This weekend started off a little differently to most in that Allegra and I were to attend a wedding. Martin left work early to allow us the time to catch the coach into the city (train replacements at the moment 😦 ) and meet up with Poppie (my dad) to catch a Metro then a lift home. Allegra was truly the little country girl in the city with eyes absolutely everywhere.
Nanny (my mum) was in fine form with spoiling Allegra. 2 new dolls, new nightie and dressing gown, socks and cardigan to wear to the wedding and lots of cuddles and kisses. She is the only grand-daughter after all so I swallowed my anti-consumer words and smiled broadly. 😉 It was fun to see Allegra putting on her cutesy-wootsy best and charming my aunt and mum to pieces. Poppie was equally smitten and I got to sit back and relax! 😀
The next day we were woken by Allegra’s excited prattle so we got up and ready for the wedding. Nanny is still in shock at how much food her delicate looking grand-daughter can put away for breakfast though. A good-sized bowl of porridge and 3 slices of Vegemite on toast later and Allegra was still willing and able to sit down and polish off ¾ of a packet of rice crackers! Handbags packed, gifts wrapped and make up on we headed off.
The wedding was beautiful, the bride beautiful, the groom smitten, the bridesmaids gorgeous, groomsmen smart and flower-girls and page-boys all appropriately cute and incredibly well-behaved. It was a lovely service. Allegra was kept happy by the discovery of pen and paper in her bag as well as 2 boxes of sultanas and a tub of nuts. Yes, food is the way to a preschoolers heart for sure. 😉 A light lunch later and Allegra and I were dropped at the station to train it home as we weren’t stopping for the reception. Into the city, a stop for a little more spoiling that blew out our sugar-free policy a bit more and then a coach home sitting right next to our next-door neighbour. 🙂
It was lovely to be home again, back to the fresh air of the country and away from the hustle and bustle of the city and those that live and work there. I found myself able to relax and I was in bed by 9, asleep soon after. It had been a long and draining, although enjoyable day.
Sunday however I couldn’t get mucky fast enough! As fun as getting all tarted up is fun in its own right I much prefer mud on my boots, mucking out the chook pen 😉 or digging in the garden. I dug up my recently planted grapes and built a raised garden bed in which to replant them. The area where they live is quite damp and I was concerned at their dislike of having wet feet. Raising the bed solves the drainage problem and it also looks far neater. 🙂 A trip to Diggers and Blackwood Ridge Nursery saw me planting some ornamental ground covers under the grapes, an azalea that likes the shade in the garden closest to the front door and a couple of pretty lavender along the front fence line where the apples and pears are espaliered.
Another job that needed doing was digging up the Erlicheer bulbs from around the chook pen. I’ve a garden bed (to build) in which they will be wonderful and I’ve also scattered them along the front fence and in the grape bed too. They finish flowering just as the fruit trees come into bud so they make a good companion plant for the apples and pears along with the lavender. Pretty. 🙂
Digging out the bulbs has left many empty beds. Some of the Tagasaste have done well, others have died (being pulled from the ground repeatedly by kids is not a good encouragement to survival :() and I also planted out a new Mulberry tree too. It will grow and overhang the chook pen allowing the chooks a feast in mulberry season (thanks for the idea Gav) with any fruit that falls. I moved the first mulberry I’d planted too which I believe died from either lack of or too much water (got to be tough to survive here) but in case it just needs to de-sog its roots it’s getting a second chance. If it lives we will be well situated for both black and white mulberries. 🙂 YUM!
Today was back to work for Martin but back to it for the kids and I. A load of compost to finish off the grape bed, logs moved into position ready to have newspaper laid and then topped off with soil and mulch (our handyman did the hard yakka for me there) and I will have 1 more garden bed complete. I need to pick up more compost for the other finished triangle bed and then build one last bed before calling it quits on raised beds. I’ve had little luck sourcing local straw aside from our local animal feed store where it is (as expected) a little pricier than I wish to pay. As Martin has sawed down most of the poplars out the front (3 to go now) I have plenty more wood available for hugelkultur beds but I think I will simply lay the wood in position and leave it to dry out and begin its slow decomposition process. I haven’t the time energy nor money to finish them off this season but compost building over the next 6-9 months will go a long way to getting them ready for next year. If I remind myself that it’s a long-term process then I think I can wait. 😉
So today our handyman all but finished fencing up across the creek. The fence that was there had been trampled and flattened by trees and traffic (some of it our own foot traffic I might add) and was no good for keeping anything in or out. Aside from apparently 15 minutes work tomorrow it is once again secure and able to contain anything or anyone over there. We hope to be able to let Miss Anna out to have a browse and munch over there which will help keep down the hawthorn and poplar suckers that keep popping up. It also provides her with extra tucker. 🙂 Now we know we can safely take her over there and find her again later. 😉 One more job finished!
I noticed today that we have strawberries out in flower, including one of my Tarpan strawberries. They are a truly pretty flower as the petals, instead of white or pale pink are actually cerise pink, nearly as vivid in colour as the fruit that will follow. 🙂
The only other thing to report is that I have an unwanted guest in my greenhouse named MOUSE! The rotten thing has literally eaten the seeds from my soil blocks! Rotten creature. I think he’s had a go at the spuds too. I will need to give much thought as to how to remove it (cat in greenhouse will also involve poo in garden beds) and then how to prevent the return of it or its family. Mice also attract snakes, not something I want to contemplate coming into summer. 😦
Well, it’s now next Saturday as I’ve been so slack posting this so about to write the next post now too. 😉