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Thank you for the recent delivery of my Damson tree's and fruit bushes. There was a slight problem with one missing bush but you sorted it out quickly with no qualms. I must say, the quality of the specimens are exceptional and quite a bit larger than fruit bushes that I've ordered from other nurseries in the past. The care and attention you spend on packaging is fantastic and your website is rich with variety and helpful information. I will definately recommend you to anyone, thanks.
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Thank you for the recent delivery of my Damson tree's and fruit bushes. There was a slight problem with one missing bush but you sorted it out quickly with no qualms. I must say, the quality of the specimens are exceptional and quite a bit larger than fruit bushes that I've ordered from other nurseries in the past. The care and attention you spend on packaging is fantastic and your website is rich with variety and helpful information. I will definately recommend you to anyone, thanks.
Phil Rowlands, Caerphilly

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Garden Notes

Amongst our many memories of the past we are lucky enough to have the little notebook 'Garden Notes. Written by Eric Shirley (father of Jeremy, grandfather of Stephen). With a cloth cover, embroidered by his wife Eve, it diarises two years of the family's activities in the garden - and an insight into a time when the pace of life was a little slower and more gentle.

Image of Molly and Milly Shirley reading their Great Grandad's gardening diary with their Grandad, Jeremy.

Herewith the text transcribed directly from the handwritten diary...

Sunday 5th March 1950

For the first time in weeks I managed to get outside. I cut down dead Chrysanthemums, repaired broken trellis work, garden gate and reinforced yard trellis to curtail Sam's escapes! Had bonfire and put ash onto vegetable plot, raking same in. Eve pruned the Rose trees and smartened up the borders, had my health been good these tasks would have been performed long ago. Jeremy prepared his pool.
(Sam was a slighly wayward Spaniel)

 

Sunday 12th March 1950
Eve cut down the last of the dead Loganberries and Raspberries. The tomatoes she planted have just broken surface in the pot in the dinning room. I put new blocks in the brakes of her cycle. Jeremy made bung for his garden pool.

 

Good Friday 7th April 1950
A warm day of sunshine. We made a united effort and cleaned out the pond, transplanted lilies and removed all sludge, this we put on the vegetable garden. The pear tree is in full blossom, and spring flowers are in bloom, grass will soon be ready for cutting. Pond drainage pipe 100% clean.

 

Saturday 13th May 1950

Made a really good onslaught on all those things in this garden that should have been attended to weeks ago, but I cannot take blame upon myself for this, after Easter we have had weeks and weeks of very cold wet weather, heavy falls of sleet, gales and believe it or not nearly three inches of snow - so during our infourced sojourn in the house we have redecorated the bathroom, hall and staircase and our bedroom, as well as making two new standard lamps.

But today was hot and the sun shone for approx 14 hours. I repaired the cover over the cycle's that had been blown off by high wind, repaired trellis and fence again (I thought I had done with this job) and cut clipped and rolled the back lawn. Grass in good condition, and I am well pleased with appearance of same.

Eve has removed a lot of old rocks and made attractive scalloped borders. The new spinach is through and her tomato plants will soon be ready to bed out, the geraniums are in the ground, having sowed them through the Winter. Planted by Eve! Stocks, Asters, Fuchsia, Grandfather Lavender, Antirrhinums and White Phlox.

 

Sunday 14th May 1950

Worked all day in the front garden. Clipped and shaped hedge, quite a task, and mowed lawn - grass in good condition. Staked sweet pea to post by gate. Repaired fence damaged by high winds and repaired garage gate post; this was really Knockle's (the neighbour) job, but same would fall down before he would make attempt! Cleaned down wrought iron front gate, with wire brush and emery paper, and re painted same. Have caught quite a lot of sun on my face despite somewhat cold wind. Eve finished painting the 'theme room'.

 

Monday 22nd May 1950

Arrived home from office somewhat weary but with the help of Jeremy I rolled the lawn in the back garden after he had clipped and mown it, we also did the edges together. I then planted my 10 Gladioli in the front garden by the Connor's fence. After a day in Town I find the pleasure of gardening heavy going! I only really look forward to a good rest, having been walking about all day in London.

 

Sunday 4th June 1950

A really hot June day. Eve planted out 25 Tomato plants and I staked same; I also cut and clipped, and rolled front and back lawns, and re edged same, and I also put Sweet Peas in back garden to stakes and tied up a really terrific Delphinium. Have caught some sun on my back. Eve and I finished re decorating the bathroom. Very satisfactory and quick job.

 

Monday 5th June 1950

Eve put in bean plants and I put poles to same. Discovered that one of the tomato plants had been eaten by garden pests.

 

Tuesday 6th June 1950

Jeremy planted out scarlet Clarkia, and French marigolds in borders, and I ringed with lime all the tomatoes and beans to protect same. Still very hot, 83 in the shade. Then sat in the garden and heard Lee Sovald beat Bruce Woodcock in the fourth round, fight was stopped.

 

Wednesday 7th June 1950

Temperature 85 in the shade, but after resting in the morning I put up large rack frame for the sweet peas in the front garden - used 18 yards of string!

 

Friday 9th June 1950

Put water into garden pond, same has developed a leak and must be repaired when found, and when I have time; am not too worried, this has happened in the past and I have always managed to locate and correct same. Filled up bird bath in front garden.

Repaired broken trellis work on the fence by the Connor's garden, broken by the weight of the roses. Observed my Gladioli have broken surface in the front garden - I hope they bloom this year, they failed to do so last year.

The beans Eve planted are doing well and more are coming through.

 

Sunday June 11th 1950

Put up a large bean rack to cope with all the bean seedlings that are coming through. Repaired hoe, weeded garden brick steps, and crazy paving.

Eve cut back large Lilac bush, and planted out the climbing Geraniums. I helped her to tie back into orderly shape the large Hydrangea by the pond, and planted two more tomato plants to replace those eaten by pests. Eve also took out 'suckers' from the boarders.

Jeremy planted out seedlings of French Marigolds. Another perfect day, still very hot. Had tea in the garden as well as Strawberries and cream.

 

Monday June 12th 1950

I bought two very fine Geraniums and planted them out in the hanging baskets - salmon pink (King of Denmark).

We have had a few claps of thunder and it looks very stormy, rain is starting and a strong wind blowing, but it has been a perfect day.

 

Friday 16th June 1950

After a day and night of rain without cessation I planted out in the hanging basket roots of Lobelia, 3 roots per basket. Eve planted out yesterday a very nice bush marrow, and the tomatoes, and beans are coming along well. The Strawberries are looking well, and we have already partaken of same, the weather is cooler.

 

Saturday 17th June 1950

A dull cool day, bought Cuthberts Tomato Fertiliser, and supplied each of our plants with a dose, also tied up where necessary. Cut, clipped and rolled front and back lawns and attended to boarder edging. I do not often work in the garden on a Saturday but we are spending the Sunday at Eastbourne, last Saturday we were at Bognor.

I take my outside leisure with an easy conscience because the gardens in front and back of the house are in fair and proper order. Watered hanging baskets.

 

Sunday 25th June 1950

Have been somewhat enforced to lay off the garden during the last week owing to wet evenings, but the rain has done good. Had an easy day because last night we were guests of Erich Prisch and arrived home very late, having dined at the Cumberland Hotel and also at his flat, eating from 6.30 till 10.20.

The above paragraph is hardly one on gardening but is an excuse for me for having spent a lazy day. Never the less I re doped the Tomato plants with fertilizer, and hoed up in the vegetable garden. The lettuces planted by Eve yesterday look fairly fit. Eve made a very good job of the boarder by the bridge and coal shed, she also planted out two double white Lilac, and gave 'air' for other plants to breath.

Together we cut out some dead in the rose by the dinning room window, and I again gave a good soaking to the hanging baskets, the Geraniums and Lobelia in same look fighting fit and have many blooms.

Jeremy busy collecting fish spawn because he has had a good hatching in the pond of Shubunkins, hope they survive.

 

Saturday 1st July 1950

Put in 5½ hours really hard work in the front and back gardens. I am writing with a very queer old fashioned pen put in my desk by JETS; I am too weary to go upstairs for my usual one! I gave a very close clip to the front hedge (time 2 hours and 5 minutes) well on schedule, I think will meet over the gate this year.

Eve worked all of this time on the front flower boarders, cutting down dead Peonies etc and turning over soil, I then cut and clipped the front lawn, also cut and clipped the back lawn, tied up tomato plants where necessary, and helped beans to stakes. I then did the lawn edges, and well hoed up the vegetable garden. We are quite pleased with the ultimate result. The Lobelia in the back boarders is making a very fine show.

 

Saturday 8th July 1950

Tied up the Tomato plants again, and re doped with fertilizer, they are coming along well. Helped more beans to poles and hoed up vegetable plot, it appears in good order. Took out root of old Spinach, had some for dinner in the evening i.e. the leaves not the roots!

 

Sunday 9th July 1950

Prepared new plot for cabbages, where the old Spinach I took up yesterday had been. Dug up soil and limed same, also limed plot behind the beans in preparation for Cabbage and Brussels plants. Cut and clipped the front and back lawns, after a week of much rain this was necessary, and tied up Chrysanthemums and Sweet Peas in front garden.

We have a wonderful crop of Raspberries and Loganberries this year Eve has already made jam. After this week will let the garden take care of itself for two weeks because we are migrating to Shanklin for our holiday, but as garden is in good order it will not present too great a task when we get back.

Eve made a sweet today of Raspberries, Loganberries, Strawberries, Red Currants and Black Currants not bad for a small garden! Watered the hanging baskets, they are doing well. The small Morello cherry tree is laden with fruit this year, and the Lobelia in the boarders is in full bloom, as also is the large pink Hydrangea.

 

Friday 14th July 1950

Tomorrow we leave home for two weeks holiday at Shanklin, so tonight made a small effort in the garden.

I took down our two hanging baskets and sunk them in moist earth at the end of the vegetable garden, I did this because I think they will survive far better without attention this way during our absence, the natural moisture of the soil should be better for them than had I left them suspended, without my usual care of watering. To prevent an onslaught of slugs I encircled them with rings of lime.

JETS topped up the pond, and Eve removed dead sections of sweet peas and roses, our garden can now recline in the lap of nature until we get back. Thank God for a home and the joy of a garden.

 

Sunday 30th July 1950

Back form a very good holiday, so once more to our plot. During our time on holiday the garden has behaved itself very well!

Eve cut down dead flowers and large Delphinium, I took side shoots out of tomatoes and re-tied same, they have grown a great deal also I gave them a further dressing of Cuthberts fertilizer, this helps them tremendously. I then hoed up the vegetable garden on both sides, and planted out from our seed nursery winter cabbage and Brussel sprouts, they appear very healthy plants and should do well if the garden pests do not attack; I planted four rows of each. The bush marrow Eve planted has been destroyed by pests I am sorry about this, it was looking so promising, but one must expect some set backs in a garden.

Better news - I have been well rewarded for the care I took of my hanging baskets. I removed them from their sunken beds and gave each a good soaking, they are now back where they belong hanging outside the dining room window new blooms are on the way and I am well pleased. The lobelia in the boarders is excellent. Not able to cut lawns owing to rain, will make effort to do so this week. Considering we have been on holiday for two weeks the condition of our small estate is more than pleasing!

 

Saturday 5th August 1950

A very fine and hot day, so took much trouble over front and back lawns, clipping, mowing, sweeping, and the mowing again. It is a long time since they were done and they have enjoyed the rest, they are once again as I like to see them. Filled up bird bath in front garden and gave hanging baskets a good soaking

Eve made a good job of the right hand boarder, and cut down a lot of old Loganberry and tied up new shoots. I had to put new posts to some of the tomatoes because they are so big, they look in good condition, as also the Brussels sprouts and cabbages I planted out last week.

As I contemplate re laying new cement this weekend outside the kitchen and dining room doors I had to take half an inch off the back garage gate for free clearance; I managed to make a clean straight cut. I also hope to repair leak in pond if weather continues good, it being August bank holiday weekend. I also attended to all the lawn boarder edging. A good afternoon's work for a Saturday and an ulcer.

 

Sunday 6th August 1950

Another very hot day 81f. Worked from 10.30am to 8.30pm, only stopping for food and drink. I drained the pond and opened up suspected cracks, I then filled up same with a mixture of 2 & 1 of sharp sand and cement, and trust this leak in the pond is now repaired. I will be able to tell in a day or so.

With JETS helping me mix, I entirely re cemented the whole of the yard and am pleased with the result, I have done from the garage gate to the coal shed, passing kitchen and dining room, used a mixture of 4 & 1 so it should be satisfactory.

Eve did left hand boarder and cut down more Loganberry, and JETS removed weeds from Strawberry bed. They each made good jobs of their tasks, one could say 'A very satisfactory day's work'

 

Monday 7th August 1950

After yesterday's Herculean effort took a really good day's rest in the garden as reward, but in the morning hoed up the cabbage and Brussels Sprout plot and freed them from weed, tidied up compost heap. And put away balance of sand and cement in bags.

In the afternoon filled up the pond and, as far as I can tell at this very early stage, the repair I did yesterday appears satisfactory. Also the cementing I did yesterday is drying out very nicely and we are all most pleased with this effort. Put a small cement patch on the bridge. Another perfect day very hot. The fish and their young appear to be fit and healthy.

 

Wednesday 9th August 1950

Gave Hanging Baskets a good soaking.

 

Sunday 13th August 1950

Another hot day. Am very glad to say the pond repair was quite ok and satisfactory. Mowed and clipped back lawn, and then rolled same, grass in good condition, then did the edges. Planted out three more rows of Brussels Sprouts, and cabbage, took side shoots off tomatoes, and put fertilizer round same. Hoed up vegetable plot and all plants appear in good fettle.

Removed all weeds from back garden brick steps, and gave hanging baskets a good soaking. At the time of writing the garden is a 'picture' - a mass of bloom, Hydrangea, Phlox, Roses, Tiger Lilies, Water Lilies, Gladioli, French Marigolds, Asters, Lobelia, Yellow and White Daises, Sweet Peas, Golden Rain, Mombretia, Anemones etc. We have never had so many flowers in bloom at the same time, it really does look very, very nice. Shortly more Geraniums will be out.

Relaxed for the rest of the day, from lunchtime onwards. Basil and Jean came to tea, they also said how nice the garden looked.

 

Monday 21st August 1950

Watered hanging baskets.

 

Tuesday 22nd August 1950

Jeremy picked the plums very, very poor crop this year owing to late frosts last April.

 

Sunday 27th August 1950

Garden was neglected last Sunday because we all went for the day to Roy and Sylvia's - and I, under ordinary circumstances, would have attended to it yesterday Saturday the 26th but again we were out for the day at Silverstone International Car Grand Prix.

So today made up for my neglect by working a full day, first I had the wretched job of cutting the front hedge this always takes two hours then I cut and clipped front lawn, and removed weeds from brick steps, I then cut and clipped back lawn and watered hanging baskets, then hoed up vegetable plot. Cabbage and Brussels doing well so far, removed leaves from tomato plants to enable sun to ripen fruits - some plants are very good others very poor, re fertilized same and hoed in.

Made repair to top of well, 'did' all the edges. Eve worked hard on the boarders tying up Chrysanthemums in front garden, and making all look very ship shape, she then got to work on the back boarders cutting down, and tying up where necessary, also planting out Hollyhock seedlings, and transplanted one of the red Geraniums so that it would have more space. Jeremy filled up the pond, which is still satisfactory. We did not stop work until 7.30. The Fuchsia in the front garden is very prolific and generally speaking all looks very nice.

The time is now 8.15pm and I am about to glance at the morning paper, with a garden one has to forgo things but has the reward of contentment for efforts made.

 

Sunday 3rd September 1950

Not able to do much today because of the incessant rain - but hoed up the vegetable garden, picked some nice beans for dinner, swept leaves off lawn and cut down overhanging Jasmine from shed door - this is a big improvement, one can now go in and out of shed without catching one's head in foliage. Repaired small portions of trellis to prevent Sam wandering all over the place, and then sat back because of the weather.

Everything outside looks very, very damp, and temperature is very much lower.

 

Sunday 10th September 1950

The past week has been a very wet one, and on Wednesday we had a gale, but am glad to say was able to work in the garden today, weather being good, a really fine sunny Sunday.

In the morning I put up a new radio aerial, this was quite a task because first I had to take down the old one, and the pear tree being in full leaf made things somewhat tricky, never the less task done to my satisfaction. Jeremy then picked the pear crop, a poor one this year because of the April frosts.

Eve cut down all necessary plants in the border by the coal shed, it looks much better for this and enables the Geraniums more light and air, I think we shall have a good show from them if the temperature keeps up. I swept the lawn, and then gave it a good 'doing' with the roller, it looks quite nice, and now free of worm casts. I also clipped and mowed the front lawn - this is also in good condition; these jobs were not finished until late afternoon because of my work on the aerial in the morning.

I then hoed up vegetable plot, we have a good crop of Runner Beans, and the Spinach is in perfect condition, the Brussels and Cabbages are shaping well, but the Tomatoes are still slower than ever before. I then did all the edging, and watered the hanging baskets, Jeremy topped up the pond. Then had tea in the garden, and I managed to rest for half and hour in a deck chair to gaze on our efforts of work. I feel very, very tired now having worked hard all day - the time is 6.50 and I intend to relax and endeavour to read the Sunday Paper, as yet I have not looked at it. I wonder if I try to do too much on Sundays? But I do like things ship shape.

 

Monday 11th September 1950

I, being the proverbial breadwinner, was earning the honest crust in London - so Jeremy, still being on holiday, made a most satisfactory effort on his part of the garden with excellent results. He disposed of the untidy compost heap corner and converted same into a very attractive flower boarder; he has made a really terrific improvement to the garden and proposes to plant out Parrot Tulips, Scillas, Daffodils (King Alfred) Grape Hyacinths, Blue Iris, Glory of the Snow and Crocus. He bought all the bulbs and has made a very praiseworthy effort.

 

Sunday 17th September 1950

After a week of much rain and strong winds that still blow I was not able to do a great deal in the garden because of its wet condition, but I did sweep fallen leaves off back lawn, and removed leaves from tomato plants to enable the sun to ripen off fruits more easily, I also repaired Eve's wooden slat fencing round her Strawberry bed.

I then prepared for bad weather of the coming winter by thoroughly piling and greasing all gates - garage gates, garden Gate, and front gate - this will assure easy movement. I then well soaked the hanging baskets, and thoroughly hoed up between plants in the vegetable plot, I picked some perfect Runner Beans and many more on the way.

The Geraniums in the boarder are in bloom also those in baskets. Jeremy made a new small boarder on the section of the pond that juts out into the water, he planted out his spring bulbs, this should be an added attraction. Eve planted out Iris (brown/yellow) removed by Jeremy to make his boarder and she split up the roots and divided same round the rockery.

 

Sunday 24th September 1950

Quite impossible to do anything in the garden owing to incessant rain, but did manage to get another good picking of beans, and the tomatoes are at last turning red. I tied up a few Chrysanthemums in the front garden and replaced some bricks that had fallen down. It rained all day!

 

Sunday 8th October 1950

Worked in the garden today for a short time, mending trellis and fence by the Connor's side, putting up new wood and creosoting same. There is still a lot more to finish. Have not been able to undertake my weekly tasks because of visit to Roy and Woking, and visit from Roy and family, also visit to Basil, and poor weather, but will try to get down to my weekly routine as soon as circumstances allow.

Eve has cut down some dead Phlox and pruned the James Grieve apple tree. I picked tomatoes for the first time on October 1st, they have been slow this year, more are now ripening. The Cape Gooseberries (Lanterns) are out, and the Michaelmas Daisies are well in bloom, the chrysanthemums are coming along quickly having been 'budded' by Eve and Geraniums are still flowering, as also is the Fuchsia, Roses and Yellow Sunflowers.

 

Sunday 15th October 1950

Worked all day in the garden, perfect weather for the job in hand! Continued repairing fences and making new trellis, worked hard on the monotonous task and made good progress, I hope. I have yet another full days work to do before the task is finished, but it greatly improves the general appearance. Gave hanging baskets a good soaking, Eve had a good bonfire of the old stuff she cut down; She has worked hard all the afternoon and has made a good clearance.

 

Saturday 21st October 1950

Worked in the garden in the afternoon to creosote more trellis slats, and re-stock nail bones in preparation for tomorrow's onslaught.

 

Sunday 22nd October 1950

During last week Eve worked hard in the front garden, cutting down old plants, and attending to transplanting, she also mowed and clipped the front lawn, made a good job of it. Today I am glad to say I finished putting up new trellis and mending weak spots in all fences; this took from early in the morning until 3.30pm. This trellis and fence job took longer that I wanted it to do, but am pleased with result.

Gave hanging baskets a good soaking, and hoed up all of the vegetable plot. Eve worked hard in the afternoon clearing up and cutting down old plants, also taking the new shoots of Raspberry, and Loganberry. I swept dead leaves off lawn, and gave a general tidy up, much work is still to be done. We still have Roses out, and Geraniums - also Michaelmas Daisies, and Chrysanthemums in fact quite a lot of bloom for the time of year. The Tomatoes are still ripening, and the Runner beans are still good, as also is the Spinach. The cabbages look healthy and appear to be doing well.

Jeremy is somewhat proud of yet another new venture; his tobacco plants have and are doing well, Holy Smoke?

 

Sunday 29th October 1950

Very cold today and sharp frosts all the week, but bright sunshine, so did quite a long day’s work with Eve's help. I think we work too hard in the garden at times, we deprive ourselves of the joy of fireside afternoons. I wonder if this a mistake?

In the morning I swept, clipped and mowed the back lawn, also the front lawn. I then took down the bean rack and stored away the bean sticks for the winter, I also well oiled and greased the mowing machine and parked same for the winter. I then took down the old Sweet peas in the front garden, and stored away sticks for same. Then I did the back lawn edges.

Eve took out the old tomato plants and stakes, and I put stakes away for the winter. Eve also cut down a lot of dead plants and we had a bonfire that burned all day, it was a bit of a job to keep it going, owing to green wood.

I then took down the hanging baskets because of night frosts. Eve tied up more Loganberries and Raspberries, and transplanted a current bush; she also shaped the Box tree by the pond. The lawn appears in good condition, and Roses and Chrysanthemums look attractive - Lobelia still flowers in the more sheltered boarders. I think this past week's frost has finished off the climbing Geraniums, it killed the marigolds. This cold snap was very sudden and unexpected, house temperature 40°f at 6.30 and bonfire still burns.

 

Sunday 5th November 1950

Eve cut down the Sunflowers in the front garden and removed roots of same where they had overgrown the borders, she also transplanted white margarites, and again took up unnecessary roots (some I gave to Mrs Connor). She planted out 1 dozen Red Darwin tulips, and 1 Dozen King Alfred Daffodils, she planted a Flowering Cherry tree and changed the position of our Dark Red Rose from the corner of the bird bath to the left hand flower boarder.

Jeremy transplanted the Phlox in his boarder, and removed old marigolds; he has made his corner look very neat. I swept more leaves from the lawn, the grass appears in very good condition. I also repaired the coal shed door, it now swings easily, and for the rest of the day I attended to a really good bonfire, I have got rid of a terrific lot of dead refuse and for reward am collecting a good heap of ash for raking into the vegetable plot.

The bonfire has burned all day and is still going strongly at 5pm. We had quite a lot of sun today but this weather is quite cold, we have had a great deal of rain during this last week, considering all things our garden's in good order.

 

Sunday 12th November 1950

Burned the last of the garden rubbish, had a really good bonfire and am glad to say that the incinerator now only contains ash!

Cleared out Sam's kennel for the last time for Sam. He was part of the home and garden for nearly fourteen years so he must come into my garden memories. Yesterday I had the poor old chap put to sleep - his old age made this necessary, we could not wish to see him deteriorate. He played many parts in our garden life and Eve and I are very sad without him. All his life, nearly fourteen years, he was a companion that did not complain - and in the last few moments of his life he was still the same stoic Sam! This dog will forever be in our memory.

I will conclude today's writing by saying thank you old Sam, for everything.

 

18th February 1951

Well the garden and I have had three months rest. We have had very, very wet weather in January and also in the previous month of December; and this month of February has been on of the wettest and most galely on record. My barometer reading has at times fallen to 28 the lowest ever recorded.

I spent the morning repairing our garden fence, which suffered some damage from the terribly strong winds. I put in new posts, salvaged from the old front gate and all now appears very straight and very strong; I hope it will withstand whatever elements are forthcoming. I also had a good bonfire in the afternoon, and put ash on vegetable plot. I then well forked over the soil and dug roughly each side of the vegetable garden

 

Sunday 4th March 1951

Today was a bright sunny one, spent the whole day in the garden but, not gardening. I fully repaired the coal shed, putting in new post to support door, which now swings easily, and put new wood inside to prevent coal coming through. I then made two new seed boxes , and chopped up a very large amount of wood for house fires.

Eve has planted the tomato seeds, and also planted many new roses in the front garden, Jeremy has made alterations to his 'Little hut' and next week, all being well, I shall plant the seeds for my sweet peas; the varieties I shall plant are as follows What Joy (yellow), Avalanch (white), Charity (dark pink), Assorted Olympias (dark mauve), Youth (white/pink edges), Welcome (dazzling scarlet) and the seeds from the hotel at Sandown last year (very dark mauve). I hope to produce good results. We shall see. This terminates one year's work.

 

Sunday 8th April 1951

Rain, rain, and still moor rain. But today I managed to lime wash all the fruit trees. The garden is naturally terribly wet but even so, Eve's Daffodils, Primroses, Violets, Scillas, Primulas and White Stone Crop also Yellow Forsythia are all making good show, Jeremy's pond boarder is also doing well with Scillas, Wallflowers on the way and Daffodils and Grape Hyacinths - a very pretty show. We also have a daily visit from Blackie, a black bird that has his nest in one of the tall trees in the next garden; he is a fine chap and is full of song. My vegetables and Sweet Peas are not showing yet.

 

Sunday 15th April 1951

Re-staked and tied up a rose tree by the front gate, also rose bush in the front boarder, then tied up Albertina Barbara Rose in front of the house making all parts secure and the foliage clear from lounge windows. Cold winds do not encourage other tasks..

 

Sunday 22nd April 1951

I had a really full day in the back garden today, plenty of sun but a cold wind. I prepared more ground on the vegetable plot, and sowed a row of cabbage, I also raked over top soil, and limed same. I had a small bonfire, burned the old Christmas tree and put ashes back into soil, I then picked the old cabbage plants that had started to run to seed and we will have quite a good meal or two from the young leaves. I dug up the balance of the parsnips and the crop was quite good considering all things.

I dug my Sweet Pea trench, and started to prepare same with compost and 'Growmore' fertilizer, also dug up this side of the vegetable garden. Eve wanted a bracket by the dining window on the house wall for her hanging ferns, I made this and put it up; it was quite a job because I had to drill and bend the iron brackets and then rawl plug same into the house bricks. The semi circular shelf was mounted, and the whole given a coat of Royal Blue paint; she is pleased with it and actually it does look attractive. My Sweet Pea seeds are up and all in the garden looks trim. Today Eve bought a new dog, Twinkle six weeks old, a jet black miniature poodle bitch, a dear little creature.

 

Sunday 29th April 1951

For the first time this year I cut and clipped the lawns back and front, I used the new clippers with long handles that Eve gave me for Christmas; when I get used to them they will be a great asset. I also did all the edges round the boarders, the grass is in nice condition after its long winter rest, and generally speaking despite the past frequent rain's the seeds and plants are doing well. Spinach and Parsley now beginning to show I am glad to say.

 

Sunday 6th May 1951

This day will be one that will live in memory for a decade. We decided upon the yearly task of cleaning out the pond. When I removed the soak away pipe, I found the thread had split at the elbow joint, headache No 1. The drain pipe to the ballast pit appeared to be choked so I made efforts to clear same with a long length of galvanized stout iron wire; this is not an easy job, and I spent most of the day flat on my stomach arms up to the elbows in cold and dirty water poking and pushing without much result. I got 7ft of wire down into the pipe and when I withdrew same, fresh clean sand was on the end of the wire, this proved that the fault was not in the pipe and led me to conclude that after all the weeks and weeks and weeks of rain the ground was so deeply saturated that it just would not absorb any more, at least not as quickly as I wanted it to.

So all hands to the deck, Eve. Jerry and self formed a chain and removed water by buckets and cans; this took a very long time because of the walk to the outside drain, and my chest was so terribly sore as were my hands, thanks to chest on wire, hands on wire and body on rocks. In the end 'success' - we did it and made a good job of it! When we filled with fresh water I used a cork to hold same in, all looks very nice and clean; I shall ponder about taking out the cork when the time comes. We have some nice Carp and good sized Shubunkins.

I also wired in with mesh chicken wire all of the yard trellis, and made the garden gate fit correctly to prevent Twinkle from wandering. I enjoyed this work and the family think result satisfactory, actually Twinkle is a dear little dog and learns quickly. Eve made a fine job of the boarders they really look excellent and all ready for new plants; she also put dried blood round the Strawberries and Blackcurrant and Red Currants. I attended to my vegetable plot also my Sweet Pea trench. In actual fact the garden, pond, and all that goes to make up our plot looks very promising despite this week being very cold. The Pear blossom is over and the Apple blossom is well on the way.

I still say, despite my aches and pains, Thank God for a garden and all things that grow.

 

Whit Sunday 13th May 1951

Today was far from hot, but Eve and I worked hard in the back and front gardens all day. I cut the lawns and used the roller on them for the first time this year. I also planted out the lettuce seedlings.

I then raked over the soil on the vegetable plot, and filled in the sweet pea trench with earth in preparation for the seedlings.I also tied up the Perennial Sweet Pea in the front garden, and painted the roller (Royal blue and black) - this was to arrest rust.

Eve planted out all the plants I bought yesterday... 2 Dozen Lobelia, 2 Dozen Antirrhinums dark red and assorted, 1 dozen Dahlias 2 Canterbury Bells, 2 Sweet Williams. Last week she planted 1½ dozen Gladioli and forked up all the boarders in back and front, removing unnecessary plants that were becoming too big. She also cut down Daffs in the back. Jeremy worked on his garden, and planted out Nemesia and many other plants.

By ordinary good fortune we should have a very good show.

 

Whit Monday 14th May 1951

This morning I put pea sticks on the Sweet Pea row and interlaced same with garden twine, I planted out the seedlings over 60 plants in the following colour clumps, Red, White, Purple, Yellow, assorted, Dazzling scarlet, white with pink edges. It will be interesting to see if the colours on the packets are genuine, time will tell. All looks in very good shape.

 

Saturday 19th May 1951

From today for approximately the next three weeks the garden will have attention on Saturdays because tomorrow we start to re decorate the dining room. So I planted out two seed boxes of Scarlet runners, and another row of Spinach, because the first lot is somewhat sparse. I also put soot round all my Sweet Peas, to discourage slugs and snails.

Eve and JETS sooted all the boarders and yesterday Eve planted 9 Zinnias, 4 Nemesia, 4 Stocks and 6 tobacco plants, she also planted out some marigolds, I also made efforts to protect my lettuce plants with soot.

 

Friday 1st June 1951

Last Saturday was very wet so was not able to keep my appointment with the garden, so we finished the dining room on the Saturday and the Sunday - a very quick job.

After a day in town came home and blitzed the lawns, I clipped, mowed and swept and again mowed the front and back grass, and attended to all the edging; worked until 10.15 terribly tired!

 

Saturday 2nd June 1951

Hoed up my vegetable plot and second sowing of Spinach is well through, as are also the cabbage and the lettuce seedlings. Helped my Sweet Peas to the strings, they are doing well, and gave them and the vegetable a 'doing' with Growmore fertilizer. I then tied up the Perennial Sweet Peas in the back and front gardens to large bean sticks.

I repaired some of the deck chair canvas but it will not last long, I shall have to renew same. I worked like this to catch up on time lost and also because Eve and I are going to the Festival of Britain Pleasure Gardens and fun fair. Picked Sunday's dinner vegetables from last year, spinach, now running to seed.

 

Sunday 3rd June 1951

Spent two hours in the morning clipping the front hedge for the first time this year, quite a task as always. The garden now looks ship shape and trim.

Basil and Jean came to tea, and for the first time this year I actually sat down and relaxed in the garden.

 

Monday 4th June 1951

This is the forth day of perfect June weather, after a day in London I came home and sprayed all the Loganberries, Raspberries, and all the Roses, back and front, with Katakilla, using the very fine garden syringe Eve gave me some years ago.

Eve and JETS attended to their boarders and I again looked to my Sweet Peas, if my writing is a trifle queer, its because Twinkle is on my lap, the garden is well in hand, and we should by all appearance have a fine strawberry crop.

 

Wednesday 6th June 1951

The 6th day of perfect weather. After a day in town I planted fourteen Tomato plants that I purchased in the morning, I watered them in and gave each one a pinch of Growmore. I also hoed up the rest of the vegetable plot and gave it a dusting of Growmore to help things along.

I noticed that some of the leaves on my Sweet Peas have developed white spots I wonder that this is? Could Growmore fertilizer have caused this by contact before reaching the ground, I will keep a watch on this, and hope for the best, any rate I will take more care in future when I use chemicals on the garden. I really think this is the explanation.

 

Saturday 9th June 1951

Found that two of my new Tomato plants had been eaten by slugs so replaced same with new ones and encircled each plant with a good mound of lime, hoed up vegetable plot and helped Sweet Peas to their sticks and strings. I am now convinced that the white spots on the Sweet Pea leaves were caused by contact with Growmore I deduce this because it has also 'tainted' a few leaves of parsley.

 

Sunday 10th June 1951

Sowed some more Lettuce seeds, planted out by dividing parsley to fill gaps in row, tied up Yellow Tea Rose and the blue flower by its side in the back garden; nobody can name this plant in the Shirley household as yet. Tied up Sweet Peas in the front garden, and repaired back garage gate, the boards having been loose for sometime are now quite firm.

Eve worked hard on the boarders, planting out Pansies, Lupins, Butterfly flowers and marigolds. I hope the garden pests do not make their attack over vigorous, they have killed off many of our Antirhinums, and Bunty the cat has totally destroyed a nice Dahlia in the front garden. Twinkle the dog is very considerate to the garden and abides by the laws of decency, but the cats, not only ours, are a curse.

 

Thursday 14th June 1951

Tied up the Perennial Sweet Peas in the front garden, and made from the old clothes prop a new post for the bird house in the back garden. The old post had rotted through and the sanctuary for the birds had fallen down, it is now firm and vertical. This task took up all the morning! Eve tidied up all plants in front garden.

 

Friday 15th June 1951

In the cool of the evening, transplanted cabbage seedlings, watered same in and applied Growmore down rows. Also watered tomato plants, and hoed up vegetable plot, it appears in very good order, the beans are well through and will soon be ready for planting out. I then swept the back lawn. And clipped and mowed same, also attending to the edges, finished at 10.15pm.

 

Saturday 16th June 1951

Cut and clipped the front lawn, and filled up the water bird bath. Re-thatched the bird house in the back garden, to keep same smart and in accordance with the new posts I put in Friday last. Eve has bought some really perfect Geraniums, and is keeping some in pots, for ease and comfort, we have a hanging pot by the front door.

The gardens back and front are in excellent fettle, they are full of colour, flowers and roses of every kind - the perfect June weather still keeps on, temperature around the 70's. This has lasted from the 2nd of June. Sat in the garden for the Second time this year.

 

Wednesday 20th June 1951

In the evening cleaned down the front gate with wire brush, and then with sandpaper, and gave same a coat of high gloss paint - Delphinium Blue - it was necessary to keep out the elements. Eve transplanted one of her Geraniums into the hanging basket, and planted out in the garden two Petunias, we had another meal of last years Spinach.

 

Thursday 21st June 1951

Repaired spring on back gate, and altered position of latch. Noticed that one of the wretched cats had scratched up one of my cabbage plants; they are more nuisance than they are worth! Eve during the day was kind enough to collect for me my small garden shears - after re sharpening they are very sharp. Last Tuesday we went to the Theatrical Garden Party at Chelsea.

June weather still continues, this is the longest day of the year; I saw the sun rise at 5.30 this morning, the best time of the day. Had dinner in the garden. The new people, the Skidmans, took up residence next door today; hope they keep their garden in better shape than the Knockals did - I hate ugliness!

 

Friday 22nd June 1951

Arrived home in good time from the office and, after dinner, tied up the large rose in the font garden. I then cut the back and front lawns having well swept them first, I then used the roller on the back lawn. Eve weeded the boarders.

 

Saturday 23rd June 1951

Worked in the vegetable garden in the evening, because in the afternoon had two hours of tennis with Eve and Jeremy. This is the first time that Eve and I have played for sixteen years! Considering the time lapse we still have ability, and hope to regain old form in a short while.

Transplanted my Runner beans, only 11 came up out of 25. Planted out another row of Spinach, we now have three good rows. Hoed up the 'patch' adding Growmore fertilizer and also attended to my Sweet Peas, yesterday had yet another meal from last years spinach.

 

Sunday 24th June 1951

Eric Prisch comes to tea and dinner today, so in the morning swept all the crazy paving and paths, picked up fallen rose petals from the lawn, filled up pond and garden pools, watered hanging basket, picked two of last year's cabbages for lunch and relaxed in the garden for the 3rd time with an easy mind because all is in such good order and one feels well rewarded for labour done.

June's perfect weather still keeps on! Had to replant one of my spinach plants owing to the vice of the wretched cats.

 

Wednesday 27th June 1951

Picked the last of the Curly Kale from last year, and planted out some lettuce that had been given to Eve by Mini Hatton, then went over to the Pfiffus.

 

Friday 29th June 1951

In the evening cut the front and back lawns and attended to the edging of boarders. Swept up yard and put all ship shape so that I could have an easy weekend, and play tennis on Saturday. Had Strawberries from the garden for the first time this year, and am glad to report that my first Sweet Pea has flowered true to colour. Dark Mauve (Olympia)

 

Saturday 30th June 1951

Had tea in the garden after tennis, no work done - relaxed for the 4th time this year!

 

Sunday 1st July 1951

The perfect month of June has gone and this month starts with temperature round 78f and bright sun. My second Sweet Pea bloom is out also true to colour. Swept up crazy paving, and put Growmore fertilizer down the rows of vegetables. Thoroughly hoed up the plot, and also topped up the pond and garden pools.

Jeremy worked on his boarder and at long last removed the unsightly seed box; it has made a tremendous difference and his corner is now very attractive.

Second helping of Strawberries from the garden today, and the 5th day of rest for me this year in the garden. Kenneth came to tea. All is in very good condition, the Blackcurrants are starting to ripen and most of the crops look fit and well. The sun is terribly hot, but I am glad to report a nice breeze. I don't think hat our garden has looked in better shape at any other time before.

 

Monday 2nd July 1951

Monday was very hot. After a day in Town came home and sat in the garden until 10.30pm - the 6th time this year. Jeremy bought two new geraniums for his garden. Spent the evening watching the fish.

Finished up falling through the deck chair, time for me to buy some hew canvas! I will not delay this purchase much longer. Sweet Peas still doing well the Scarlet is called Welcome.

 

Tuesday 3rd July 1951

Wonderful day, we all had breakfast in the garden this morning, and also dinner in the evening, relaxing for the 7th time this year. Yet another Sweet Pea has arrived true to colour white (Avalanch). Eve's Petunias are a fine sight and massive in size.

Jeremy borrowed my syringe and sprayed his plants with Volk, temperatures around 80f. Many more scarlet Sweet Peas blooming. Had Strawberries and cream as sweet.

 

Thursday 5th July 1951

Spent the evening carving to shape a piece of Mahogany to use as the top strut bar for the damaged deck chair, hope to re-canvas all chairs tomorrow, if I buy the necessary canvas.

 

Friday 6th July 1951

Perfect dry weather still keeps on, owing to lack of rain it is not necessary to cut and mow the lawns. Having bought new and gay deck chair canvas re-covered three chairs, one more to do. I also put in a new top bar, satisfactory job, after a days work in town.

Eve attended to boarders, and cut down some of the old plants. Jeremy bought a new Fuchsia a really beautiful plant. More Sweet Peas out Dark Red (Charity) and white tipped pink (Youth) we are all pleased with the Sweet Pea effect.

 

Saturday 7th July 1951

Recovered the fourth deck chair, they now all look festive, Eve hosed the garden and did the boarders, Jeremy also worked on his garden. I picked a nice assorted bunch of Sweet Peas for the house, hoed up the vegetable plot, tied up tomato plants and swept the lawn.

Had the hose and big sprinkler to work doing the lawn and boarders, and the vegetable plot - they all had approx two hours soaking and look much better for it; this garden sprinkler, a present to me from JETS makes watering easy.

Eve reshaped the box hedge from a bird to a Poodle, sat in the garden for the 8th time this year temperature around 70f. Unable to book Tennis court this evening.

 

Sunday 8th July 1951

Breakfast in the garden again, and more Strawberries for lunch, also tea in the garden and relaxed for the 9th time. After breakfast I cut the front hedge for the second time this year, it was a long task - 2½ hours - and the clearing up took quite some time.

Eve started work on the front boarders, and in the afternoon made a wonderful effort clearing them of overgrown plants, they look very much better for it. Together we hoed up all weeds in the side entrance and in the evening Jeremy worked hard on his boarders, they look very nice, I have noticed for the first time he has calsevies growing

Our incinerator is full of old stuff for burning, cut down by Eve plus the trunk of our Christmas tree. I straightened the pergola rail over the dining room window and topped up the pond.

 

Monday 9th July 1951

Breakfast in the garden before going to town, hated leaving. Strawberries again after dinner in the evening, temperature cooler, and light rain, it will do good at last.

 

Saturday 14th July 1951

During the last week we have had plenty of produce from the garden, Lettuces of excellent quality, Red Currants, Blackcurrants, Loganberries, Raspberries, Strawberries and another bunch of Sweet Peas. This afternoon I attended to my vegetable plot, adding Growmore, hoeing, and planting out lettuce seedlings, and sowing lettuce seeds. While I did this Jeremy very kindly clipped, and mowed the back lawn having thoroughly swept it first - he made a first class job of it and also removed a lot of weeds! This was very kind of him, and I much appreciate the effort, he did the edging well. Eve cut down old plants and kept the boarders neat and tidy. I also did the front lawn, sweeping, cutting and clipping. We all had tea in the garden.

 

Sunday 15th July 1951

More or less relaxed for the 10th time this year all day... Filled up the pond in the morning, and added a new section of rope to the clothesline below the pulley wheel. Also put up rail in front porch to take another hanging flower pot for Eve's second Geranium, which she will put out today; these two facing each other make the house entrance look very attractive.

Am glad to report the gardens are a mass of colour and we are all able to rest without having 'work left undone' on our conscience! One of 'Old Squires' very dark mauve Sweet Pea is now out, and all vegetables including tomatoes looks fit and well.

 

Monday 16th July 1951

Weather still perfect - very hot, around 75f. Had dinner in the garden in the evening, and more strawberries, raspberries as sweet. Relaxed for the 11th time this year.

 

Tuesday 17th July 1951

Again dinner in the garden and lettuce with salad from my plot, still very hot. Relaxed for the 12th time this year.

 

Thursday 19th July 1951

Clouds of yesterday evening, gone. Breakfast in the garden then a terribly hot day in Town, temperature round 80f. When I came home in the evening found that Jeremy had very kindly applied my sprinkler to the lawn and the vegetable plot, he also worked very hard and hoed and hosed all the garden he made a very through job of it and tonight all looks very fresh.

We had cherries from the garden for sweet. The Jasmine and Honeysuckle are out and the perfume is exotic and overpowering. JETS also topped up the pond. Relaxed for the 13th time.

Jeremy's a wonder, he also watered the front garden with the hose giving all a good soaking. When he likes he really can 'get down to it' and I consider this effort on his part a big help to me and a great gesture of consideration and kindness that I much appreciate.

 

Friday 20th July 1951

Breakfast in the garden, again weather perfect. Also, after a day in Town, dinner in the garden in the evening. Terribly hot! Relaxed for the 14th time this year.

 

Saturday 21st July 1951

Breakfast in the garden, also lunch and tea. Still terribly hot, relaxed for the 15th time. I am terribly worried over my stomach ulcer, it appears to be active again started on Thursday the 19th. I hope and pray it will not deprive me of gardening joys. Must do all that I can and keep going, pottering in the garden and on my little plot are all that I ask of life. Please God I get by.

 

Sunday 22nd July 1951

Breakfast in the garden. Jeremy was most kind and swept up the back lawn for me. I cut another nice bunch of Sweet Peas and tied up my tomato plants again. Relaxed in the garden in the morning - 16th time this year. In the afternoon we had a very heavy thunderstorm, very strong wind and long and heavy rain, temperature cooler.

Tomorrow I have to go to Leeds, shall miss my dear family and the home and garden. Will try and get back quickly. Ulcer pain not quite so bad today.

 

Thursday 26th July 1951

On Saturday next we go on our Summer holiday for two weeks to Bracklesham Bay so our garden will be deserted by us, but as it is in very good order it will not suffer much.

Owing to my feeling very unwell I was not able to undertake the necessary jobs in the garden that I grumble at but get a great kick out of doing. Jeremy very kindly did them for me, he swept front and back lawns and very thoroughly mowed and clipped same; he really did the job perfectly, also he attended to all the edging. He also sprayed with Volk all his plants and our Dahlias. He is a very good boy and thorough workman, he oiled and greased all my tools after use - a chip off the old block.

When I came home from Town I managed to gather strength to cut yet another fine bunch of Sweet Peas, and also to re tie my tomato plants and add Growmore fertilizer to same. I also did a little hoeing.

During yesterday and today Eve gathered two large baskets of Loganberries and Raspberries and made many pounds of Jam. I really do pray to God that the joy of gardening will not be taken from me.

 

Friday 27th July 1951

Had dinner in the garden. JETS and Eve removed a broken branch from the Victoria Plum tree, I cut up same, retrieved a few small logs for the winter and burned the rest of the twigs. This is the eve of our departure for our Summer holiday, my pain is quite acute tonight.

 

Sunday 12th August 1951

Home from holiday at Bracklesham Bay. During our absence the garden did not come to much harm, but last week the frequent rain caused a lot of foliage to grow, and my Sweet Peas through lack of picking have deteriorated a bit.

My first task was to pick a nice lot of Spinach for dinner, and another bunch of Sweet Peas. Eve made an Apple Pie with the James Grieve apples and I also picked some Bramley's and Raspberries. I then tied up my Tomato plants, and removed side shoots and excessive leaves. I added fertilizer to same, I hoed up all the vegetable plot, and swept and clipped, mowed and rolled the lawns, the grass is in nice condition. I also repaired a slight break in the front fence, and tied up a few plants, after a fortnights rest I found these tasks very tiring. I really did take a lot of trouble with the lawns.

Glad to report my ulcer seems much better. Considering all things the gardens are in very good condition. Phlox and Hydrangeas making a good show, also Petunias, Nemesia, Tobacco plants, Hollyhocks, Tiger Lilies, Pansies, Marigolds, Mallows and very many other flowers.

I have worked a trifle too hard today and I feel terribly tired tonight. We will soon be able to say all Ok in the garden, a few more evenings work, all will be well. At the moment all looks very nice but a few more jobs are still to be done before we catch up on our absence for two weeks.

 

Saturday 18th August 1951

Rested in the garden all the afternoon for the 17th time this year.

 

Sunday 19th August 1951

What an onslaught today! We have had a lot of night rain, and it made it necessary for me to cut the lawns again after only one week. This I did, first sweeping, and then clipping and mowing. I also cut the front hedge, it was badly wanted, time taken including clearing up 1 hour 50 minutes I think this is a record. Feeling terribly tired but must keep on for the sake of peace of mind, I like things ordinary. I also planted out more lettuce seedlings encircling same with lime to protect them from slugs.

Jeremy made a terrific attack on the Jasmine that had overgrown the garden shed too much, he made a tip top job of this task, and also cut up clippings so that they would fit in the incinerator - this was thoughtful and kind of him. We had a fine bonfire and got rid of most of this unwanted garden refuse. Eve worked very hard in the front and back gardens on the boarders, cutting down and tidying up. They are looking neat and orderly. Some more tying up is necessary in the back garden but not much. My cabbages look as though they are doing well and I was able to cut yet another bunch of Sweet Peas.

Eve also cut down the large Delphinium, and transplanted some Hollyhock from the front path boarder to the Connor's side.

I am glad to say that my ulcer took no part in today's operations. JETS topped up the pond and I topped my tomato plants. Oiled and greased tools before parking same.

 

Saturday 25th August 1951

During the past week, whilst I have been toiling in town, Eve and Jeremy have done sterling work. Eve has cut down and attended to all the back boarders, making a through job of it as she always does, they are now in perfect order. She also cut back the Jasmine by the kennel.

Jeremy took out the kennel, repaired all the wood work where necessary then applied Creosote to the bottom, and repainted the whole a pale green. He also covered the top with tarpaulin, it is now thoroughly waterproof, and he has made a first rate workman like job of it, it was more than necessary for this to be done and he has very kindly saved me a great deal of work. I really have a co-operative family. This afternoon I sawed and chopped up old wood for the Winter. Thanks to JETS, this wood was found by the dog kennel.

 

Sunday 2nd September 1951

August gone, a very poor month; temperature never much above 60f and each day very wet. In the past week we have had a terrific lot of rain, but today (though cloudy) was a slight improvement. Yesterday we went to the Festival of Britain, South Bank, pouring all the time.

I swept, clipped and mowed the lawns today, and also put the roller on the back lawn. I then cut down the large Perennial Sweet Peas in the front, and one of them in the back. They have given off their best until they flower again.

Eve cut down a lot of the old Loganberry and Raspberry, and tied up the new canes. Jeremy topped up the pond, and I also attended to all the edging of the lawn. My Sweet Peas are nearly over although I picked a few today, Eve also picked some during the week.

I also picked a very nice quantity of Spinach, and Eve collected a lot of apples. This year the crop of Black Monarch and Victoria Plums, is very bad, the worst ever I think. The trees are getting very old.

My runner beans are very poor, we have not had a picking yet, they are over shadowed. And my tomatoes are very slow in ripening, we badly need some hot sun. We have plenty of colour in the gardens and the flowers do well. I also removed a lot of Caterpillars from my cabbage. I sat in the garden for a short time this afternoon for the 18th time this year.

 

Thursday 6th September 1951

After a day in Town relaxed in the garden in the evening for the 19th time this year. During the day Eve picked some more of my Sweet Peas and Jeremy cleared some more caterpillars off my cabbages for me. I dusted all my cabbage with Derris Powder, to kill off pests. Temperature 70f.

 

Sunday 16th September 1951

I was not able to do any gardening last weekend because on the Saturday we spent the day with Mr Secrett touring his market garden and on Sunday we went to Roy and Sylvia's for the day.

But today I swept, cut, clipped and rolled the lawns, grass is in good condition. I also hoed up my vegetable plot, and removed surplus foliage from my tomato plants; glad to say fruits now turning red. We still require less rain and more sun, I also picked a few more Sweet Peas, I then put a dab of blue paint on the front gate to cover slight chip bought about by some careless clot. Picked myself a lovely Cox's Orange apple, and tided up the overhanging rose in the front garden. Relaxed for the 20th time this year - but not for long as temperature 60f and a nasty drizzle rain in the evening. Geraniums in hanging basket doing very well.

 

Wednesday 19th September 1951

In the evening had the first picking this year of tomatoes.

 

Sunday 23rd September 1951

A warm day today, though dull, in the morning, picked a good dish of Spinach, some runner beans (not many), parsley, and a nice little crop of tomatoes - all good fruits, without defect. I also repaired some loose trellis on the garden gate, weakened by cats. I then picked the pears, not many this year but of first class quality.

I then took up my Sweet Peas they were over, and stacked the sticks. I dug over the ground where they had been growing and gave some a dressing of lime. I then pruned hard the Cox's Orange Apple tree, this was most necessary because it was getting so tall. It was a long and arduous task and took approx 2 hours.

In the afternoon I cut the back lawn having swept same first. I also repaired another small piece of trellis opposite the dining room window. I sat in the garden for a short while with Eve and JETS for the 21st time this year. The house is full of garden flowers, Roses, Asters, Dahlias, Phlox, Anemones, Gladioli and Freesias. Generally speaking the garden is in good and tidy condition, but we have much refuse to burn in the not too far distant future. I also budded a few Chrysanthemums.

The King was operated on today.