Jackie’s bedroom seedlings of nasturtiums and marigolds have woken up to the season and are springing forth.
We drove to The Firs, calling in first at the Village Shop to deposit dry cleaning; the bottle bank near Minstead Hall; then on to Lyndhurst to post a couple of parcels and visit the NatWest Bank to transfer some money to the Barclays account in France. It is a reality of village life that no longer can we pop across the road, as in London, to satisfy our every whim. But who cares?
Even the trip to Elizabeth’s was dual purpose. The Firs has been my business address for some years now, so I needed to collect my post. The main reason, however, was to survey the garden and make a start on this year’s work therein. We were delighted to see how much the plants have benefitted from the composting of the last two years, and in particular how the new beds now look established.
The winter has been so wet, so cold, and so long, that Elizabeth was only able to begin weeding last Sunday. That is therefore a priority, after the cutting of the grass, composting, and a bit of refurbishment to one of the bins I made last summer. When contemplating setting out on a long and daunting task it is always a satisfactory delaying tactic to make a list and start mañana. So we had lunch with my sister, made lists in our heads, and arranged to return tomorrow. Well, at least a commitment has been made.
Fritillaria meleagris is one of the many bulbs planted in the autumn, hoping they would come up in the spring. They have, as have tete-a-tete and other daffodils, such as white narcissi; muscari; numerous hellebores; self-seeded primulas; and a variety of pansies, notably those surrounding the bird bath. Many other flowers, in the beds and in various containers, have survived, and we are able to imagine how everything will look when it is all tidied up. But before that we must get back to work tomorrow.
A further very good reason, I convinced myself, for not making a start today, was that I needed to complete the paperwork for my accountant, and get a cheque off to EDF in France to cover the estimated electricity bill for rue Saint Jacques, since it has been sitting in The Firs whilst I was in France, and gone past the settle before date. We therefore had to go back home so that I could do that. And I did.
Further wildlife, in the form of two boys playing football on the lawn; and a young girl building a den in the far corner behind the rhododendrons, has emerged to enjoy the better weather.
This evening we enjoyed a meal of Aldi oven fish and chips, mushy peas, and gherkins.