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My mail-order order

I patiently wait for my plants to arrive.

(I originally wrote this in August)

After a week I find the catalogue again; it occurs to me that bulbs, that even I know aren’t meant to be planted till autumn, may not be sent out yet. It transpires that my whole order will be sent out at various times; it seems whenever the cataloges feel like it.

However, a few days later (a few days previously to me writing this) my first batch of flowers arrive. I’m so excited, but I’m confronted with three problems: 1. My husband. Who thinks the very idea of planting flowers is ridiculous when we have just started bashing the old kitchen floor tiles out. I spy the annoyed look on his face. 2. Time contraints. We are due to leave on holiday in 2 days time and still have to pack and prepare for the builders who will be here the day after we get back; and family, who will be here two days after, when the builders leave. 3. It has been raining for 2 weeks; is still raining and is showing no sign of stopping in time to plant.

Fortunately, at 8pm, I’m ready as I’ll ever be for the holiday the next day; hubby is playing World of Warcraft in the cellar and unbelievably it stops raining! I sneak outside with packet of plants in hand. It shouldn’t take long.

I go back inside to get the sledgehammer (previously used for knocking down the wall). The plants that have arrived – Cottage Garden Collection 2 – involve a section of my garden design that is still path. I smash away at the concrete and prepare the soil in a section that is just big enough for five canterbury bells.

In bed C I have to clear away an ornamental grass and more euphorbia. I plan on re-planting them in a bare section next to the garage, but don’t have time. They may survive if it rains more. I plant 5 foxgloves and 5 hollyhocks.

5 Aquilegia are left. They will be red and yellow so they’re for the lower garden. There’s no real choice where to put them as there’s only one small patch on the slopey bed that I’ve cleared of stinging nettles. I don’t have the time to start on them elsewhere, but I still find loads of creeping buttercup roots to pull out first.

Needless to say, it was completely dark by the time I got in. Guess what came in the post on the morning of our holiday? Another parcel from the plant catalogue! Fortunately it’s a solitary clematis – it isn’t actually labelled, but I think it is – and it’s in its own pot, so I leave it outside in the shade and hope for the best.

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