Raspberries and plasticine

Raspberry Malling Promise with shoots – hoorah!

Thanks to a post from Ryans Garden  some weeks ago alerting us to the bargains at Poundland, I ventured there again yesterday.   The garden section has an abundance of tat, but you don’t have to look too hard to discover some bargains.   I was not tempted by the pottery turtle holding a windmill, the wobbly ladybirds or a frog on a toadstool, but the packets of bulbs at a £1 each and the fruit plants did make me part with my money.  I bought 35 Gladioli bulbs and 2 raspberry canes “Malling Promise” ready for harvesting early Summer.  I was concerned that I may have just spent £2 on two dead sticks.  This morning, I unwrapped them, ready for a good soak before planting, and was happy to see new shoots.  If successful, I will have plenty of berries for an initial outlay of £2.  Now that is what I call a bargain.

My  weekend job was to dig over some of  the ruined lawn in order to make a bed to plant the raspberries and my long promised vegetable bed.  Regardless of the weather, with a strong wind blowing straight up from the coast and very fine, wetting rain, like a woman on a mission,  I was not deterred.   Suitably dressed,  armed with a plank, to make straight lines, a spade and a fork, I headed towards the lawn.  It wasn’t too long before it dawned on me that I had taken on a bigger job than expected. 

 

 I don’t know why I do these things!  Like a bull in a china shop I started the task without much forethought.   I marked out the bed and began to remove the turf.  The wet soil, which had been compacted under a lawn for years, slowly turned into plasticine, it stuck to my boots, my gloves became muddy and slippery and the soil stuck  to the spade making it heavy to use.  I always thought I was fairly fit, but I was exhausted before I had even dug over half of the bed.  I also discovered that there is a solid strata of soil about a spade depth down which is going to need a lot of turning and copious amounts of compost to make it viable soil for growing fruit and veg. 

   

 So, wet, cold, tired and dispondent, I gave in (for the time being anyway) and opted to take some photos instead.  With boots caked in mud, I slid across the patio towards the house to collect my camera – the idea of a new blog post in my head,  seemed much more interesting than battling with plasticine in the rain.  Having finished this post, I may just go out again and have another go, but a trip to the garden centre for some organic manure is calling.  It may be a another week before the raspberries are in their new home.  Meanwhile enjoy the photos.

 
 

 Primroses are so pretty and these ones in a pot by the patio are a sure sign that Spring is just around the corner.  The Helebores love being tucked under the Choysia and appear every year.