Saturday 3 July 2021

Midlands Premier Gardening Event

Tess of the D'Urbervilles - has colour and scent
Yes, we are proud to remind our readers that the premier event in our gardening calendar happens next Saturday, 10th July 

We refer, of course, to the annual charity plant sale run by Angela Webb who, along with her husband Keith - and in common with Codger - is a keen support of BCM. The Mission will be the beneficiary of all the funds raised. For obvious reasons, the sale did not take place last year. So, if you live locally why not come along and get a bargain next Saturday? - and support BCM in the process

The same roses after this afternoon's storm
Key details
The address of plant sale is 3 Huntsman Close, Coseley WV14 8RU. Codger strongly recommends that you check this on Google maps. You'll see that it's one of those locations (in a cul-de-sac) that you spiral into. PLEASE try to park a few streets away, otherwise we could get in a proper tangle. And, we don't want to upset the neighbours who, actually, are very sympathetic to the venture

The event has been Covid-checked with the local council. No QR codes are needed but those who enter the garden will be asked for contact details which will be recorded. Please wear a mask and observe social distancing. Payment by cash only. The sale starts at 12 noon and ends at 3:00pm

The weather forecast looks good - temperature 22 degrees and a 'low chance of precipitation' as they say nowadays. Which reminds me ...

Today's downpour
Wow! That was heavy downpour this afternoon. Priority this week has been given to preparing plants for the charity sale. We had fears that there might be a smaller supply this year but that suddenly changed with news of an influx from tuther side of Brum where a horticultural society has just cancelled a sale. The result? A good number of surplus plants are being donated to the Webb's sale

Be that as it may, we were gathering our resources this afternoon when the heavens opened. Measuring the water collected in an empty bucket, I reckon we had one inch in half-an-hour. Codger never seems to have enough buckets and containers of various sorts. I rarely throw one away and always seem to have use for more

Just as well: catching, keeping and transporting the fish I mentioned has proved to be this week's big challenge. We had promised half-a-dozen fish to a loyal reader of this blog - no sacrifice as we are overstocked. Codger laboured for a week and only caught one tiddler, oh dear!

Time for new net but, even so, it proved to be slow work. The fish have an uncanny knack of sensing the slightest threatening movement. Anyway, the final result can be seen in the photo

[For those interested, the container is a 5-gallon plastic keg with the top removed and polyester rope handles fitted. Note the way the rope ends are sealed by burning the frayed strands. However, great care is needed when doing this as the melted plastic can give a nasty skin burn.]

A bit of help
The pond and the fish are great attraction to visiting children. The grandson of another reader bears witness to this

In addition to the pond we have an old-fashioned handpump; this draws water from our secret reservoir (more excitement for another time!). Children are invariably thrilled when they discover that the pump actually works. The photo demonstrates the level of enthusiasm engendered. (Looks like an impressive golf swing to me!)

Our first tomato
Please excuse a shorter episode this week - we are still getting ready for next Saturday. But I must show you our first ripen tomato. The variety is Tumbler. The blurb said it was extra early and this has proven to be correct. I have three plants in a hanging basket - a rather crowded hanging basket. We will be checking it for flavour in the next couple of days - I must say that it looks promising

Black Hamburg
"But what about Black Hamburg?" I hear you say. Well Black Hamburg is doing fine. Here's a photo taken today - a bit early for fruit, of course. But bearing in mind its three-week bubble-wrap journey from Holland, quite remarkable!

See you soon ...
For those living locally, it would be great to meet you face-to-face on Saturday. Perhaps that should be mask-to-mask - until then or our next episode ...

... best wishes from the old garden Codger

PS - just about time for one extra photograph

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