brightens me up.
I’ve managed a fair bit of sowing in the greenhouse but again a moment of forgetfulness when I opened the top of a propagator and stretched over with a deliberately quarter full watering can caused a gasp and a minor shock wave in the shoulder area. I’d been told by the physio after he read my notes that the operation was one of the biggest he’d come across and that it was going to be months before I was anywhere near back to normal movement. The digging and lifting has to be designated to others and I get frustrated and angry sometimes at my incapacity to perform simple tasks. Simone, quite rightly, scolds me when I am dragging the wood in a basket across from the pile to the house to pathetically take a badly directed ax to a log with my misguided left hand.A weekend ago I thought some light trowelling of compost into a trug was ok but the shaking of the head and the twinges that followed indicated she was right as always. We’d been repositioning bluebell bulbs under the apple hedge and planted a pine tree and a couple of sycamores that had grown over the years from bird deposited seed in containers in the kitchen garden. It felt good digging them into the scraggy treebelt on the farm drive but my contribution was mainly heeling them in and adding the fish,blood and bone powder. I did however get to drive the mini tractor and took the long way round every time. I paid the price later and had my arm in a sling as a penance.
We are however on top of the garden demands. The bubble wrapped heated greenhouse glows purple with it’s LED’s and the chillis, peppers and tomatoes that started in propagators in the studio in the bright “new” room have survived the move although I shudder at the electric bill coming at me.I accommodate the expense with the knowledge they’ll taste better than anything supermarket bought and that we grew them ourselves. Cabbages, sweetcorn,broccoli,leeks and broadbeans have all been “brought on” out in the ‘Blue house’ under lights but I would have had more in the dining room if allowed.
Rab built a great cold frame from scavenged wood and e bay bought plastic roofing, now known as the “Purdie Bunker”. We finally got to use the metal uprights that used to hold up the old tomato house from the early 1900’s and all that were left from a major fire here in the 60’s. I’d contemplated cutting them down with acetylene torches many’s a time but they’ve become an integral part of the new design and a couple of big old timbers slotted in perfectly between them to provide me with the front of the new frames.We’ve needed a big set of cold frames for a while as the 2 I shop bought years ago were way too small to cope with the outpouring trays of plants from the greenhouse. The “Purdie Bunker” is immediately outside so load in’s are easy and we have more stuff destined for the garden this year than ever before as now there are two avid gardeners in the studio.
Today 60+ perennials that were bought as plug plants and brought on under the lights went out to the closet chill and 3 sets of early salad tatties that have been chitted moved out into growing sacks.Rab had set up the 7 types of potatoes to chit in large trays in the greenhouse but before he moved them out to the “Purdie Frame” he’d raised them slightly as there was rain coming in through the roof. In doing so they’d moved and mingled across the types. When I had delegated the tattie planting the “8M bed” was scheduled for maincrop and I’d measured out spacings against length. After he had planted there were still over 2m left and I had a head scratching moment. The ‘Rooster’ and Picasso’ types were 25 each variety and I had 15 each of ‘Charlotte’, ‘Anja’ and Vivaldi’ designated for the 9 growing sacks with 25 each of early ‘Belle du Font’ and ‘Red Duke of York’ for the other beds. In all honesty I’d got carried away with ordering and was well over my space.However in the cold frame the numbers didn’t work out and that was when we realised the types had got slightly mixed up. Telling the difference between tattie types is not my best suit and having over ordered already a few were designated for the “miscellaneous” patch. I just hope in a few months time we don’t find the labels were mixed up as well as there may be some very disappointing salad potatoes in June!
The ‘Romance’ and ‘Amsterdam’ carrots and ‘Boltardy’ beetroot in the ‘Kitchen bed’ are so slow I’m wondering if I screwed up with too much compost as it’s over 3 weeks and no sign of green. I covered them with fleece the other nights when we had a couple of frost scares but still no real movement. Just in case I sowed another 2 rows of each in the 2m ‘Gate Bed’, salad under a cloche and ‘Petrowski’ and ‘White Milan’ turnips with ‘Raab Broccoli’ in the ‘Bedroom Bed’. (They all have designated names)
There’s all sorts going into seed modules in the next month and the peas and beans I’ve sown in fibre pots in the greenhouse should be growing and stretching above “mouse size” in the next week ready to hit “the bunker”. This will be a big season and I’ll be here for all of it.
The ponds , all 3 of them, have been cleared out . I had to replace the pump in the ‘Japanese Garden’ as the cascade was keeping us awake. A 1000 litre a minute takes over from a 3500 litre per minute which means less visits to the toilet at night as the sound of the Niagara Falls was intruding not comforting. The new Arcadian trickle is better suited to peaceful slumber. The fish are active in the ‘Peter Pan’ pond with it’s new rejuvenating air pump bubbling away and we are watching the new frog spawn develop as excited as wee kids at school.The orgy that occurred a week or so ago took me by surprise as no sooner had I cleared away the debris from the winter than they were all rutting in a Dionysian apocalypse.I heard from a friend with a pond that they were even shagging his Koi carp they were so much in a frenzy!
There’s a new weather station here. Nothing too grand but enough for wind speeds, rainfall, humidity etc and frost warnings.I don’t entirely trust it as the wind was coming from about 6 different directions the other day and it signaled cloudy with rain on a a pair of blue sky days. I can only hit reset so often before it goes out the window.
I know some of you are thinking “what’s this to do with the music?”. Sorry to perhaps bore some of you but I really do get off on all this gardening lark and Simone and I even keep a garden diary these days. I need it, it keeps me sane and relaxed amidst all the other stuff. It also clears my head which is what I need just now as the recovery is gumming up my mind not freeing it.This is going to become a regular blog and there will be videos to follow. If you are into all this let me know, we can exchange tips! 🙂
Off to close the “Purdie Frame” now and check the greenhouse heater. I will ignore the electric meter. Watching the Hibs v Morton game on BBC text and quaffing a wee cheeky Savvy in the office. Tomorrow is parsnip sowing mixed with accounts, physio,paperwork and the next blog on the remasters !