18 May Restoring order
Sometimes we all need a little help from our friends. We had water pipes to dig in and despite being expert diggers – all – we are in the heat and thrust of the planting season. This means that were you a fly on the wall you would see an assortment of mud covered individuals muttering such things as ‘parsley, rocket, basil more basil, beetroot, radish. Get those tomatoes moved. Get the courgettes out. Sow the mizuna. Water. weed again and water. Feed everything. Snails. Order that fleece. Carrot fly. ‘ Repeat to fade.
Enter the Novikov Asian crew. Aka Dom, Georgi and Armands:As you can see it was raining. There was a lot of mud swilling around and these boys are Mayfair waiters. But they got stuck in and we had the trench dug for the water pipe within a couple of hours. They then weeded and generally made themselves useful.
Such is our frenzy of planting that at the beginning of the day the walk through/tool area looked like this:By the end of the day Benjy and Polly had transformed it into this ordered haven. Each tool on its rightful peg. All the pots either washed and stacked neatly or stowed in size order ready for cleaning. Even the seeds have been racked and organised. Meanwhile there was much sorting out of glasshouses and polytunnels, primarily to make more room. Charlie, Guy and Liam have produced so much that we’re running out of space – which is great. I’ve shifted loads of things outdoors from the Victorian glasshouse to be hardened off and ready for planting. This means that we can have more space for tender things as cucumbers, tomatoes and courgette flowers undercover. Being a gardener makes you appreciate the little things. For example this afternoon I phoned for a skip. It arrived within the hour. That makes me happy.
By the end of the day the heavy rain was clearing and the sun pushing through. A good planting day tomorrow then. We’ve got 28 varieties of baby leaf we want to get sowing and sweetcorn and gourds ready to plant out. Plus, tomorrow’s going to be a special day. The first member of staff to have a BE birthday.
Just beside the portakabin a splash of pink caught my eye, hawthorn. It looked amazing, lit by the sun and fresh from the rain. I’ve just found a great article by Monty Don on the subject of hawthorn’s in May. Have a look at www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2005/may/01/gardens -MontyDon:Hedge of reason/life and style/The guardianX