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Showing posts from March, 2020

Plants in a time of coronavirus

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For gardeners, one of the most frustrating things about the lockdown are not the restrictions, but the lack of gardening kit. It's fantastic having time at home at this time of year, but not so fantastic when you can't get hold of compost, or aggregates, or even seeds. Most of the big seed companies have been swamped with orders for vegetable seeds, and are struggling to cope. The local builder's merchant where I order things like soil conditioner and gravel has closed for the duration. However, you can still buy plants. There are lots of small independent nurseries continuing to do mail order, mainly because they are run by just one or two people, who can run the business despite social distancing. "Small is beautiful" is a theme of the coronavirus crisis here in the UK. The small shops have stepped up very quickly to meet demand. Our village post office and the trout farm shop, which usually make a lot of their money selling souvenirs to tourists, now stock t

Waiting for blossom, and happy birthday, Rory!

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My son is 30 today. We had planned to spend his birthday here in the Cotswolds, with his girlfriend and my daughter and his grandmother and whoever else wanted to come, but of course we can't. We are FaceTiming instead. Happy birthday, Rory! I feel a bit sad about this, but I'm trying to stay cheerful. The family is all well, albeit spread out across southern England, and I don't really have much to complain about. So I took myself into the garden this morning to see if any blossom had appeared yet. Boy, was it cold! The temperature is actually 8C (46F) but with a blustery north-east wind blowing, it feels more like -8C (17F). I had to keep scuttling back inside to get my fingers warm. I always think I have two mature ornamental cherry trees in the garden, but in fact I inherited three. One has grown horizontally over the paddock next door after being crowded out for years by a horse chestnut and a beech, so it doesn't look as if it's actually in my garden. My ni

Back to blogging!

I'm not old enough (quite) to be officially self-isolating, but I might as well be, because most of the things I do during a normal week have been shut down. No church, no choir practice, no garden club, no craft club, no Pilates class, no pub lunches. I don't want you to think I'm complaining. I'm lucky to live in an area that, so far, has a relatively low coronavirus infection rate. I want to keep well, because my mother, who is 90, and my stepmother Diane, who has had chemotherapy and two operations to remove tumours, are relying on me and my sisters for support in these crazy times. We lost my father in May 2019, so Diane has been coping both with his loss and with her own illness. My mother was very ill, and in and out of hospital in December, so the past few months have been quite stressful. Coronavirus, despite its challenges and the changes it has made to the way we live, has reminded me that I began blogging because my husband was ill with non-Hodgkins Dise