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Expecting Doris


The lady's name on everyone's lips this week has been Doris, her imminent arrival has caused excitement all over the country, she wasn't coming over here to visit just one person - no, she was coming to see us all!

Sort of like a late February Father Christmas!

From what I heard she appeared to be a rather untidy lady, a bit messy even but I took stories of her habit of leaving a trail of destruction behind her with a large pinch of salt, I mean ladies just don't do that do they?

On another subject entirely - have you noticed it's been a bit windy recently? Sorry, I digress.

Digressing again. When I was in the kitchen this morning preparing my daily breakfast I couldn't help noticing that it was a sunny day, it could even have been a good drying day for the washing. Murphy's Law again! Blast! I did the washing yesterday.

That's quite enough of my domestic secrets.

Let me take you back to last year, you see I had this garden with lots of shrubs in it and they were all growing very well, so much so that they all seemed to be hugging each other, and all that was making it very difficult for the Montbretia in its greedy quest for more territory. The creeping buttercup and the bindweed were not getting much of a chance either. I had been trying to rationalise things for some years now but I am not one of those gardeners who can spend his time nurturing flowers.

You can't eat flowers, and that is my problem. Unless it is edible I can't raise enthusiasm.

So last year I pulled everything out, yes I'm not kidding, everything went. I had been thinking of doing it for some time but had been put off by the fact that it would be a lot of work and also the fact that there was a large Berberis bush that had a spiteful habit of attacking me with its thorns. I started on the easy end and really enjoyed it. The last thing to go was the Berberis and with the help of long-handled loppers and with an equally long-handled axe I even got the stumps out.

I was like a lumberjack, but I didn't care!

So I sat down with a refreshing glass of Guinness and pondered what I would do next, no that's not true because I knew just what I was going to put in.

There is a nursery in Bangor that specialises in old and rare Welsh apple trees and I had room for 20 trees grown like cordons. I had chosen some cookers, eaters and cider apples making sure that I had a good mixture of ones to eat straight away and others that would keep over the winter. I could even end up having a fruit stall on the pavement outside the house, but that is looking to the future - there will be no fruit for at least four years.

I had until the November delivery date to erect the posts, wire them and attach the bamboo guides. Normally I would have left all that to the last minute but I was so driven by my enthusiasm that I had it all done in a few days. In November the bundles arrived and I carefully planted them and tied them to the bamboos with raffia. Exciting!

So getting back to today, as there was no washing to do and Doris had not yet called I was inspired to tidy up the earth around the apple trees. Nature doesn't like gaps and has a huge arsenal of weeds at its disposal to fill up any spaces. Out went all the plantain, creeping buttercup, persistent Montbretia and odd clumps of grass. Finally all was tidy so I sat in the warm sun (yes really) with a drink and admired my work. I was pleased. The postman had been with a parcel of books that I had ordered so I sat in the cosy conservatory to dip into a book about the history of Cardiganshire. Spring is on the way!

Ah, is that the doorbell? Yes it is! I expect that will be Doris! I wonder what she's like?



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