Today I had some helpers. I love helpers.
The day was splattered with small miracles:
- We dead headed and there were very few floral casualties.
- We collected seed from Briza media and Festuca glauca in a roaring gale, and some even made it into the pot.
- We studied worms in the compost bin and spoke to snails in Snail language. Caterpillars were peered at. No creatures were harmed in the making of this documentary and most slithered away at the earliest opportunity.
- We harvested cucumbers and figs and none were dropped or squashed.
- We took it in turn to take photos and the camera stayed out of the pond, as did everyone else.
- Falling over was practised and not a bone broken or tear shed.
Almost spent flowers were saved and made into an art work with the fruit and vegetables. Ducks and sloths were impersonated. Self seeded foxgloves were relocated. We tried to fool a lupin that we were visiting bees. Everything was watered, whether they wanted it or not. A unicorn (real) was sighted.
I love having helpers. And little ones are definitely the most fun.
It isn’t the first time I have featured this amazing tree. I doubt it will be the last. Albizia julibrissin, the Persian Silk Tree, today at Max’s. Incredible.
We have new neighbours across the road.
For the last few weeks a self-seeded calendula has flowered defiantly against their wall. I have watched it with great respect.
Yesterday the man came out and weeded the wall edge. We held our breath.
He left the marigold.
He has passed the first test.
The little camera I use for work focuses itself. Actually my big posh camera does as well but at least I have the option to switch to manual. Sometimes self focusing is good, sometimes not. On reflection often it is not, occasionally it is good. This photo, taken at The Farm on Thursday, got me thinking. I know, dangerous territory, it happens from time to time. Although not text book photography, I like the fact that the centre is blurred and the sides sharper. Instead of concentrating on the centre of the picture your gaze is drawn around the whole shot, taking in all the colours, forms, light and dark. A fluke, but one I am happy about.
Yesterday was my birthday. I love birthdays, not just mine, others’ also. People who say “Oh, I don’t bother now” or “what is the point at my age?” I say boo sucks to. For the fortunate, including myself, it is a day to be treated and remembered and when love is explicit . It is hardly indulgent, to be a little bit special on one day out of 365. Embrace it, I say. And return the favour. We all deserve to be the centre of attention one day a year. To be just a little bit more in focus.
What better way to pass a free morning than spending it repeatedly poking yourself in the eye for a few hours? Yes, I have been trying out contact lenses. What fun!
I have been finding wearing glasses whilst working very tricky. It is gradually descending from mildly irritating to downright tedious. I don’t need to wear specs all the time (yet) but can’t read a word without them. This translates in gardening terms to “spot weeds”, “find pests”, “read plant labels”. As anyone who has tried to walk about wearing reading glasses will know, this veers from comical to dangerous. So my specs go on for close up work and then off again to visit the compost bin. When not in use they sit on the top of my head where they get caught up in my hair which necessitates an inelegant and often painful removal when I need them next.
Only last week the pound shop glasses Farmer Tony generous donated to me, when I had forgotten mine and was squinting like Mr Magoo, fell off the top of my head at which point I promptly stepped backwards and crunched them. Tricky.
There has to be a better solution.
So when at a recent eye test they suggested contact lens, I thought, “why not give it a go?” They also mentioned the words “free trial”. Even better. I am not naturally squeamish. I love watching a good operation on the TV, but when it comes to the eyes being treated I can be found hiding behind the sofa looking for lost crisps. I am definitely eye squeamish.
Still I was game. Faint heart never won good eyesight. This morning was my initial appointment. All was well until I had to put them in. “What I have to do it myself?” Eventually I managed it, after much pushing and prodding and stretching and thoughts of “beam me up Scottie”. My tutor was a saint. And the result was great. No irritation, just much better eyesight, it was truly amazing. All was well. We had this cracked. Then I had to take them out. Or not, as the case might be. After an age trying, with eyes red and sore, I admitted defeat.
My humiliation culminated in an ethereal optician putting me in a headlock and removing the offending lenses.
But I’m not giving up. Yet.
Just one look at the flower spike of Lobelia ‘Hadspen Purple’ leaves me weak at the knees and a little breathless. Or maybe the steep hill that I climbed to admire it was to blame? Perhaps it was a little bit of both. Either way, it is not only stunning but very special. Definitely both.
I do love a nice agastache. So, it seems, does this bee. I am in very good company.