On Wednesday evening, we did what we usually do after supper, and settled down in the lounge with some classical music on the radio, talked for a while, and then read our respective books. Although I am reading others at the moment, I am also still reading 'Essays of Travel' by RL Stevenson. I have been going for a year with it, not because it's a tough read, but simply because he writes in such a way that one can simply dip in and out when the heart desires, without losing anything of the plot, not that there really is one in this book. His writing and observations are so carefree, that it would almost be wrong to read it in one go, and so I drop in occasionally, liqueur in hand, a little bit like his travelling style.
The following day was to be one of exams, nursery visits and planting, and the weather forecast wasn't too good, and so a light escape from reality was needed for now.
We awoke to, yes, rain. No wind, but steady rain, and inland it was decidedly cold as well. I had to take Amanda to Brockenhurst in the New Forest, as she was taking another exam to do with her diploma. I dropped her off amidst the throng of students that were engulfing the college, but before I went about my days work, decided to drop into the Cloud Hotel to grab a morning coffee, and settle a while, as I got back into last nights book. The weather wasn't exactly pulling in the direction of gardening as you can imagine.
But the clock was ticking, and although it was raining far too much to actually plant things (shrub borders are almost permanently under water at the moment), I could at least get the plants in readiness, and so I first headed to Cherry Tree Nursery, where I picked up seven Kniphofia caulescens. It was then a few miles west, and Marchants Nursery, where the bulk of the plants were to be found.
I got soaked walking around this place, but at least there were the occasional group of poly tunnels to take shelter. Although not on my customer list, I did come across some very nice Hamamaelis mollis and 'Jalena', and at a very reasonable price, and so picked them up anyway. I have two customers who trust me to pick the odd thing up for them, and these should do nicely. They will add to the winter colour of Mahonias, Cornus, Acer 'Senkaki' etc.
And yes, Mahonias were something on my list. There were hundreds here. 'Lionel Fortesque', 'Charity', 'Winter Sun', 'Buckland', aquafolium and beali. I went for 'Winter Sun', as it's proven to be the best in my book.
I loaded up the van with all of the shrubs, and headed across to the office. It's always really nice and warm and dry in here. A refuge from the cold and wet outside. I can keep moving when the weather is horrible, but nursery workers often spend most of their time quite still, either potting up, of gathering orders.
Let me introduce you all to this little girl, she's called Dolly. As you can see, she has the best spot in the nursery. We first met her last winter when she was a pup. Funnily enough, she was in exactly the same spot then, and who can blame her?
It was raining really hard, and so time to call it a day, and I headed home.
The entire Avon Causeway area is still flooded.
As will the A338 spur road be shortly. WIll this rain ever stop?
Well, it did for a short while, as I neared home, but look at that sky bringing more of the same!
It was nice to get into some dry clothes and have a cup of tea. I only had a couple of hours though, as I had to pick Amanda up from the train station. How did the exam go? Very well apparently, but the student was all 'studied out'.
It's Monday evening now, and Amanda is once again at college, studying this time. I shall pick her up from the train station later. The last few days have been much nicer, and we have done some gardening at work, and moreso at home. I went to start the van yesterday, and it has done what vehicles do, and decided to stay put. I think it's the fuel filter, but anyway, it's off the road until Friday, as the garage can only fit it in on Thursday....Hey Ho!
And so work in our own garden for now, and the occasional foray into work using Celias car. I had a packed week planned, as the last week in January was meant to be taken as holiday, but that's the way it goes when you are self employed. One has to go with whatever comes our way, and adapt. Only the odd job such as a couple of small private garden tidy ups, and a rather large estate where the paths need moss treatment. So, a little gardening to tell you about next post. In the meantime, have a good one.