Friday, 22 March 2013


All felt fantastically optimistic at the beginning of the week. I moved potato boxes to make small raised beds in what was the old veg garden - they'll be veg beds next year - and cover ex lawn, dug over another bit of new bed and gave some of my perennials new homes (they breathed out after being held in a straightjacket of clay for several months), moved a heap of perennials from bags and boxes over to the new bed in the old veg garden, put fleece down to warm the ground prior to hurling a few annuals at the soil....... Then I spent the second nice day running around and couldn't get into the garden. Then a morning filling boxes with old leafmould and grass clipping compost (I'm trying to bring nothing in to this garden for as long as possible but making do with everything I can use) prior to making plastic covers and sowing annuals.
Then it rained.
And stormed.
And rained some more.
And at the Herefordshire gardens tulips are once again under snow.
Lawns here are now under water again. Large new perennial bed is like a water bed, if you drop a plant at it (yes I know it's not a good idea but it happens) there's an unhealthy sploshing sound, the earth wallows a bit then settles stickily. The plant all but plants itself, but really not in a good way.

On the bright side, I am so overwhelmed by the number of really rather wonderful people who would have liked to come and help me here, but couldn't choose everyone....  Owing to the weather and prolonged wet I'm changing my ideas about how much I can get on with this year and am going to concentrate entirely on the garden and wait to cultivate strips in the field for annuals until it really has dried up. If I try to get onto that land now, even if it dried out for the next couple of weeks, all I will be doing is creating a horrible puddled layer of claggy clay not far beneath the surface, which will be impenetrable for plant roots and will form a water basin. No point. Patience will have to be a bit more of a virtue than it has historically been for me!

I've been asked to do the flowers for the Gardens Illustrated Chelsea Lecture again which is always fun, and am about to offer a little project with River Cottage doing flowery creations for hen parties, should any hens want same, and probably some other courses. I'm thinking of headdresses for hens, and also flowers to wear, it's particularly fun to wear flowers in your hair and there really aren't many opportunities unless you're a seriously boho type of gal. I think it's definitely time to replace fascinators with floral headpieces. (Though I admit I did go for a feathery rather than flowery option for my son's wedding as I felt I'd done enough flowers and wanted to fade into the background, though that was probably not exactly the impression in heels that made me about 6 ft 3 and a dead bird in my hair).

There are so many amazing projects round here, lots of people growing flowers, so I'm going to ask some of them to supply me with annuals when I need them for large do's early in the year. I'm sure my perennials will catch up after their trip down here so they should be fine. It is all rather exciting, re-starting, though some days a little daunting.

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