Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The Good Life

 An old couple drove down Memory Lane today and stopped for a chat.  They were brother and sister and their grandmother used to live next door.  They hadn't seen the place for 72 years! They recalled eating delicious Victoria Plums from my garden. There was a battered Victoria Plum tree when we moved in.  It was in such a sorry state a Blue-tit was able to nest inside its trunk.  The few plums produced were tasty though.  A Derry Plum tree still dominates the garden and provides more than enough fruit each year for us, the neighbours and the wasps. 

We had two Derry Plum trees when we first moved in.  There was a Pear tree; four Apple trees; Rhubarb; Gooseberry bushes and blackberries. Foolishly we never made use of the fruit.  Once we sold part of the garden we were left with the large Plum tree and two Apple trees.  We cut the maurading blackberries back but didn't succeed in killing them completely.

This week I have been working at replacing the fruit.  I cleared space at the back of the garden and planted two Black-currant bushes; gooseberry bushes and two Raspberry canes.  Last year I grew some Rhubarb from seed and now I have eight small but healthy plants and the Strawberry plants are multiplying nicely.  Oh, I also planted two cherry trees to go with the Pear tree I put in a couple of years ago.  The fruit will be appreciated this time round.  Last Autumn we discovered the pleasure of home-made Apple and Blackberry jam on warm toast for breakfast.

The spring flowers are competing for attention and it is difficult to decide which I prefer.

Forced to make a choice I would opt for the Tulips .... but the narcissistic Daffodils are beautiful too.  Daffodil is an old English name for them.  Originally they were known as 'Affodell' - it is thought the 'D' was added because they came from Holland and in translation to Dutch 'the affodell' would have been 'de affodil'.  In other parts of the world it is called a Narcissus and thought to be named after the young man from Ancient Greece who drowned because he fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water.  The Narcissus plant sprang up where he died.

A friend has asked me to share an allotment. I jumped at the idea. The weather was terrible today so I have had some time to read up on how to rota crops; what to plant when; how big to make the beds .... I am really excited!!  It will be lots of work at first but I can't wait.  I now have trays of carrots and cauliflowers in the greenhouse!  

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