Stories from the garden

Crazy neighbour told us to wait another weekend before eating our own salad. The inner heart of the salad needs to firm up, so the crops are still all in place.

We have however eaten our very first, very sweet, strawberries. They are delicious! And they look gorgeous. I'll have to make some room for them to grow and get some cuttings of the tentacles that are feeling their way around the flower beds. They keep flowering, so that's good. Every flower is a strawberry. The bees are also out in full force. We need to bind the peonies together, they are collapsing under their own weight, but I'm scared we'll get a nasty response from the honey making winged insectivores. They're fighting each other in mid air to get to all the yummy pollen.

I've impersonated a bee this week. We bought a paprika-plant that brings forth white (!) paprika's. It's already sporting a few items. But because the plant is in our conservatory I'm playing the part of the pollinator with a swab, going from flower to flower.

Anyway, last weekend was another D-Day for the garden, the next big step to completing is has been taken. The area has been tilled, levelled and the grass seeds are in place.

It's not exactly Centre Court at the All England Lawn and Croquet Club, but it'll do for us.
We're roaring to give those balls a good walloping and have Pimm's on the lawn.
We're keeping it wet, Dr Livingstone went out and bought one of those interval rain spectacle things, that move about to evenly spread out water (it does about 60 square metres at time). We wouldn't have been able to do so if we hadn't put in that rain collector of 5000 litres. It is ca. 500 square metres to keep wet.

But I've just had a call from him telling me they're expecting rain this evening or tomorrow in gigantic proportions. About as much is going to fall as we could expect in an entire month. So I think if that should happen here (chances are it will, and not some miles further on), all the seeds will wash away and it will have been in vain. That is probably what is going to happen, these things never work out the way they have been planned.
But anyway, the soil has been levelled, so that's that. In the event we will have some kind of flood we can always just go out and buy two bags of new seed and spread that out.
We've been promised if there is a good balance between the temperature and water, germination should start in about 8 to 10 days. Or even as quick as 5.

In other news: Dr Livingstone got a present from his old mentor: a motorbike!
I'm not very pleased about that, as he had promised he wouldn't rid one ever again. But now I've seen it, it's ok. I can live with it. It's a light chopper king of bike, not a heavy one. It is 'easily' manoeuvrable, better for his back too.
He has made his mind up at first getting some lessons in with the driving school to freshen up on his biking skills again.

I tried to clear the bike with customs yesterday, as it has been imported from an other EU country. We checked with customs in the other country, checked with the importer here in Belgium and then called again with customs here to make sure we had all the documents we needed.
Of course when I got there, they told me I had to have some kind of proof of ownership.
I explained to the guy we had brought everything along as we had been told to do so, and we didn't have an invoice or something as it was a gift.
'Well, you didn't listen and haven't understood what was said on the phone then' said the officer.
I was very, very angry.
But I will get my own back. The whole custom office was reeking of cigarettes. It's a federal office. They are not allowed to smoke in there.
I'm putting in a call to the appropriate services to deal with that.
Mrs B doesn't take no for an answer.

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