A potter here and a potter there

I have reached the end of what I’d call a pottering week. This is partly because the weather people forecast a dismal week for that just gone and so I completely knackered myself last weekend. The week just gone then turned out to be not so bad after all. But I remained knackered and so haven’t really done that much. A few days of work also got in the way as even in my semi-retired state I have to drag myself off “to site” occasionally.

But I’ve got a lot of weeding done and am now approaching the “cornfield”. This is a bed which I cleared at the end of the year before last but didn’t get round to planting up so last year it got filled with bizzy lizzies (impatiens to the cultured) which then promptly got infested with downy mildew and so got stripped out. Then the bed was cleared again. Problem is that this bed is in between the bird table and a tree and the feathered things would queue up on the tree for their turn at the table whence they would grab a seed and return to the tree to consume it. Unfortunately a lot of seeds seem to have been dropped en route. So the bed is a mass of maize and other corny things which have been growing merrily during the recent wet weather. I did try to clear the bed last week but found that the clay soil here had cemented itself to the roots of the corny things and each clump I lifted left a bucket sized hole behind. So I’ve had to leave things to dry out a bit so I stand a chance of separating sod from clod.

Meanwhile, I now only serve kibbled sunflower hearts and peanuts to my feathered friends. These won’t germinate if dropped. A real benefit from this concentration on two types of feed is the variety of birds that now visit the garden, including a greater spotted woodpecker. Why it’s called a greater spotted woodpecker, though, I don’t know as it isn’t really spotted. It’s major distinctive feature is a large red patch in the nether regions. Baby greenfinches are now visiting the bird table and seem remarkably unimpressed by the close proximity of a human. They’ve also either realised resident cat is only window-shopping or haven’t seen a Sylvester cartoon yet.

I suppose my major achievement this week has been to change my strawberry tower into two mini-towers. The original 6-tier arrangement worked ok but it was difficult to turn the contraption around so that all sides got their measure of sun. Splitting it into two (as it was originally designed to be) makes turning a lot easier and also allows me to fit in another three plants. I now have a reasonable balance of 6 early fruiters, 6 late ones and 12 everbearers so should enjoy fruit from early next month through to the autumn frosts. The everbearers are freshly chopped from runners so are in their first fruiting year; the rest are in year two. I’ve also added another 10 raspberry canes to my collection. These are primocanes so will fruit this year.