Saturday, 20 January 2018

a wet day

It rained all day, and so I did not go any further than the hen house, to give the chickens the end of a brown loaf, top up their pellets, and collect the eggs.  They have been laying assiduously all through the winter, apart from the old lady Maran who is a pensioner and no longer does eggs.  The run looked as though it would turn to mud, given another day or two of rain, and I thought that as soon as it stopped raining I had better give them the final straw bale.  After that I will have to work out where I can get some more straw.  Tracking down small bales when you are not part of the farming set is a perpetual challenge.

Mr Fluffy took much the same view of the rain as I did, and spent the day asleep in his furry bed on top of the cupboard.  Mr Cool was so desperate to get out that he disappeared up the side of the wood, even though he hates rain, returning with wet fur and a large, soggy mouse, which the Systems Administrator made him eat outside.  The Systems Administrator succumbed to cabin fever and went to Clacton to buy chainsaw oil.  The SA asked if I needed anything, and I said that some chocolate biscuits would be nice.

I, meanwhile, have made it through a Maelstrom level Sudoku without hints and in record time, not because my time was at all quick but because it was the first time I'd managed to complete one at that level at all.  Sudoku is either a terrible waste of time or good practice to keep one's brain working, but I still haven't decided which.

Now I am going through the Chiltern Seeds catalogue putting together a sensible sized order.  The useful sounding High Line aster and geum will go on the list, and I might as well try the snowy rush, Luzula nivea, as I know I want some more and if I could raise them from seed that would be better than paying around six pounds a plant.  And I thought I would buy an AGM rated variety of Cosmos instead of relying on the free seeds that always come with gardening magazines.  The RHS recently published the results of their Cosmos trial and said that many of the older varieties in circulation were now of variable quality, some plants taking ages to flower or going over very quickly, which exactly describes how my Cosmos did last summer.

I am not going to let myself choose any umbellifers or anything else that needs to be sown fresh.  Instead I might put in an order for fresh seed to Derry Watkins in the autumn.  And I am trying to resist plants that sound intriguing if I don't have any idea where to put them.  Climbing asparagus is certainly unusual, but I can't honestly think of any garden prospect that would be improved by draping it with a fifteen foot long swag of asparagus fern.  Actually, the catalogue gives the height as 165 feet but I am pretty sure this is a mistake.  And I must remember that I really don't have room for more tender shrubs in pots, and that trees originating in tropical rainforests and needing a minimum temperature of ten or fifteen degrees Celsius will not survive the winter in the conservatory.

It is going to rain tomorrow as well, but I won't be bored.  I have to do my tax return.

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