I would really love to say that the garden centre we visited was quaint and perky with devoted gardeners growing their own plants and offering help to city dwellers, just like the one near my mum's home in Switzerland, but unfortunately, it is a chain with elusive staff and a cheesy home furnishings/decorations section. Who would want to display in their house a whitewashed wooden sign saying "love"? My house oozes love from all its cracks and dusty corners and I feel no desire to advertise the fact. But I digress, taste is personal and there must be a market for such items otherwise the chains wouldn't bother, would they?
Every year I get exited by the herb displays, the lovely flowering plants and shrubs, the fruit trees and the beautiful pots. Unfortunately, I am not a patient gardener. In fact, I am not a gardener at all. I would happily live in a top floor tenement flat with a couple of window boxes for greenery. But unfortunately a top floor flat leaves little space for a 10 foot trampoline and it is not great for playing football either. We live in a large late 1920's semi-detached pebble dash with a large garden to accommodate all the play equipment that four children of various ages might "need". It is great actually, despite the unpromising exterior. The garden is Richard's domain and he likes it "simple", which I think might be a synonym for "neglected" in this instance. There are no planned flower and vegetable beds but there is still an abundance of flowering plants and some edibles, too. We used to have a vegetable garden but this is now the trampoline area to free the lawn for football... and the vegetables are wherever there is a space.
Our climate is not very vegetable friendly but we have in the past grown greens, broccoli, courgettes, peas and we always have lots of rhubarb. The Scottish climate is great for soft fruit though and we have red currant bushes, blueberries and lots and lots of wild strawberries. I am hoping to add raspberry canes but we had some disease problems with those in the past.
Every year, I decide to become a gardener but usually give up after a couple of visits to the garden centre and an afternoon of digging. I don't like soil under my bitten fingernails. Nevertheless, I have over the years slowly and with limited but visible success identified hardy flowering perennials that add colour to the garden without big effort. This year I am going to sew some flowers, hoping some will grow back in the years to come. I bought seeds: snap dragons, daisies, achillea and a seed packet with a mix of annuals. I also bought ranunulus corms because I felt inspired by Leanne's give away last week.
I did forget to buy seed compost for my new seeds but this gives me an excuse to go back to the garden centre, maybe after I have done my research.
The rest of the weekend was equally pleasant, with a selection of highlights below.
- I went to a great ladies only Birthday party on Friday night (making sure I was absolutely certain whose Birthday it was this time). I was amongst the last to leave, after "curfew" actually. I felt like a social animal, partying away is not my strength but wonderful friends have a liberating effect on me. Having more or less lived in felted slippers or trainers for six weeks, my feet were killing me after an evening on heels (my beloved Doc Martens high heels).
- I spent every free minute knitting and have nearly finished the February socks and knitted the sleeves onto the baby cardigan I am making.
- I also nearly finished reading my January read "The plot against America" by Philip Roth
- James was not only worker/pupil of the week but also star of the session at football. A successful week for a wee man who often struggles with the demands of a busy six year olds live.
- Annie made lovely peanut butter fairy cakes (practising for book group next month apparently). She also made pancakes for Sunday breakfast and cleaned up the mess she made.
- Sam got dressed on Saturday AND on Sunday.
- Richard was too ill to go cycling for the third week in a row and finally went to see a doctor. Bronchitis (pneumonia not excluded). I hope he is getting better soon, although he tells me that the medication he was prescribed gives him the shakes...
- Alistair ate his dinner on Saturday without leaving the table needing a pee, then a poo and then because he can't find the strength to lift his fork (a daily ritual).
- We watched Mary Poppins together (Sam didn't)
- And finally, Sam's weird question of the week was: "Mummy, what do you think the frogs were thinking when they were raining down from the sky?" which narrowly beat "Mummy, what would you do if it rained chips with salt and vinegar?" I do hope that he ponders more useful questions, too. He is probably just winding me up.
Thus refreshed, I feel ready for the new week. I think it will be a good one and hope yours will be, too. Cx
P.S. I didn't get the post I was interviewed for (there were 8 candidates) but I was interviewed, which is more than I expected after a 5 year break from research. Other opportunities are on the horizon already. Thanks for the good luck wishes!