Apr. 13th, 2009

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Happy Birthday
Many More
Happy Returns.

HOW old?

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Right, so today I rang the garden centre just to make sure they were open, as they weren't yesterday.  It was OK, though, we had a nice drive in the sunshine yesterday.

It was really difficult getting round the garden centre on my scooter, since it was very crowded and there were abandoned trollies all over the place.  They weren't really abandoned, of course, but just left in the way by people who had gone off to find something.  I should think it must be the best day of the year for garden centre takings.

I managed to find a good yard broom.....................excuse me, Patio Broom, as it was described on the label.  I hope we don't get the Broom Police round to confiscate our broom and give us a caution for using a patio Broom in a plain old concrete back yard!  Maybe that was why the Dibble Helicopter kept flying over the yard while we were out there.

I also bought a sack of crushed shells, hoping that they might deter slugs and snails, an incredibly cheap propagator, a few herbs and a couple of packets of seed.  Except that when we got home the seeds hadn't come with us, and inspection of the till roll reveals that they didn't pass through the cash desk.  I wonder what can have happened to them?  Maybe I put them into someone else's trolley?  I did that with something in Morrison's last week!  The man pushing the trolley was quite cross about it.

Charles made a start on sweeping the yard.  We can't let anyone out there until it's perfectly clean because as anyone who has been following my LJ knows, we were visited a few months ago by the Window Smashing Fairy, and of course, the glazier had to break the rest of the glass in order to put in the new glass.  He did his best to clear it all up, but, of course, glass goes everywhere.

I made a start on clearing out some pots ready for my new herbs and John turned his attention to trying to fix the back gate, but it needs some much longer screws and various other remedial works, including a smidgen of bricklaying.  So we will have to go to B&Q tomorrow to get suitable screws, a piece of hard wood for a lintel and some bricks & mortar.  I wonder whether they sell single bricks?  We only need about ten. I shall also get some replacement seeds and a couple of pot plants to replace the ones the cats have destroyed in the sitting room.

I was very pleased to see that the hydrangea has revived;  I thought it was dead, but in the last few days it's sprouted a lot of healthy green growth.  Thank goodness I didn't throw it away.  Amazingly the French tarragon has made it through the winter too.  I've never had that happen before, so I suppose the winter couldn't have been as harsh as we imagined.  As it happens, I bought a replacement today, so I shall plant them together in a larger pot. 

I also bought a pot of chives.  I've always had chives in the yard, but somehow they've disappeared;  I thought it was almost impossible to kill chives but I seem to have managed it.  Last year I seem to have been using an ornamental grass instead of chives.  I wondered why they didn't have much flavour!

I have a card from the garden centre with Offers of the Month from the end of April to the end of May.  It's a cunning trick to make you go to the garden centre each week and give them your name and address, but as it happens I could do with their BOGOF patio roses, because my lovely tiny roses both died off last year for some reason.  I shan't bother with the BOGOF hostas, because they're far from being my favourite plants, but I might take a look at their half-price Japanese Acers and the half-price bedding plants are a no-brainer - no wonder the offer is limited to a maximum of four packs per voucher.

I almost bought some sweet pea plants for the yard, but I've tried to grow them twice and the slugs always get them, so I decided against it.  If I find that the crushed shells deter the horrible little slimy things, I might get some later.  I bet it doesn't really work, though.  I've also, as insurance, bought some slug killer which is supposed to be safe around pets.

I looked around the garden centre, but they don't have any of those free-standing plastic frames for raised beds so I shall have to find the cheapest source on t'Internet and order one soon.  I saw a really good extendable one in a catalogue, but I can't remember which catalogue it was and I can't find it now.  I would like one to grow lettuce;  it doesn't matter how fresh supermarket lettuce is, it's never as good as lettuce which has only been out of the earth for five minutes!

Tonight we're having cold roast beef with salad and Charles' fabulous potato salad.  The Scotch beef from Costco was a great success yesterday, as always, and the Gluten Free Yorkshire puddings I bought Charles were a great success.  He had some of Sainsbury's Gluten Free fish fingers for his lunch today.  It's so long since he was able to eat fish fingers that he was actually drooling as he picked up the FF sarnie, liberally laced with GF tomato sauce.

We were lucky with the weather today as the forecast was for gloom all day, but we've actually had a lovely day.  Sadly the rest of the week is forecast as gloomy, but we'll just have to hope they're wrong again!


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