Sunday, 3 April 2016


Two or three of the Clivia seeds in the heated propagator have started to send out fat, white roots. Some of the advice on the internet about how to sow them talked about putting the darker spot on the seed coat facing down, or possibly up, as that was where the root (or shoot) would emerge, but the spots on my home saved seeds were none too obvious, and I decided life was too short to scrutinise every seed that closely, and just laid them in rows as they came on top of the compost. Now I can see roots have emerged from the side of a couple of the seeds, and are heading firmly downwards.  I resisted the urge to lift the others up to see if they had roots underneath, but was prompted to go and check the ones sitting half buried in vermiculite in the airing cupboard.  Not a single one had sprouted that I could find, and I did pick several up and check them over.  I shall have to decide how long to keep the dual method comparison going, or whether to transfer the airing cupboard seeds to compost.  If I decide I want that many Clivia, that is.

I started filling the potholes in the lane.  I've had the job earmarked for a Sunday, when we can be sure the postman won't call.  I would have said there wouldn't be any deliveries either, but Amazon's own delivery service now seems to work seven days a week.  That's something of a mixed blessing in gardening and property maintenance terms.  It was rather handy having one day in the week when I could set up the Henchman in front of the Eleagnus hedge and block the turning circle with impunity, knowing that there weren't going to be any visitors, barring Jehovah's witnesses and the lost.  I don't mind lost people who are trying to find another house on the farm, but I was not so keen on the man who was looking for a house with a different name not even in the same village, who claimed to have been given our postcode and said his Satnav had sent him here.

I started by packing small bits of broken concrete saved from other jobs into the largest holes, then poured postcrete around them and watered it, but I could not fill all the holes because I found I had not bought enough bags of postcrete.  I had no feel for how many the job would need, so got a couple to see how it went.  I didn't want any left over on the grounds that it would probably set solid in the bags before I got round to using it.  It was a shame not to have enough, though, while I was on the case, as it would have been satisfying to be able to tick Mend Potholes off the list of things to do.  As it is I know I have half done it, which is true of a lot of things on the list.  The Systems Administrator was apologetic about not offering to help, but has a particularly bad back at the moment and a stinking cold to boot.

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