Herefordshire Week 185: Tuesday 11 – Monday 17 July 2023

A visit from Sue. Rain – a lot.

But I managed a full mow. And two sessions at GV Gym.

Flying Ant season.

I squeezed in a spot of gardening before the rain set in on Tuesday morning – picked my blackcurrants, planted out some of the sunflowers and leeks, cut the dead foliage off my strawberries and tipped out excess water, repotted one of the indoor orchids to fit better in the Elho pot, put the square planter of tomatoes outside to enjoy the rain… which set in around midday.

A sunny dry spell in the afternoon gave me time to take some bay leaf cuttings from Jean’s tree and pot them in the greenhouse, and to haul some weed out of the big pond.

Bay Leaf Cuttings
Bay Leaf Cuttings

Wednesday: to Abergavenny for a mooch and lunch at “Bean & Bread & Bean & Bird“, and in the evening The Comedy of Errors in the grounds of Dore Abbey – performance by Rain or Shine, picnic provided by dad and Jean.

The Comedy of Errors - Rain or Shine - Dore Abbey
The Comedy of Errors – Rain or Shine – Dore Abbey

Thursday was meant to be the dry day of the week and so we headed up to Hay on Wye… where it rained on and off. Lunch at The Cosy Cafe (a bit underwhelmed) and a potter around the shops and the weekly (?) market (not planned but handy to know now). I did my first kettlebells class in the morning. Starting gently with 4kg… suspect I need to work on technique!

Friday brought not just rain but heavy rain. Ugh. Still, that didn’t spoil brunch at The Gwatkin Red Cow. I spent the afternoon on the computer catching up on admin and doing some printing. I DO like my new set up!

Saturday’s forecast of sunshine and showers and high winds did not disappoint.

I managed to do some greenhouse reorganisation first thing and picked the second cucumber, which we cut into at lunchtime.

Spent most of the day in the conservatory catching up on the LRB backlog. I’ve got to June 2023…..

Sue’s headed back north with some gooseberry bush cuttings and a tub of leek seedlings.

To Birmingham on Sunday where we waved off Sue, then drove to Temple Fields to plant snowdrops (and get caught in the day’s downpour) before continuing on to The King’s Arms pub where we had a bite to eat and rendezvoused with JC for a catch up.

Home, to blue skies (but still rain-laden clouds, albeit white one) by 5pm. Tea, cake, conservatory & LRB.

Monday was dry, and so was dedicated to mowing and gardening

Strava Map & Graph: Mowing and gardening
Strava Map & Graph: Mowing and gardening

I disturbed an adult frog by the small pond, and a baby one emerged from one of the grass piles at Mower Turn

Baby frog at mower turn
Baby frog at mower turn

I do feel like I walked more than 2.74 miles and used more than 330cals! Strava could do with a “Gardening” Sport….

Distance: 2.74 miles
Moving Time: 1h 29m
Elevation Gain: 77 ft

(Not counting the ride on mower activity, and with an interlude for tea and cake on the patio at 4.15pm.)

I did a full mow, cut bramble runners, cleared some of the monster growth around the big pond, moved the pond weed, cut back the dead cow parsley / hogweed and elder growth along the top path to Sue’s seat, pulled up the ragwort from the meadow / front lawn. And once I’d done all that I planted out some of the baby leeks in the herb bed.

Leeks (set 2), planted out today in the herb bed
Leeks (set 2), planted out today in the herb bed

And then my first aerobics session at GV Gym!

At the pear tree, it’s been baby chaffinch feeding time and some small brown country mice scurry in and out of the hedge “tidying up” fallen seeds and peanut pieces.

Apples are swelling on the trees – looks like we’ll have a good crop this year.

Railway Line Apples (1)
Railway Line Apples (1)

And I have some baby Beef Tomatoes growing in the greenhouse!

Baby Beef Tomato
Baby Beef Tomato

TV: Shrinking (all of season 1), Slow Horses (all of season 2), The Friday Crossword Masterclass from Cracking the Cryptic (YouTube).

Podcasts: The Forum, Empire, The Essay, World Book Club, History Extra, In Our Time, The History of England.

Photos: Herefordshire week 185 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2023-07-16.