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April inspection

April 13, 2020

An afternoon spent in the garden, weeding and generally clearing up the smaller beds.

Hidden amongst the weeds in the floral bed is new growth on the bee balm plants, which will in the coming months produce beautiful red and purple flowers, and the first shoots coming up from the stargazer lilies.

The long, thin bed by the fence is ready for action. I’m hoping it will see the same action it did last summer when I used it to plant six cherry tomato plants donated to the cause by my friend Jan. Last summer was the first summer in years that I’d had a bumper crop – not since the Vietnamese woman who used to sell wonderful cherry tomato plants at the farmers’ market moved away. Clearly, if the plants haven’t been tenderly reared in a woman’s greenhouse, they ain’t worth having.

An inspection of the rose bushes reveals what might just be the first sign of new growth on the yellow rose. Fingers crossed.

Turning to an inspection of the berry beds. The gooseberry’s looking pretty healthy, as are the strawberries. The same cannot be said for the blueberry plants. Only one of the four dwarf blueberries is looking healthy. Two look half dead the other one looks nine tenths dead. Nearly half the raspberry canes still look completely dead. Perhaps the unused third bag of manure will help. Well, it can’t hurt. Or can it? No, if they’re really dead all I’m doing is wasting some manure. On the other hand, the manure will still be fertilising the soil if (when) I give up and replace the plants.

So, a bit of muck spreading. Then, because we haven’t had much rain recently, a liberal soaking of the berry plants and the roses.

The question of what to do about and with the largest raised bed can wait until another day. Time to dust all the pollen off the garden swing, get the cushions out of the shed and have a cup of tea. (Note to self: Get the ladder out and disengage the gutter pipe before it does rain and all the pollen on the roof gets washed into the cistern.)

When I am relaxing with my cup of tea I first hear then spot a bee cruising around. Oh, no! I think, there is nothing in my garden for the bees yet. But, as I watch, the bee finds a small daisy, then another, then another. Phew. On a global scale bees are in serious trouble, but at least in my pesticide-free little patch they’re okay.

Time to get the ladder out.

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