As usual, Ian arrived a little early this morning but I was ready for him, so we toddled down to Hillsborough on our ‘Boys’ Shopping Trip’.

In ‘Wilko’s’ we bought some seed potatoes and huge ‘Elephant Garlic’, but couldn’t for the life of us find a suitable kettle.

Obviously, not an electric one!Shiny New Kettle

In the end, we popped over to ‘Towsure’ nearby and they had exactly what we needed.

And here it is on it’s ‘maiden use’.  We built the ‘rocket stove’ to be two full bricks wide.  This enabled us to boil the kettle, but later it allowed us to keep both the water in the kettle hot, but also keep the tea nicely ‘stewed’.  Marvellous!

So, even though I said yesterday I might make an attempt on that far hedge, we wanted to get the spuds in the ground.  We decided to dig four trenches into the area we’ve both been preparing over the last few days.

Even though we expected it, it was quite disheartening to find yet more dock plants that had escaped our onslaughts, but as the ground was so well dug over, most of them came out with very little effort.  There was however one exception.  As one point, I spotted a dock root, and started to pull.

And pull.

And…  …You get the drift.

In the end, just the root was well over four feet long!Potatoes mostly in.

In the left-most row in the photo here to the left we put ‘Roosters’.  These should be whopping great spuds suitable for baking.

In the next two and a third rows, we put ‘Pentland Javelins’.  Jon had successfully grown these last season, and he brought some up one Saturday evening for me to bake on the fire.  I can remember tasting them, then asking what they were because they were superb for baking with.

Ian has some King Edward’s left over he’ll bring in tomorrow afternoon, so we’ll finish off the last two thirds of the final row with those.

And that will be the last of our potatoes in.

Tomorrow, I have yet more business down in Sunny Hillsborough in the morning, but it will mean that I can pop back into ‘Wilko’s’ and buy a thermometer (…the one we got today was broken!) and I’m going to splash out on an olive tree.  We think it will go very nicely between the pear tree and the bay tree by the greenhouse.  They like sunny but sheltered spots, and we think this will be ideal.  Who knows, it may even give us an olive or two this autumn, and that will just take me longingly back to Cyprus with it’s olive groves and plantations.  …Sigh…

After the ceremonial tree-planting, we plan to dig over the area back towards the greenhouse from the potatoes.  More back-breaking work, but fun, nonetheless.

I may even borrow the LEAF loppers and make a start on the hedges.

We’ll have to see!

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