I'm a total Winter baby but I really need some sunshine to get me up and motivated, it's been a longer winter than usual because the horrific weather has been compacted into a couple of weeks. As you know I've been watching (binge-watching) Monty Don and Alan Titchmarsh so have been constructing and re-constructing great and daring plans for the garden - they do get more daring as time goes on and I realise how conservative my plans are.
So it was my day off yesterday, I'd scoped out a to-do list for myself with my trusty whiteboard on Thursday night and I was set up to go. Amazingly (thanks to the sunshine) I woke up at about 8.30am naturally (you have to remember I don't work till 10am normally so I operate on a later day schedule) and felt bright as a button.
My jobs, my main jobs, were: 1. to hoe the front garden beds and get some bulbs in, 2. plant the new pot in the back garden and 3. hoover the car. Safe to say, I didn't do number 3 but I did spend many busy hours in the bright sunshine, potting the "Little Red Robin" my mother had bought, and after a trip to Homebase, a little Hebe into the other new pot. Then getting some Calendula seeds into tiny little seedling pots - realising I needed a water tray for them, reminding myself of this before I got to Homebase and only realising I'd forgotten it when I got home again. And hoeing the front garden... I'd done one side before the winter so the ground was better, the soil is some awful mix of clay underneath and rubble-mixed building site soil on top. So I spent a lot of time pulling out odd weeds that I don't recognise, finding large stones that need to be prized out of the soil and occasionally bits of wiring. Finally, in review of my work I decided to push some bulbs into the ground - it's the wrong time of year but even if they don't come up this year, they might come up next year which is fine by me. Thanks to Monty and Alan I knew then that the soil was - in a word - shit, and I needed to put a new layer of top soil on it. So I asked my trusty mentor, my mother, and was told to get top soil, bonemeal and growmore... I chose to buy top soil and fish, blood and bone. Apparently 70L doesn't go very far as the two bags of 35L top soil only covered the majority of one bed... it looks like I'll need three more bags. And the box of fish, blood and bone was gone as fast as the wind could blow it away. I am still debating whether or not to put a bark mulch on top of the new top soil to reduce the weeds or whether to leave it... I'll finish the whole thing before I make that call I think.
So I had a pretty successful, physically tiring day and I was happy with that. So, my weird neighbours... our street is only little, the development isn't quite finished yet and as neighbours we've not interacted a whole lot yet. Everyone bunkered down over the winter and the first signs of life are only just starting to appear. Michael and Andrew live on one side of us, really friendly guys with a large ginger cat called Ollie who frequently plays in our garden - not with us, with the leaves but hey ho. On the other side is a larger Indian family, they're quite quiet, I know they have children but you wouldn't know noise-wise. Up until recently I haven't really thought about them, but they're starting to raise their status on my radar for plain weird behaviour.
Our living room looks out over the back garden with double doors on the left and a window on the right (to the left are Michael and Andrew and to the right this family), there have been several times recently when I've been sitting on the sofa and I've noticed a head appear next to the window... the older female in the family comes out to peer into the garden at my pots, then will spend some time peering through the window... while I'm sitting on the sofa looking back at her in British-level horror. This happened yesterday as well, but this time the younger female, in her 30's I guess, came out to peer at the new pots I'd planted, then noticed me in the living room and disappeared. I'd also had to have one of those awkward chats earlier with the man of the house about what I was doing in the front garden, and about his attempts at planting some flowers - one pansy to be precise. During this conversation the older female came out of the house, zipped up her jacket, said hello and took the man inside... it was an odd thing. So I think it's clear, I'm not quite sure how to handle this family yet... my trellising will block them from being able to immediately peer into the garden and through the window as they'll have to go down a couple more metres of fencing. Do other people have these kinds of nosey neighbour? After living in a flat for years, I'm not sure about this one!