The Carpenters were wrong…

Well, perhaps they had a point about Mondays, but rainy days do rather have their own charm. By and large it’s been lovely recently. I’ve been out in my dungarees (now the proud possessor of 4 pairs…) digging and shovelling like someone who is most definitely not a retired, slightly lardy, former solicitor. The new roses are all in and the last of the shaggy articles in the gravel garden and the bottom beds have had a No.2 haircut. The poor santolina looks especially brutalised…. I have even lepped in and out of the knot garden circles weeding round the emerging peonies so that they are clearly visible and less likely to be trodden on when we trim the hedges.

After a very mondayish Monday – beset with IT nightmares and filled with unputoffable jobs, today had been tentatively earmarked for some serious weeding and more hole digging and compost shifting (I still have a half bed of lupins grown from last year’s seed for which homes must be found and the soil improved). Alas, it dawned grey and moist. Keith, in full voice of weather doom mode, declared that by noon there would be torrential rain. Thus galvanised, I rounded up the aged mater (sorry mum) and the hound and we set off for a quick spin round the Hirsel. In the quiet moment between peak daffodil and peak cherry and bluebell (now just about to bloom) there was space to admire less showy, gentle marvels. The maple trees are covered in tiny yellow green flowers and primroses are springing up all over. In the woods, the anemones are peeping out and it will only take a burst of sun for them to open. At home in the nuttery, which faces south, ours have been dancing merrily for days. We managed to fit in a full calf inspection before the first raindrops descended.

Back home, with all barrowing rained off, I had a lovely hour in the greenhouse potting up begonias (the furry leaved ones that seem to be officially called something other than “begonia” – which caused no end of confusion when we opened the summer bulb (etc) order) and adding yet more cuttings to the collection. I counted my seeds jealously. The padron peppers were congratulated on emerging and the Hungarian Hot Wax given a hard stare…My flower seeds are also mainly germinating well (though a few hard stares needed for the verbena and the wax flower) and the dianthus have quite simply gone berserk. Pricking those out is going to be quite a task. Mum has kindly made a giant sack of paper pots to get me going but, thankfully, they need to grow a tiny bit more first so I left them to it with a clear conscience.

Nobody wanted to cook or shop so I rootled in the freezer and found loads of cassoulet made a few weeks ago. Result! Freed from catering detail, I positively skipped over to Luigis and made the first batch of soap for the season – ginger and calendula, using up the last of my dried marigolds. As the evening kicks in, I’ve a new jumper on my pins to get on with, the fire is on and at least three new books I’ve not started on the library table.

I’m hoping for sun tomorrow, the garden won’t wait for ever, but a little rainy day leisure is a lovely thing…

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