Wednesday 3 June 2020

Closed for stocktaking

This honeysuckle grows close to the greenhouse. A delicate scent and one that I love. For some reason, it is reminiscent of childhood and particularly of of father. Perhaps the Sunday evening walks in the direction of the village where he grew up and his family still then lived. It was only semi-rural as many of the men, and some of the women, worked at the Handley Page aircraft factory. This was usually referred to as The Aerodrome. My grandfather had the reputation of being a good tradesman. When he was due to retire, Handley Page asked him to stay on. I remember him as rather portly (an apt description) and was amused to learn that he would lay on a pallet and be raised by a forklift truck into the belly of the aircraft under construction. Apparently, he often worked horizontally in this way. The aircraft being built at the time was our most advanced V-Bomber - the Victor

I also remember the sound of that plane passing over our home during testing. I'm glad to say that nothing fell off. Or, more importantly, nothing fell out. (The Victor was designed to carry a 4.5 ton nuclear bomb)

Despite its size, the Victor could break the sound barrier. Just before lockdown we travelled over to the RAF Museum at Cosford (not that far from here) where they have a complete Victor in their Cold War exhibition area. In fact, all three V-Bombers are represented - the other two being the Valiant and the Vulcan

Being able to manufacture not just one but three different aircraft, all capable of the same demanding task, demonstrates how aeronautical engineering advanced in the this country during WW2. So sad to now contemplate the huge downsizing that now seems inevitable - but it will be only the latest episode in a tragic story of high-skilled manufacturing decline

Greenhouse tidier than usual!
Apologies, I digress. I should be explaining that, despite the introduction, my job today is to be working outside and not writing a blog post. As I mentioned yesterday, it is all-change in the Codger greenhouse. All the main propagation has come to an end and we now switch over the main greenhouse bed to tomato production

For convenience I have moved about 50% of the plants back in whilst I do a stock take (see the photo to the left). I need to do this properly and I also need time to bring the web pages up to date. Along with this there is computer work to do - actually, some pleasant financial admin. Let me explain ...

Part of the tomato stock (about a third)
Generous giving
When we set out on the Codger enterprise, two moths ago, we set a target of £500. This is what we aimed to raise for the Birmingham City Mission during lockdown. Many friends were generous in their donations and we hit the target surprising quickly, so I raised the figure to £1000

As I type these words the amount raised stands at £1153.92 - but if you look at the giving page you will see that this represents only 77% of the target. This is because I have now increased the target again, this time to £1500

I think we might nudge 80% during the day as there is some money to be paid in. Again, we are very grateful to everyone who has supported us. So, as well as the stock take, I need to get on with the finances. You can follow progress by clicking here

Please visit tomorrow ...
By tomorrow, we should have done some dead reckoning and be able to tell exactly what plants we have available at the moment. Wonderfully, 99% of what has been grown so far is now in other people's gardens. I have been particularly gratified that our advice has also been helpful to many. I do not claim to be an expert but have often found the experience I have gained in my own garden is useful to others. We would like to continue - perhaps, even beyond lockdown, for a while

So, hopefully, see shall you tomorrow when we plan to feature the plants that are currently available from ...

... the old Garden Codger

Oh! - just thought, I already know that we have a couple of hanging baskets looking for a good home. Here is one of them. You should get prolific repeat flowering over the summer period - provided you water, of course

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