Monday, 23 March 2009

A good way to spend Mother's Day

It was Mother's Day yesterday and my girls presented me with the Mother's Day gifts and cards they had both made during gardening club on Tuesday - which was lovely but no surprise! Then it was time to enjoy the spring sunshine and go out to the allotment. The broad beans I had put in pots were now big enough to handle so I started by getting these planted out on the plot. My eldest busied herself with washing her bike with a watering can and a leaf so she was too busy to help with the watering when I asked. Not to worry as my youngest was keen to help. Fortunately, her watering can is very small so as she trekked back and forth to the water trough I had plenty of time to plant some more beans for her to water.

I had three trays of broad beans - 24 modules per tray. Some had yet to emerge but when I checked, the beans had germinated so I planted them anyway. A few others had succumbed to the heat during the week because I had forgotten to open the door of the coldframe until after midday. Coldframe was something of a misnomer by this point and the tips of the plants had turned black in the tropical heat! I figured this would kill the plants completely but in fact by yesterday they were showing signs of healthy green regrowth.

With the broad beans out, I turned my attention to the pea bed. By this point my eldest had finished washing her bike so I asked if she fancied helping me rack over the bed. She was keen so we set to. She then volunteered to help with the watering so I pulled out a series of shallow trenches with the hoe and she helped me water the base of each trench. Her favourite job is sowing seeds so I sat and directed whilst she carefully scattered seeds into the 8 trenches - two mangetout, one sugarsnap pea, one petit pois, and 4 different types of pea, including a heritage purple podded one. She carefully stuck in lollystick labels as she went. Next I showed her how to carefully pull the soil back over the pea seeds to fill in the trenches. Finally, I asked if she wanted to help push some pea stick in and she replied with enthusiasm as she loves "planting trees". And that was it - job done. It's the first time she's ever managed to keep her attention and enthusiasm focused until a complete job was done. And I really enjoyed it too. People have many ideas of how best to treat mum on Mother's Day but this was the best way I could have spent my day as far as I was concerned!

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