It’s not often that I sit here at this blog, lost for words, but I don’t know what to write about. Not that it’s unusual to sit down and not know what I will write, but I generally find out quite quickly. Overall, it’s been a horrid week and I don’t want to dwell on it. I’ll tell you another time. Those of you who are Facebook friends will know what I’m talking about.
Mostly, we’re focussing on the garden, which is gradually improving. Three beds in the kitchen garden have been cleared this spring and the fourth is nearly done, though that one will simply be grassed over. I used to grow squashes there, then it became the compost heap site and, now that’s the other side of the gas tank, it’s not needed and might as well simply be mowed. I don’t need all the vegetable space that I did when I grew for Al’s shop.
We went over to a plant nursery we hadn’t visited before, yesterday. We had bought some seedlings and a couple of herbaceous plants from the owner’s stand at the plant Street Market in the town last May and he was so friendly and knowledgeable that we earmarked it for a visit. And it’s a delight – a very rambling place, not laid out as modern nurseries are but with various paths signposted by hand-painted signs, leading to greenhouses, polytunnels, a shaded tunnel and various places where shrubs and trees are set in their pots for sale. They’re all labelled but not particularly organised, so you have to wander around and poke about for what you want. By the car parking area, where the shop itself is, there are tables of smaller shrubs, seedlings, herbs and herbaceous plants and, on the ground, pots with climbers and taller items.
After we’d had a wander, entertained by the humorously friendly signs, we came back to find someone to ask for advice and spoke to a nice woman who turned out to be the co-owner. We ended up with a trolleyful of plants and went inside to pay. There was a table of home-made jams and chutneys and, she told us, her mum made those. There were also bottles of apple juice, each labelled with the variety – they grow, press and bottle them themselves and grow the fruit for the jam. We were quite enchanted. We didn’t see all the working greenhouses and nursery beds, but there must be a big area and we saw other people working as well as the man whom we’d already met, so it must be a thriving enterprise, though hard work. We’d noticed the rows of apple trees as we’d driven along the road, some bedecked with mistletoe.
Finally, we asked if they sold grass seed and they did, from a sack, by the kilo. A kilo would be enough for twenty square yards – in the splendidly mixed imperial and metric systems that many of us use. Would a kilo be enough? It was fourteen feet square, which is 196 square feet, which is … divide by nine … nearly twenty-two. Oh, it’d do. And it’s in the greenhouse waiting to be sown, as soon as Stevo has finished shifting away excess earth and raked it to a tilth. Tilth is a nice word, isn’t it? Don’t have the chance to use it that often.
And I could write after all, I find. But it’s been a melancholy week, though and a worrying one, in various ways and, if I’m going to blog, it needs to be upbeat to keep me cheerful.