It was very hard following my dad's death. The one thing I find can pick me up when I'm down is a trip outside the house. It doesn't have to be far, just a walk around the neighbourhood can make a difference. It may be a small difference but I'll take that when I'm very down. Before my dad died he'd come into contact with someone on the ward who had later tested positive for coronavirus. My dad had tested negative immediately after his admission but wasn't tested again and though he never displayed any symptoms, because we'd visited him, we were told to isolate for a period of fourteen days. It was extremely hard being cooped up in the house with my grief during this time when all I really wanted to do was have a trip out, anywhere would have done, just a change of scenery. I found myself wandering round the garden just to give myself that change of focus. Here are a few photos I found on my camera from that time.
Not a photo from the garden but a beautiful bouquet of flowers which were sent by Eleanor's work. They're the Rose & Seathistle Bouquet from Marks & Spencer. Such a thoughtful gesture, and beautiful words on a card accompanied it.
The first of the blueberries started to ripen.
I couldn't concentrate on much at this time but I could tackle small jobs like repotting the tomato plants. This is a bush variety named Maskotka, my favourite tomato and one my dad was very partial to too. The cherry sized fruit is sweet and tasty.
I've also grown a couple of cordon tomato plants this year too, Bloody Butcher. This is an heirloom variety and produces medium size fruit. The leaves of this plant are what is called Potato Leaf, you can see how different they look to regular tomato plant leaves, more akin to the leaves of potato plants, hence the name.
The potatoes started flowering. I'm growing Charlotte, a second early. I also had a volunteer, a potato from the batch I grew last year which I hadn't removed from the compost, it had started into growth so I repotted that into another container filled with fresh compost and that's growing well too. I grew Jazzy last year so it will be fun to see how well it does and do a bit of a taste test between that and Charlotte.
My small Stella cherry tree has produced its best harvest for many years. Unfortunately, as usually happens, the birds got to most of them before I did.
I did get the first few cherries to ripen though, they were delicious and sweet, and the first four blueberries too.
I don't know what's happened to the apples this year, there isn't a single fruit on either of the two trees. The only thing I can think is that the blossom succumbed to frost earlier in the year. I've never known it happen since I've had my two trees though. The plums are making up for it. I lost a lot of immature fruit in the June Drop but there's lots of plums still on the tree.
My poppies are now finished for another year but I like to leave the seedheads for a little while to enjoy them. They can be dried out and used in a dry flower arrangement but I've never done that.
My roses were very slow in blooming this year, I think it's because I left the pruning to Mick and he tends to cut things back to within an inch of their lives. I was pleased to see them get going though. I have four rose bushes now, Golden Wings, a beautiful almost single yellow rose which Mick bought me one Christmas, The Birthday Rose which is a creamy colour and grown as a half standard. I picked this up for half price when my local nursery was closing down some years ago. I've got an unnamed red rose which Daniel bought me one Mother's Day, and I've recently bought a floribunda rose called Sheila's Perfume in memory of my mum who died last year, but I'll show you that one another time.
I was very glad to get out of isolation after a fortnight, and the restrictions eased to coincide with some good weather. We had some business to take care of the first day, a visit to the funeral directors and the building society, and a trip to the vets for them to give Archie the once over and his annual booster, but then Mick took a couple of days holiday from work so that we could spend a bit of time out and about and get our breath back after the events of the previous three or four weeks. It was very much needed.