Saturday, 1 June 2013

so this is summer

When I woke up it was a beautiful morning, and I felt pleased, because it would bring the customers in, and because the daughter of somebody I know was getting married today and would have nice weather for it.  The forecast was for the thermometer to hit 18 Celsius by tea time, and I didn't layer a t-shirt under my uniform chambray one, because I thought I'd be too hot.

Wrong.  All wrong.  It was bright and calm enough first thing at work, the wind light enough for my colleague who has a sprayer certificate to don chemical suit and mask and wander around zapping weeds in the gravel with weed killer.  However, by degrees the sun went in, and a niggling cold breeze picked up.  I put on my fleece, and then zipped it up, and then had to go to the car and fetch my NCP attendant coat, which I hadn't expected to need today.  It lives in the car anyway, to make sure I don't leave it at home on days when I do want it.  The first of flaming June, and I was marching about wearing a coat, my nose running persistently in the chill wind.  How pathetic is that?

Some sensible customers had brought their coats and scarves anyway, but others had been caught out by the misleading forecast.  One poor woman was wearing sandals.  She was very good about not grumbling to her family, but her feet must have been extremely cold.  Mine weren't warm, and I was wearing walking socks and wellington boots.

The manager's note once again warned us not to water for the sake of it, and most things were fairly damp.  My colleague ran all the overheads for a minute anyway, which meant that I got water all down my front putting hostas out for sale, as I had to lean across their wet foliage to find space at the back for more pots.  It dried.

One of the turkeys spent the morning in the plant centre.  I am not well up enough on turkeys to be entirely sure whether it was the hen or the turkey cock, but it looked rather derelict, with feathers dropping out here and there.  The female hatched about a dozen eggs a couple of weeks back.  I don't know whether the chicks have survived, or if the fox has found them, but perhaps the turkey cock moults, once he has fulfilled his duties as a sire.  The pea cock has broken three or four feathers in his tail as well, which are sticking out at odd angles.

Along with the resident poultry, the plants are beginning to lose the first pristine freshness of spring.  Some flowers have faded, and the dead flower spikes need cutting off, while a few weeds have appeared here and there in the pots.  There is a scattering of brown foliage where the lower leaves of some plants have faded, and need pulling off.  The leaves on the trees are still very fresh and green, but will get slightly darker and heavier every day, as spring races into summer.

By the time I got home it was a cold-feeling 15 degrees Celsius, and a chilly-looking Systems Administrator was supervising the chickens, and said it had drizzled for part of the day.  I'm mightily relieved I inspected the bees yesterday afternoon, when it was hot.  The forecast then was for it to be warm enough for me to open the hives after work, and I considered leaving them until the weekend, to give me a clear day of gardening, but decided not to risk it.  Just as well I didn't, since it turned out too cold for an inspection, and so dull that I wouldn't have been able to see the brood properly if I had been able to open them.

No comments:

Post a Comment