We had a fairly productive weekend. The weather held off, and we only had rain on Friday morning and then not again till Sunday night. The kids and I got out into the garden on Friday afternoon after everything had dried. I started to tend to many outdoor and under glass neglected plants-and that theme carried throughout the weekend.
Michael and the kids ran errands on Saturday morning and then we went to work outside. It was dry enough for the front lawn and hedges to be trimmed, so we can now hold our heads up while in the front garden again. I managed to tie back a honeysuckle, plant two white jasmines, planted about 10 wild strawberry plants we’ve rooted and quite a few more odd jobs. Hazel and I also potted up about 32 strawberry plants-8 each of four varieties.
We were supposed to keep track of which ones we liked best this past season, but failed to do so. We will have to try harder on that front next year. (Varieties planted: Cambridge Favourite, Elvira, Honeoye and Pegasus)
On Sunday we woke to grey sky’s, but as it wasn’t raining yet we decided to head out to the garden quickly before the rain came. Michael dug out a trench near our Maple tree so we could mulch it with our compost. Kieran is constantly asking for jobs-so was very proud that he got to fill in the trench. When he was done I planted about 6 trailing lobelia plants around the base. (The Maple is the tree we planted when we got married.) The courgettes and squash in this photo looked much better about 2 hours after this photo!
Hazel and I did a mini harvest while the guys were busy. One pot of 3 Anya seed potatoes yielded 3 lbs/1 ½ kilos of Anya’s. I thought that was well worth the bit of effort it took to put them in a pot! We decided to just cook some of the potatoes for a very early lunch of boiled new potatoes-delicious! She also picked some peas and green beans, and pulled up about 15 onions. (2 harvest photos by Hazel)
We also picked a few courgettes and beetroot. The girls helped to freeze three bags of chives for the winter.
Kieran pulled up the rest of the onions later in the day-we shouldn’t need to buy one for several months. Not bad for a small bed.
I haven’t been happy with the ‘flower’ bed in front of the kids’ playhouse and wanted to redo it at the beginning of the summer. Michael has been looking for a place to dump all our own compost so he can tear down our old compost bin and build new ones. Hmm? I think we’ve solved a problem! I pulled up and replanted most of the flowers. Michael double dug most of the area and cleared it of a few zillion rocks. They’ll come in handy for two areas we need to cover. Then he dug in the compost-after he moved 3 lavender plants I wanted moved. He also replanted a few daffodil bulbs for me.
This means the one bed where I put the onions and the carrots (which the slugs were the only ones to enjoy this year!) will now be a flower bed-and the bed in front of the playhouse will be used for vegetables, giving more room for crops like peas. We do have 2 small pumpkin plants in the playhouse bed, and yesterday we added one more from a grow bag. The funny thing was-on Thursday and Friday when the kids and I were searching all the garden centres for organic tomato feed, I kept eyeing some flowers but walked away as I wasn’t sure where I’d put them. Now I can go get them! I know-it’s a slight obsession these days.
The kids had Jenna round for most of the two days. They had their first major disagreement-and poor Hazel was in tears. Jenna will not do most things Kieran suggests (usually bike riding or soccer)-and that tears poor Hazel up. On Saturday Jenna was telling Kieran that ‘she and Hazel’ didn’t want to go for a bike ride-and poor Hazel mouthed to me that she did want to. She didn’t know how to confront this ‘lie’-as she doesn’t normally have to deal with things like that. She was almost too polite to contradict Jenna in front of us. I just said that if she felt like going she should, and that Jenna wasn’t to speak for her. Problem diverted.
The next day Kieran suggested a bike ride again, and Hazel thought it was a good idea and said so very clearly. Jenna’s new trick was to tell them (in a whisper) that if they went for a bike ride without her, she wouldn’t be allowed over all summer. My two, not knowing anything about manipulation, were devastated. I had to tell Hazel she had to believe me that Jenna would be allowed out and that Hazel should do what she wanted-that Jenna just said that to manipulate her into staying with her. I finally calmed my two down and off they went-fairly resolved not to speak to her again. As if that would last long! Jenna was out eating humble pie when they got back-and my two are still in amazement that she could do that. But both came to me and said they’d decided to forgive her. Kids! 😉
I know this is all a part of growing up and that there are all sorts of dishonest things people do to their ‘friends’. I’m just glad I was with them the 1st time this has really happened. Both of my kids are usually good at deciding what they want to do. Nothing would make them play a game if they didn’t want to. They don’t mind not always being the instigators of a new game, and will go along with any they like. So if Jenna suggests something Hazel will go along with it because she wants to, not because she felt she had to. This was the 1st time she felt she had to choose-and I don’t think she liked being held over a barrel like that. I told her to do what she wants to-and that if Jenna doesn’t like it too bad; and that Hazel will have to trust me: as soon as Hazel is done with whatever Jenna didn’t want to do, Jenna would be back. (Don’t get me wrong-Jenna is normally very nice and polite-she just did what most kids do-a rarity in our home!)
My two just wanted to know how I knew it was an untruth and that she’d be out when they got back. How do you explain that things like this have been going on for ever, and that people will do mean things to get what they want from you? I don’t want them to be naïve, but I don’t ever want them thinking this is the norm so it’s ok. I also don’t like that they know have to doubt what she says-as there is nothing worse than not trusting people.