Arriving home yesterday to find my onion sets and garlic cloves had been delivered, I only ordered them yesterday, shoosh. No rest for the wicked, I suppose, out with the fork and spade. And since most, of the garden around the front of the building, has matured over the years with huge trees shade pretty much all of it, it is a case of finding a space where you can find it and making a little bed.
I have always planted my onion sets in autumn, the soil is still warm from the summer sun, which gives the sets the time to put down roots over winter and by spring they are ready to burst forth. If we do have late spring frost, after they have popped up out of the ground, I will throw a piece of protective fleece over them. This material is everywhere these days, so has become cheap enough to buy.
This ground has not been turned over in aeons, so I raided the paper recycling bin and forked in some old newspapers, right down to the full depth of the fork, this was over an area big enough for my bed. Not one worm did I find, all down to the garden maintenance men spraying with weedkiller, quicker and easier than hoeing. Although newspaper takes a long time to break down, it should help bring life back into the soil, as nature does its work. (much of what is written on these pages is pretty well manure already.) My other gripe, their very powerful, commercial leaf blowers, scaring away all the mulch off the surface, although I have noticed they are a bit more selective and stay away from the borders now. My wee letter to the manager must have had some success. The heat of the day did not let up, in fact, I am sure it was getting warmer as the day progressed, we could have rain. The shirt was sticking to my back, by the end of my labours, time to put away the working grath.
Anyway, that’s them in. Of course, my work did not go unnoticed (even although I never saw one sole, security cameras, what a waste of money there turned out to be.) when I came back in one lady asked what I had just planted? When I said onions and garlic, I got the strangest of looks.
“Don’t you like onions?” I asked.
Later a neighbour came into the common room, as I sat reading my e-mails, (the Chinese whispers had gone around).
“Will you be going around St Andrew, with strings of onion around your neck?” laughingly she asked.
“Of course,” I said, “and draped over the bars of my bike, too”. I am just waiting for them to give me the nickname, ‘Onion Johnny’.
The last of the roses, along with the Jersey Lilies, are putting up a fine showing. I split up the Jersey Lilies, early in the spring, and planted them around the garden to fill up holes. They are looking much happier in their new homes and more flowers than before they were split. What we had before was lots of foliage and very little in the way of flowers. That is the great thing about gardens, things multiply, so you can split them up and give them away to neighbours and friends.
Today, the skies over St Andrews are leaden and the wind has risen from yesterday, looks like rain. I see that the poppies have all gone to seed and looking rather untidy, everywhere I look now there is a job to be done. I thought a splash of colour for the spring, bright yellow daffodils and narcissi, so the job today is to prepare the ground, ready for the imminent arrival of the bag of 100 bulbs. I will dig in the poppies as green manure some poppy seeds may even germinate and pop up next spring. (They tell us that poppies love the newly disturbed ground and why they flowered in such perfusion, over the cratered fields of France, during the First World War) along with more waste paper, then plant the daffodil and narcissi, for a wee show in spring, we travel hopefully. Although my day had not gone as planned, that is no bad thing. Off up to Aldi now to stock Mrs Hubbard’s Cupboard, before the hard work, and the rain begins.
Message from members of the Yes Hub, Lasswade Road.
We are looking to make a show of the Yes Movement down Lasswade Road around the Hub and along the road. Therefore we are after as many people as possible with flags and banners to line both sides of the street. So it is clear we are Yessers and not just supporting the Scottish cyclists (not that we can’t do both) we suggest the flags and banners should be clearly Yes/Scottish independence ones. The race (Tour of Britain) is being shown live on ITV4 and as they will only take a few minutes to pass we need to be as visible as possible. If you want to bring musical instruments feel free.
The natives are restless.