So this weekend, there has been fantastic progress made at Hill Top farm. At times, we've had so many people helping, it's felt like a party. - I remember feeling this achey after dancing all night long too (loooong time ago).
So what have we been up to?
We hired a turf cutter again, to take the surface off the perennial bed. - You may remember I put black matting over this space when we first arrived, in the vain hope that the grass would rot under the sheeting.
With mostly sub zero ( or feeling like that) temperatures for the last 8 weeks, and nothing except a little yellowing happening under the matting, Drastic action was called for. So Saturday was mostly about taking off 200m2 of turf (a 50 metre bed, 4 metres deep) and carting the turf away.
Then at lunch time, we had visitors. First Rob turned up, and gave an expert demonstration and explanation of Water Divineing. I may have been a bit sceptical, but the plumber had told me, he'd seen it in action, and it can save a fortune in digging for pipes. An hour and a bit later, He and Mum had traced all the pipes round my field, and i'm a believer, having watched the metal "wands" twirling in Rob's hands, and so now, even though I don't know where the leak is yet, - I know where to find the pipes to find the leak. - Even better, It appears Mum is pretty good at Divineing too, so i'll have to get her some coat hangers to practice with.
Then Su turned up with a trailer full of Rotavator borrowed from Grace and Flavour, and even better, took away William for an afternoon of play (much more exciting for an almost nine year old, than flower farming)
Then I had another delivery of Horse Manure. - This is one of the best presents i've had from local villagers. They've given me warm words of welcome, and the Parish Council have said they have no opposition to my Polytunnel (and have some nice words to say) But Mike Cook has welcomed me with free Horse manure, and even brought it up to the farm for me, - (donation going to Cherry Trees, as thanks for that)
On Saturday afternoon after finishing the perennial bed, just when everything was going swimmingly, the Turf cutter cable snapped.
Plans for getting the rest of the hardy annual beds finished and more turf cut for planting willows went out the windows, so instead on Sunday morning we had to hand cut the turves for willow planting, and then we concentrated on Rotavating the perennial beds.
My willing Labourers John and Anthony plus Dad on the shovel, carted Barrow after barrow from the Horse dung pile, and Ashley (computer geek usually desk sitting husband Extrodinaire) found a new career as a machine operator, and had to be forceably removed from the Rotavator for a cup of coffee. (He's going to sleep well tonight).
By 3.00pm I had a wonderfully crumbly, richly manured bed ready to be planted, So we put in 25 Roses, to Christen it, and Fleeced the Ranunculus and netted the Cornflowers to prevent any more pest Damage.
As is often the way when i've had a buzzing day, I was still going when I got home, so when the stew for this evening was one, I cleaned out the chicken, pruned the Autumn Raspberrys, and weeded my salads.
I'm ready for the Stew and glass of Red now, - hope your weekend went as well..
And if you've got plans in place for your Mum next weekend, and still need a present, then don't forget Plantpassion is making Anemone jam jar posies, Spring bulb Bouquets, and Herb planters for you to give next Sunday, and delivering in Horsley, Clandon and Ripley- email me Claire@plantpassion.co.uk or phone on 07813 456865 to place your order