It was pouring with rain on my way home from work yesterday but there was time to pop into the local DIY store, which counts as the nearest thing to a garden centre in my part of the city. I came away with twenty-four strawberry plants, a DVD and a bucket. The strawberries are part of the plan to outwit the vine weevil, the DVD had nothing to do with gardening and everything to do with a wet Friday night. And the bucket? Well it was just too good a bargain not to buy. For 99p I got something to carry the strawberries home in and a bucket. Now buckets have endless uses in the garden and they do tend to fall apart eventually so really you can never have too many.
So today it was time to plant the strawberries. But my gardening never works like that. I still can’t decide whether or not to dig out a new strawberry bed, and if so, where to put it. An exchange of texts with an assistant gardener suggested that digging up a fairy mound was not acceptable, while the only other spare bit of ground is a little sunless for strawberries. So I wondered about the site in front of the shed, which was fully occupied with the 50 oak seedlings that I planted two years ago – time for them to move on – I’ve advertised them on Twitter but no luck so far. Then my attention was drawn to a tilting water barrel. It had started tipping on one side and I needed to excavate some soil underneath and insert a flat stone under the stand so that it was more or less level. Then I removed a lot of weeds from between the paving stones in the patio and moved some lovely primroses from a dark corner to a place where we can actually see them. By then I had run out of time for major garden redesigns so satisfied myself with moving the strawberries away from the vine weevil infested site and putting them in front of the shed instead of the oaks. Meanwhile the new strawberry plants are still sitting in their original pots, while I decide where to put them.
And the bucket? It was terribly useful for moving water about when I was sorting out the water barrel.
So that was money well spent! And at least I got out in the garden today, if not to do anything very useful.