As of 4pm today I have been put on a 3 week minimum furlough from work.
I’m happy with this decision – we can afford it financially and it means I’ll be away from unnecessary germs but it’s going to be very strange being home whilst Dean is still going to work (we work for the same company but he’s not been furloughed as of yet, we don’t know if he will be at some point)
I want to try and keep myself as busy as possible, I’ve got a drawer full of To Do lists and there is plenty to keep me occupied, and I’m going to document it all here on the blog as a bit of a diary to keep myself accountable and motivated.
Tuesday 7th April
This morning I had a cup of tea in the garden and wrote out a list of jobs and tasks I could get done over the next few weeks – It’s a mixture of all those little things that you never quite get around to and a few bigger projects. The weather is set to be pretty good from now on so I’m expecting to spend a lot of time in the garden and hopefully by the end of all this I’ll have pristine looking flower beds and have enough veg growing to mean we won’t have to pop to the shops 👍
Wednesday 8th April
I made a start on the front garden/driveway today. Last year I planted a rhododendron in the top tier of the planter than sits in the corner of the driveway and that has faired pretty well but I didn’t do anything with the bottom tier other than chuck a few spare herb plants that I had (which was a big mistake as they grew out of control and just looked mess) so I took some cuttings of them, pulled the rest up and dug over the bed.
I’m hoping the herb cuttings I took will root over the next few weeks and then they’ll live at the bottom of my strawberry planter, I think the mint will probably take fine but the lemon thyme might struggle, time will tell!
I also had a delivery from the local flower nursery who are offering contactless delivery, they just leave it on your driveway and call to let you know its there, as they are cleaning out their greenhouses and had some great prices on bedding plants and flowers. I think most of these will be used to fill pots and the flower bed out front.
Thursday 9th April
Today started with a big freezer sort out as I’d messed up the inventory list I’d written a few days ago by not crossing off the stuff that we had used 😂 it took a lot longer than I expected it to!
Then I actually went down the gym and did some light weights and stretches (got to ease myself back into it) and made myself a banana, strawberry and broccoli smoothie for lunch – sound disgusting but was really tasty!
I made and printed out some cute meal planner sheets to stick on the cupboard so that we all know what’s for dinner each night. Deans niece lives with us and usually, she cooks her own dinners but it’s made more sense since being in lockdown to make 3 person portions of stuff and all eat together – it’s made food shopping a bit more expensive but it’s got more expensive anyway and having a meal plan helps me feel more organised and relaxed.
I spent the rest of the day cleaning up some garden furniture and surveying the plants to see whos close to blooming, there are lots of things budding and shooting, I’m so excited to see how the garden looks this summer!
Friday 10th April
It was a wonderfully sunny day today so I spent most of it in the garden (no surprises there) Dean put up my bee hotel on the fence down the end of the garden where my vegetables will be going, I just need to plant up some wildflower pots to go underneath it to help attract bees.
I’ve got a small ‘pond in a pot’ arriving in the next few weeks and I bought a solar-powered fountain to go in it which arrived today, it cost me around £14 but it’s down to £8 now, I tested it out in a washing up bowl and it works so well. There are different attachments to go on the top to alter the spray pattern and height, I’m very pleased with it and can’t wait for the pond to turn up now!
I made a start on potting up the large pots lining the path, we had planned for them to maybe have some larger statement shrubs or trees in them but without being able to get to the garden centres it’s not going to happen this year so I’ve put in a mixture of Digitalis, Nemesia, geranium and petunias.
Today I also discovered my new favourite lockdown treat, white chocolate smarties buttons – perfect with a cup of tea whilst sewing.
Saturday 11th April
I was up bright and early this morning preparing the driveway planter, I gave it another quick dig over, picked out andy of the big clods of mud and filled the rest up with some nice new compost
I put in a few petunia, geranium and pansies that I hadn’t used in the post in the back garden so fingers crossed they will spread out a bit and fill it with colour.
I also worked on finishing off putting weed suppressant fabric and slate chips in the big raised planters, I’d started this project months ago and only go about a third of the way around before it got too cold to carry on, then I picked it up again a few weeks ago but hadn’t finished the last section. It’s not quite perfect yet, it still needs a few more bags of slate chips but it’s good enough for now and will stop the majority of the weeds coming up.
My last task for the day was to wash up all the spare pots I had laying around, I’ve been making sure to keep hold of any decent sized pots as I need them for potting on some of the veg plants but it’s always best to give them a bit of a scrub before using them for new plants just in case there are any germs or pests lurking in there. I found that it’s easiest to dry them by putting them onto a bamboo cane and leaving them overnight to drip dry.
Sunday 12th April
It was a scorcher here today, luckily the gym always stays pretty cool so I did a quick workout down there this morning.
We were lucky enough to be able to get an Ocado delivery slot so I had a big batch of fresh veg delivered (although a lot of it wasn’t in great condition and I had to throw away some bits that were already mouldy!) and some basics as we were running low on pretty much everything apart from cereal.
I spent 2 hours today chopping veg and making up some ‘kits’ of things like sausage pasta bake and fajita veg mix that I can keep in the freezer and just take out the morning we’re going to use it. It seems a bit OOT to some people but it helps me feel more organised and that I know we’ve got full meals sorted in advance so we don’t have to pop out for anything.
I sat out in the arbour and had a smoothie for lunch whilst chatting to Dean about a few new ideas I had for the garden which I should be able to start work on as and when bits arrive.
There wasn’t much of a To Do list written out today and it was nice to have a bit of a ‘day off’ as it were. I’m happy that the garden is looking fairly neat and tidy at the moment, we should be swapping the blue tarpaulin out for a green one in the next few weeks after I’ve done a bit more work in that area so at least it’ll look a bit more like a lawn and less like a swimming pool!