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Higher notes from a singer’s greenhouse

Greetings all! Concerts and recordings are being optimistically re-booked for next year and even the odd PhD defence is on the distant horizon, so there’s a hint of a new normality one day. I’ve started writing again and have returned to Vocal Authority: the Sequel. Or maybe it’s Vocal Authority Has Risen from the Grave.  Haven’t quite decided on the title yet. I still don’t feel like actually singing anything but at least my brain has started to function again, very much aided by the stuff below…

If you’re a proper gardener look away now… With a big thankyou to all those internet gardeners whose advice I’ve accepted or ignored, here’s an update from the greenhouse. Lockdown teaches you patience, and I’m slowly discovering that that’s also what gardeners understand. Unfortunately what this actually means didn’t dawn on me till way too late, so I’ve done everything far too soon. In my defence, I’ve only lost one cucumber and a tomato so far, though there are others starting to complain. I now have a sort of triage system where things start on the windowsill, progress to the greenhouse, are hardened off, and then planted out. That’s the theory, but it doesn’t always work in that order and some plants have had a very mixed itinerary.

Outside, I’ve been guilty of planting things out when there’s still a risk of frost, and of not letting young plants spend enough time getting used to the jungle out there. So the courgettes which grew so well in stages one and two suddenly found life pretty tough in the real word and had to be reassured with cloches (a new experience for all of us). They seem to have survived; this one hasn’t complained too much:

On the other hand the broad beans and fruit which have only known the rigours of outdoors are doing very well. The strawberries are suppose to be a trailing variety, though they obviously don’t start the trailing until they’re as high as potatoes.

Talking of which, here they are in their buckets:

They grew so rapidly I’ve tried to extend the process by wrapping some tarpaulin round a couple of them. We’ll see…

The greenhouse is now relatively empty. The potted tomatoes (now enormous and fully hard, I hope) are outside

– I know, much too big and straggly. I’ve got a more sensible sized lot in a grow bag in the greenhouse.

Everything else is either aubergine, cucumber or pepper in several varieties, and I’ll be hardening some of these off and keeping the rest inside.

Last summer the family brought us an iron firepit that they no longer have room for. We don’t have room for a firepit either, but we it turns out we can accommodate a small pond.

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