Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Fun fun fun in the sun sun sun

(if you watch Charlie and Lola, then you'll recognise that very Lola-ish title). We're all feeling very Lola-ish at the moment.
With a few days of fine weather and no particular place to go we've had bit of a garden-frenzy.
Tomatoes are looking fab in the greenhouse (all 40-odd of them).
Shame I don't really like eating them.
Why do I grow so many? Darned if I know.

The weather's been good enough for outdoor work so I dug over the border that Jack keeps trashing, and decided to risk planting out a few tomato plants. Last year this patch had herbs in, but I think the combination of dog wee and confrontations with next door's rotweilers through the fence (literally) finished most of the herbs off.
Only the sturdy chives remain; to be honest, as they are Jack's favourite marking spot, they're only really for decorative use, or for less hygenic cooks. Oh and there's a hollyhock plant too. Despite dh's best attempts to kill off the hollyhocks which he hates, they seem determined to live and every crack in every concrete surface...ha ha ha ha they cackle, shaking their little seedy things everywhere.

As you can see below I decided to set up some sort of contraption for keeping the tomato plants in the way to which they were accustomed; a little bit of protection in the garden. I figured that these black plastic sheets (actually 3 king-sized binliners that I bought in error) might warm up during the day and give off a little heat later in the evening (well that's how the science is meant to work, isn't it?). Needless to say the kids were bemused to find me trying to nail binbags to the fence. You know how the conversation goes:
'So what's that for Mummy?'
'It's a binliner and a nail and a hammer.'
'Yes but what's it for?'
'It's science, child, but not as we know it.'
Or something like that...
Well if I'd given them the long version including the science they'd have only glazed over before muttering 'oh so it's educational then...'

Then I used some leftover plastic glazing panels to give them a bit of protection:

Not sure it will withstand a bouncy King Charles Spaniel and the heads of next door's rotweilers as they come through the fence, or the investigation of 3 inquisitive children for that matter. Live and learn.
Talking of creating structures, here is another attempt to convince myself I have the gift of construction. I introduce the DIY pergoda:

Actually, as you may have guessed, it's a double duvet cover tied to the neighbours' fence and the conservatory window and propped up on poles. But shh...don't tell anyone.

The average collapse rate of this structure is about once an hour in calm weather, increasing to every 10 minutes in windy weather. Collapse isn't a major issue, unless you happen to be eating your bbq at the table underneath. Perhaps a more permanent structure should be on the agenda?

Talking of bbqs, the kids have been doing some outdoor cooking. If you like your food untouched by human hands, seasoned with grit and only slightly licked by the dog, this is the perfect way to enjoy lunch. What's that I hear you say? You've lost your appetite?

Looks like someone is keen to join in with the DIY (you'll have someones eye out with that, you know):

Thankfully we still have a garden bench, though there may be a few extra drainage slots in it now...

And ds2 was given the job of getting the lawnmower working for the 2009 season. Took a bit of oil and some kicking (probably something to do with the fact that we kept it out in the garden all last year) but eventually it slugged and creaked into life, ready to attack the stones, dog poo, string, plastic spades, bits of fishing net, lego, ice cream tub lids, soggy shoe boxes and - oh yes - the grass. Still, at least the risks of a push mower are less than the flymo; you don't have wear a hard hat and full-body armour (have you seen how far those stone chips go??).

And here it is in action. Why am I videoing ds2 cutting the grass? Well because he asked me, of course. You don't think I'm mad enough to go around taking photos and videos of average, everyday not-terribly-exciting activities, just for the fun of it and then post them for public viewing, do you? What sort of a nutter do you think I am?! (I'm off to join the cackling hollyhocks, far too much sun on my head today).


Sam said...

Lovely straight lines in that mowing, lol. I want one of those push mowers - I can't find the extension cable, can't stand the flymo, had to resort to secateurs(?) to cut some of the grass!

Big mamma frog said...

Yeah, didn't you know that mohican-style lawns are the 'in thing' this year? lol. Last year I discovered that if I left the mower out on the lawn all summer the kids would tootle around, mowing the lawn a bit when they felt like it and I hardly had to do any myself. Flymos scare me, can't be doing with power tools!

globeonmytable said...

I have just found your blog. I can really hear your voice in your words. I love the hollyhocks and their evil cackles!!

ps I'm Sarah from the pub meetups and from Oxon HE.