Last week of term. Phew. It feels like we are squeezing everything into it.
The Teen for one is chasing forms for her DofE, and also work experience, ready for after the break. Qualifying to go on to the next stages. I think it’s been an eye opener for her. There is no let up with homework. She is discovering that each teacher seems to believe that their subject is the only one on her timetable. A concept most students will probably sympathesize with. I found her up at 6 this morning finishing her art, that she was working on the night before.
I’ve been squeezing in time to work on my new summer dress. I’ve broken the process down into elephant bites. Doing one bite every evening.
(collar and both sleeves are now attached.)
The bodice is complete, except for buttons and buttonholes. I’m loving the fabric. So soft. I’ve tried it on a few times to check the fitting and I’ve not had to squeeze into it. A good thing for a garment intended for summer days.
I’ve squeezed in time to plant the sweetcorn and half of the squash plants. I’m using the three sister planting method again – sweetcorn, squash and bean. They did really well last year. I have noticed that I can plant the sweetcorn slightly closer using this method and the deep bed. I’ve squeezed 72 sweetcorns in, which even I am thinking may be over the top.
I may yet be dressing the children in dungarees and straw hats, ready to man the stall at the end of our drive.
Salad beds are doing well. Spotted the beetroot coming up that I planted just over a week ago. During the day, I grab five minutes and a cup of elderflower tea, to hand weed an area. Amazing how much I can clear in that time.
When next door’s builders moved my compost bins, they must have muddled up the composts. As a result, I now have a sea of tomato plants making a bid to take over one of the salad beds. Seeds from my passata making last year. I’ve never seen so many tomato seedlings. I can’t squeeze them in, so back to the compost for them.
Along with our resident slow worms. To be admired for their slug eating habit.
I did notice another slug eating friend in among the squash plants. When I planted the spaghetti squash, I sunk the empty pots into the ground beside each plant. Makes it easier to drench the plants, without wasting the water. As I poured water into one pot, last night, a toad popped up. Squeezing through the drainage holes in the bottom. It swam around in the water for a bit, until the water drained through and then it squeezed back down through the holes. Not a bad place for a toad to make its home, I think.
We have a lot of toads in our garden.
And slow worms, which are not really slow.
My theme this week has turned out to be squeeze. With the horrendous attack in Manchester this week, I’ve found myself hugging the children even more. We both have. I don’t think they minded the extra squeezing. Just want to hold them that little bit closer.
Now to squeeze in the rest of my work before end of school and half term begins!
This time of year seems to be full of rediscovering. Plants pop up that I had forgotten. Spring cleaning leads to lost treasures seeing the light of day again. Insects* appear in the garden and for a few seconds I have to remind myself what they are called.
So it is always fun when I discover something new. Last night, as I put my garden tools away, I found a brown moth on my shed door. I thought it was a leaf. I can imagine in the right setting, its markings would be a perfect camouflage, but on my blue shed door, it stuck out like a sore thumb. I’m on a mission to find out the type of moth.
I discovered a new crochet stitch . It works perfectly for a yoke I’m working on. Unfortunately, the yarn has run out, so I may need to adapt my design a bit. It is so quick that it won’t take long to crochet it up again.
We discovered that when the instructions say that something stops working after 45 mins they might be right. Our test piece of tie dye, using dye 4 years old (not 45 mins) didn’t take as well as it could, but the results were still pleasing. Better than throwing the dye away. Hopefully this weekend we will break open the new dye and set work on our big project.
Biggest discovery this week is that the bats are back. Regular readers will know I love bats, and each year we host a maternity roost in our attic. I’m convinced that they like our chimney which encases the Aga’s flue. Nice and warm. When the babies are born, they fly each night with them hanging onto the mother’s body. When they get bigger, but not ready to fly, the babies are left in the roost. So our chimney keeps them warm.
I was worried that they wouldn’t return. Last year, we had to fix part of the roof. Our poor builder had very precise instructions from me about how it should be done. No exit points to be sealed and nature friendly wood preservative, with the lowest odour possible. Luckily he understood.
This is from last year. Best time to see them as they come home.
I have been watching the roost and last week they still weren’t back. Then two nights ago, I watched about 40 fly out, before I lost count, so it looks like our careful repair worked. Phew.
Finally, while visiting my parents this week, I discovered the perfect plant for one of our borders. Next time I visit, I’ll dig up a seedling. In the meantime, I have the seed head, so we will have fun trying to grow a few. Artichoke. I’ve grown it before, but this is a different type. Isn’t the transition of the seed head beautiful?
Linking up to Word of the Week #wotw
(*When I grow up I’d like to be an entomologist.)