The planting situation went from bad to worse yesterday.
By lunch time the weather was beautiful. The sun had come out and melted all the frost, the bird was on the wing, the trees were on the bough and it was all Fotherington Thomas: ‘Hello birds, hello sky!’
I decided to tackle the garden.
I went out to find the spade.
Somehow, in our move, our good spade has gone walkabout and not returned. What remained was an aged, decrepit spade with a splintered handle that literally fell apart in my hand as I picked it up.
This was slightly irritating.
No matter, thought I. Remember; ‘Hello birds, hello sky!’ the bird is on the wing etc, etc.
I decided I could probably manage what I needed to do using the garden fork, which was not broken. In fact it seems to have found a mate, as we now have two garden forks where previously there was only one. I shall let you know if I go out at the weekend to find many baby forks nesting in the man shed.
I went to get my wellingtons on, as the ground was now quite wet and I needed to stand in the border I wanted to plant in.
I pulled my wellingtons on. They made a distressing sound. Something like a sigh followed by a crackle. I examined the boots. One boot had split all up the back seam. The other boot had cracked all along the side of my foot. My boots had perished. Literally and metaphorically.
I was annoyed. I contemplated jumping up and down and swearing a blue streak. Then I remembered that the birds were on the bough and tra la spring and all that.
I got Jason’s boots, which were far too big, but I staggered into them and plodded over to the border of my choice.
Plunging my fork in, it seemed that there was some resistance to my efforts. I leaned hard on the fork, channelling all the annoyances of my thwarted attempts to be Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall. I dug up half a forkful of tree root.
The border in question runs along our fence, and is populated with small trees. There is a large gap between two of the trees in which I had envisaged placing my bay tree, in a nice, sunny, sheltered spot.
The trees already in the border have other ideas. They do not want to share with a stinky old bay tree. They wish to remain exclusive and allow no Johnny come lately trees into their club. I could try and force the issue, but I run the risk of killing the other trees, and/or killing the bay tree when it gets deprived of what it needs by the other, greedy trees.
The positioning of the bay tree was the only bit of planting I was absolutely sure about. Planting anything else would require me to run around with pots, placing things in planters and then standing back and eyeing them in the manner that suggests I know what I’m doing.
By this point, the only thing I knew for sure that I was doing was indulging in a huge, full on sulk.
I estimated that my gardening so far had caused me great expense. To whit, the price of:
One new garden spade
One pair of new wellingtons
A ruddy big pot to put my bay tree in, which otherwise will take over one of my entire planters – which I do not want.
A feeling of total failure at my attempts to be a green fingered goddess of the gardening world.
It was a day, dearest reader, in which everything I attempted to do turned to dust and ashes in my hands. It caused much waily waily and rending.
It was the sort of day where I would have been better served to have turned my back on the whole lot of them, and taken to my bed, crying feebly for soup and succour.