Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wednesday March 21

On Wednesday Clara and I started transplanting bulbs from the main garden to the drive out by the front gate. Lesley showed us around the different beds with different varieties of snow drops and various other bulbs. She directed us to separate the clusters and spread them around in groups of three to five bulbs so they would have a good chance at spreading furthur throughout the gardens. We started with a group of achillites covering a large area under a few trees near the front car park and filled wheelbarrows to be taken down to the main gate. We spread these plants throughout the areas on each side of the road, surrounding the trees which lined the drive. We transplanted about three loads and then moved onto snow drops. One variety we had been asked to start with had a thicker folliage than I had seen on galanthus and were said to have larger blooms as well. As I dug up each giant cluster I had to use a spade to separate the bulbs since the roots had grown so dense. once the clusters were separated I scaatterd small groups of bulbs along the paths where we had laid the achillites. We continued on with this variety of snowdrop which was growing in large numbers close to the house and spread them half way from the gate to the main car park, leaving room in the beds for each cluster to spread and set new flowers the following years. It was a fast paced transplant process given the amount of plants we had to move. I simply stuck the spade into the sod making a good wedge and pressed the bulb in place. stomping the sod back down around the plant for suppourt. The strip of grass closest to the road, about three meters wide was left bare so the lawn mower could easily pass and trim the sod without tearing  up any flowers or small trees. Around noon, Clara headed inside to help Lindsay prepare a lunch for us and I finished two more loads of snowdrops on my own. It was a tedious but easy process of digging, lifting, pushing and replanting a bit don the road. It was laid back and simple for a nice clear day giving me a chance to enjoy some music and clear my head from the past few weeks of fast paced weeding and preparingthe vegetable garden. For lunch we had a large salad with potatoes and curry. It was very appetizing and filling for the day even with the work being a bit lightr than usual. I started the afternoon germinating the rest of the vegetable seeds and sowing some flower seeds into trays for Lesley. She had gotten some snapdragons, corriathus and cosmos along with a few small packages to replace areas of annuals that had dies out around the gardens. I planted a good amount of cabbage and a lettuce variety called rocket which the family uses a lot in salads and stews. I had gotten another batch of carrots of a different varietym wich I sowed into a plug tray. I also planted a few more brussels sprouts and spring onions. Clara joined in to sow a package of leeks onto a styrofoam fish cooler that had been saved and works well for starting root vegetables. Leeks are used in the spring for soups, curries, fried dishes, as well as mixed in with other baked or cooked vegetables to add a soft onion flavor. I went back to the root vegetable I had sown in the beds the day before to build up the ridges a bit more since I had only layered an inch or so over the seeds and the top soil was drying out very quickly in the dry weather. Clara and I went back to transplanting bulbs for the rest of the afternoon until she left to help Lindsay with the kids and learn some of the guidlines of thier daily routine. I worked a bit later than usual as I wanted to mov a final load of snow drops around an area that had over grown with grass and wild flowers. In the fall when other bulbs would die back daffodils, muscari, and tulips ould be transplanted to this area as well to creat a screen of various colors stretching from the road into the tall grass and cattle fields. When the gardens open next month, this will be the path visitors follow from the car park to the main gardens and should be a welcoming and colorful scene as guests arrive. That night we enjoyed some tasty pasta dishes with garlic bread and wine for dinner. I stayed up late playing guitar and chatting with Lindsy until she headed up to bed and then built a small fire for myself. I enjoyed a few pices of the pumpkin cake I baked the evening before and watched a movie call SLC punk which I had seen years before and always admired for its ciniacal truth of subjects like anarchy and rebellion with men and women my age searching for truth in thier various views of the world. It kept me awake and thinking for most of the night as I returned to my Chili Peppers biography which would touch on similar topics that influence passion and music. The next morning we would be planting trees again. Lesley had left to visit Barcelona for a week and left a list of tasks around the garden that me, Clara and james would need to tend to in order to keep evetything in line for the opening of the gardens in only a few weeks.

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