The weather seems to have made a decisive shift from ‘variable’ to ‘downright bonkers’ in recent days – yesterday started with a sharp frost, then turned into a stinging cold drizzle (as a passing neighbour commented as she overtook me, “it’s wet and cold and miserable, what are you DOING?”), and then, as I reached the outskirts of Bigtown with the sun struggling to come out, the wind suddenly turned almost warm: not exactly an oven door opening, but maybe something like a tumble dryer. Today we woke to blustery wind and rain and overnight temperatures of 11 degrees, while tonight – having cycled back from the community council meeting wondering if I should have put my magical ice tyres on – it is once more officially effing bloody cold.
Still, whatever the weather, at the moment it doesn’t matter because our main outdoor project is effectively indoors: digging out where the greenhouse beds. The idea is to replace the current mixture of (inevitably) gravel and rather compacted clay soil with whatever will grow us lots of tomatoes and chillies. Following my usual technique I have googled various gardening sites to find one which agrees with what I was thinking of doing anyway, and decided we’ll probably go with a mixture of one third soil, one third sand and one third peat-free compost.*
So this afternoon I spent a happy few hours out of the wind and the wildly variable weather, shovelling the soil and gravel into our ever growing heap, removing an encouraging number of worms (some slightly shorter than they might have been originally, sorry worms) to safety, and remembering not to chuck the bigger stones too carelessly towards the open door…
* It appears that the whole peat vs peat-free compost question is as controversial in a gardening forum as helmets are on a cycling forum; having stumbled upon some entertainingly bonkers but very heated ‘debates’ on the subject, I decided to stick to lurking.