Tuesday, 6 September 2016

air soup

We are back in air soup territory.  The humidity when I got up was ninety-nine per cent, and I could feel my skull teetering on the edge of a headache.  At one point I'd vaguely hoped to get myself to the Dulwich Picture Gallery today to catch the Winifred Knights exhibition before it closes next weekend, but by last night I'd decided that probably wasn't going to happen, and this morning there was no way I was going to go to Dulwich and back.  The exhibition has reviewed very well, but when I reread the reviews it seemed there were only actually five of her paintings in it, with the rest being preparatory sketches.  I'd have liked to see them and add a little known and neglected early twentieth century British artist to my tally, but not at virtually an hour's travelling time per painting in this weather.  You can't do everything.

I did finish potting on the seven and nine centimetre pots on the concrete, and cleared away various weed infested dead plants that had never made it out into the garden in time, poor things. That's the trouble with propagating your own material.  You start off with good intentions and high hopes, months before, and by the time they are ready to go out you hope the planting site will be ready.  Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't.  Drought, brambles, rabbit incursions, colds, backache, incurable optimism.  It's difficult to set a strict timetable in advance.

Some of the pots had recycled themselves into other things that could be useful.  A crop of seedling artichoke plants died in their pots, because with the best will in the world I never managed to clear a bed for them in what is supposed to be the vegetable garden.  Some pink Linaria 'Canon Went' raised for cutting likewise remained stuck in its pots because I didn't manage to get what was supposed to be the cutting bed under control either.  I think those Linaria I didn't manage to redeploy in the back garden may have died in their pots after flowering but they have left me with a crop of seedlings in the defunct artichoke pots, so I can try again next year.

I had a brief moment of excitement yesterday when an email arrived informing me that my DPD parcel would arrive today, and another email this morning narrowed the time slot down to between 16.19 and 17.19.  I am expecting some much delayed acrylic sheet to mend the greenhouse roof, and it would be nice to get that sorted out before going away.  At 16.23 the DPD van drew up, only it did not have my plastic sheets but a large box which the driver assured me was heavy before putting it down solicitously in the hall for me.  It was my bulbs from Peter Nyssen.  Now it is good to get those before the holiday, so that I can open the box to let them breathe and check them off. Who knows, I might even pot up the daffodils tomorrow morning.  However, the plastic company had promised me my acrylic would be arriving on Tuesday, the last time that I rang.  I am beginning to get deeply annoyed with them, and can feel a one star review looming.

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