So – here I am back. I had a wonderful time. The weather was peerless. The bats are flying in the delicious late-evening hour when it’s still miraculously light – we’ve never had so many. We approve of bats. I worked hard in the garden – perhaps a little too hard. Mr Cochrane cuts the grass and keeps things in general order. My job was to rescue individual plants from an encompassing morass of weeds. It was hard to choose which ones to rescue.
I started with the little rose I mentioned last time I was there. The ground elder threatened to overwhelm it despite my earlier efforts. So I did it again. The rose itself looks very cheerful. No buds yet -- it flowers very late.
I rescued our Good King Henry patch, in memory of happy days in my vegetable garden. It is one of the very few things that survive. I could probably have spent the time better on prettier or more useful plants, but I’m not sorry to have done it. We had some for lunch yesterday. If you soak the leaves in salted water for a while, they really don’t taste too bad, and it is satisfying to be eating something that was (they tell us) brought to Britain by the Romans. The photograph shows the Good King Henry patch after weeding, and also after it had been harvested for lunch.
And finally the Rosa Mundi, a plant Greek Helen gave me long ago. It has suffered badly from neglect, and is now somewhat overshadowed by an unproductive apple tree, but it’s doing its best, and there are a few buds for this year’s flowers, and I hope it’s feeling a bit better with the weeds gone.
By then there were lots more candidates – the productive apple tree! The current bushes, including the Summer Pudding bush! The photinia! All neglected. I think if I were there for longer, and the sun went on shining, and Mr Cochrane continued to deal with the grass, I could still keep up a worth-while garden without feeling as beat up as I do now. If only.
I did virtually none – a round or two on the socks.
Big news: Theo’s wife Jenni is expecting another little boy, a brother for Ted, who will be three at the end of October. The pregnancy is more than half over – they didn’t trust their luck, to make an earlier announcement.
Despite the wonderful book which will soon be in my hands, I’m thinking Gudrun’s “Hansel” pattern, at least for the colourway, to be knit (what I think of as) Amedro-fashion: edging first, then pick up stitches for all four borders and knit inwards, mitring the four corners, then knit the centre back and forth from the live stitches of one of the borders, picking up stitchs alternately from first one and then another of two other borders, finally grafting the live centre stitches to the live stitches of the fourth border.