I have turned down a weekend at the seaside today because I am determined to get ahead with work – no more panicky Monday mornings for me. My lesson plans will be timed to the minute, my resources will be written up and printed out by Saturday night. There will be no more unseemly tearful fights by the photocopier after I have sprinted up the stairs with five minutes to go only to find that the maths teacher has chosen that moment to print out 22 copies of a 28-page unit in pale pink as he wields the hole punch and stapler in my general direction.
However no sooner had I committed to this than I read the weather forecast – it’s supposed to be 19 degrees this weekend! That’s warmer than Ibiza! My good intentions are turning to compost before my eyes as I plot some unscheduled gardening leave. I’m determined to enjoy the garden this summer – it can do what it likes during the winter – after all I’m so rarely here during the day that the only person who ventures out there is Doughnut, and the only flowers he notices are snowdrops. Very partial to sniffing a snowdrop is Doughnut.
So if the family are to enjoy the garden this summer we are going to have to make some changes – and soon, before my resolve fails and the weeds wake up. The first job is to sort out the swamp that passes for a lawn. I’ve got plenty of seed and compost from last year, so as long as I can keep Doughnut off it for three weeks that should take care of itself. What I really want to do is to head for the garden centre and splurge on pansies and roses and clematis. However, not only would that cost a fortune, but it’s pointless until I actually um do the groundwork. That means this weekend will be all about digging up weeds, cutting back on the strange no-name brambly thing that has taken over one corner and actually making some space.
Then I’ll be ready to make use of my new favourite website of the week – it’s called gardenswapshop.co.uk and is the online equivalent of going “down the allotment”. Gardeners who have grown too many plants or collected a bumper crop of seeds from their prize-winning cranesbill (really) post them online and offer them up for sale or swapping. I’ve spent a happy hour this morning not doing my work and browsing through pages of herbs, tulips and bamboo cuttings. I want them all – trouble is I haven’t got anything to swap in return. I think it’s time I headed outside and dug up some dandelions – I hear they’re much in demand on the trendier dining tables this year. I’ll let you know if I get away with it.
Posted by Amanda Blinkhorn