Monday, 19 April 2010

A Week in the UK

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Helping Out in the Garden

I recently spent a week at my Mother's place in Kent, England. Most of the week was spent doing some spring jobs in the garden and clearing away some of the clutter that makes access to the garden difficult. The first job was clear away some lockers which were blocking light reaching into the conservatory. This was important as a month ago when I was last in the village my Mother and I sowed plenty of seeds in propagators and these now needed planting out and required the light!

The next job was to clear out the Greenhouse which had become cluttered with stuff over the last years. Everything inside was taken out and the benches inside cleaned up. Once this was done some of the potted seedlings good be placed in the Greenhouse and removed from the conservatory. In addition I sowed all the seeds necessary for what we shall grow in the greenhouse this summer. This will be all the usual suspects; Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Peppers (Chilli and Capsicum), Courgettes, Peanut Squash and Aubergine. In addition we';ll be sowing plenty of Basil plants with the Tomatoes.

We also planted three varieties of beans in pots for transplanting out into the garden later.

The stuff that was piled up on the outside of the greenhouse on the lower side was also cleared away so that more light could get into the greenhouse. In the garden itself we planted some Shallots and two types of Onions. A month ago we had planted out Garlic and this was already coming on well. In another bed we planted Carrots, Parsnips and Leeks. We also planted out a small bed of Swiss Chard - neither of us has planted this before so we will have to see about it. Finally a small bed of Sprouting Broccoli was planted.

On Tuesday night ny cousins Maxine and Marcella came over to visit my Mother and brought over some Broccoli seedlings. I potted these on and put them in the greenhouse and made a bed for them to be planted out in.

Around the garden we cleared and cleaned all the pathways and made safe all the access around the garden. All the plants that were in pots were moved to where my dad used to grow the Potatoes and we will decide where and when these will go in later. All the unwanted water-butts were also removed, though the garden still has plenty of them scattered about. At least you are not tripping over them now.

For some fun we scattered flower seeds underneath the fruit trees after I'd prepared the ground a little. Hopefully these will give a bright show later in the summer. Finally I opened up the Raspberry cage (it only needs to be closed off to the birds when the fruit is ripening) and trimmed all the canes and put in a layer of compost. My Dad was using two old coal-bunkers for compost bins and these were full of very rich compost. I put some on the raspberries and some on the plots for the Beans and Broccoli too. I'll leave it to my brothers to dig it in.

All this activity didn't leave much time for anything else although on the first Saturday I went out to lunch in Elham with my Mother and her two Brothers; Ted and Max. Afterwards we walked down beside the Nailbourne stream to North Elham to have a look at the house they used to live in as children.

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I'd already had a walk that morning when Annie and I walked to the church of St Cosmas and St Damian and around some farm tracks back to the village of Challock. Only three churches in the UK are dedicated to this pair of saints who were apparently both Doctors and brothers.

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