Friday, 5 May 2017

mixed fortunes

The magnificent new door mat is scarcely functioning as a mat, because Our Ginger has taken to sleeping on it and refusing to get up when either of us wants to get in through the front door.  The only answer is to open the door just enough to get one foot through it, and push the mat with Our Ginger on it out of the way.  Consequently the mat has moved from its intended place just inside the threshold to a central position in the middle of the hall, a thick coir raft with a large ginger cat on it, which we have to walk around when going in or out.  Ah well, it was a good idea having a new luxury doormat, even if it hasn't worked out in practice, and it could be worse.  I knew somebody who had a wolfhound that used to sleep inside his front door and refuse to get up when he came home, and he couldn't open the door at all.

For my next act, to protect the deckchairs on the shady deck from the copious showers of bird crap that fall at night from whatever bird it is that roosts in the Meteasquoia glyptostroboides, I have purchased a PVC tablecloth to drape over them when folded up and not in use.  I was thinking in terms of making an open bag to fit over them like a sail cover, and it was the Systems Administrator who pointed out that I could save myself the trouble of sewing anything and just hang something over them weighted with battens on the lower edges.  Amazingly, the second time I searched on Amazon I found a cloth printed in a fake plank design that is an almost perfect colour match for the deck.  I had been thinking in terms of taupe with as inoffensive a pattern as I could find, probably polka dots, but the idea that you could buy wood patterned tablecloths had not honestly occurred to me.  The aim is that it will blend in with the backdrop so that it doesn't draw the eye as an unwanted focal point.  But since the acquisition of a new doormat didn't go entirely to plan we'll see if the chair cover idea works any better.

I promised an update on my attempts to propagate Viola odorata by potting up little rooted pieces. The answer is that the method works.  Every pot in all three trays, one of each colour, has got a bunch of healthy looking dark green leaves in it.  I haven't tipped any of them out to see how fast the roots are developing, but they must have roots or they would be dead by now.  A one hundred per cent success rate at propagating sweet violets is some compensation for the failure of the doormat project.  I have just ordered a new (to me) pale pink variety called 'Lydia Groves' for a gap in the ditch bed and skinflint that I am only ordered the one, thinking that if it took I could bulk it up next year.

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