Archives for the month of: November, 2014

planting out

Today was the big day. Dee came round with some seedlings and beans to plant out. As I suspected for a while, the only Dede truly interested in gardening is Mouse. She virutally wanted to hop into the basket with heritage beans, but when Dee showed her the seedlings she had been raising for us, Mouse clapped her mittens in excitement and then ran off to fetch her shovel. Dee had to show her what to do next. But before we could plant the seedlings I had to put more compost and potting mix down. Mouse just couldn’t lift the big heavy bags.

Dee showed her how to plant out the young beans and when it came to the tomatoes, Mouse wanted to do it all by herself. She nearly disappeared in the soft bed, but she seemed to have fun.

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garden tour

My new garden is progressing nicely. The Dedes have been watching me the last few weeks, now it is my turn to watch them. I was worried our gardens might turn into some sort of a race. Who will have their beds prepared first? I needn’t have worried. I am well ahead of my little friends. It’s mainly due to the fact that I have help from Simon, a language student from Germany who is currently staying with us. He needed some exercise after dinner last night and thought digging over the backyard would be just the right thing to do. I was amazed how quickly he turned the the area from looking and feeling like a gypsy camp into something quite respectable.

The Dedes were watching from inside. Later they admitted they had forgotten what Dee had instructed me to do before planting out. Being smug and knowing I am well ahead with my work, I graciously repeated what I have learned so far about soil nutrition. Here is what I did: First I raised the beds. This put the clay we dug out from under the house during the renovations last year to good use. Of course the clay is totally depleted of anything healthy, as nothing has been growing in it for 5o years. To nourish it, I spread the chicken poop which I collected over the last few months. On top of this I put a thick layer of grass clippings. Dee had organised Sam, the lawnmowing man, to dump the clippings from his round in our front garden. (It does sound like a gypsy camp, doesn’t it?).

This morning I invited the Dedes on a garden tour so they can have a closer look at my progress. Not many came, though.  I think it was the chicken poop that put them off.  Mouse was not impressed with her mates. It looks like she has been landed with all the work again.

mouse gardening

Yesterday Mouse, the little working bee Dede, came up to me and asked, “Hey, can I have a spoon and a fork?”

“What for?” I asked suspciously.

“Mmhm.” she said, “You know we are bored, so we have been watching you over the last few weeks.”

“Oh, dear!” Earlier in the year I decided to turn my garden into a producing vege patch. I have to admit, I tried to do it a couple of times before, but it never worked as I don’t really know what I am doing. This year I have the help of Dee Pigneguy, a well-known garden guru in our area. And even though I still don’t know what I am doing, I am very confident that under the watchful eye of Dee, it simply has to work.

Mouse knows me very well and she could tell what I was thinking. “Yes”, she said, “We want to have our own vege patch.”

“But you could help me. More hands make lighter work!”

“No way!” She shook her head vigorously. “You are too difficult to work with. You always know everything better. We want to do our own thing! We even have our own chook, you know, Loudmouth. She has already produced so much manure. Now we are ready to roll.”

“Where will you have your patch? If you are not helping me, I don’t want to have you in the backyard!”

“We found this neglected pot on the deck. You know, the one you got last year for Christmas and the herbs in it just died…”

“Ja, Ja, Ja. Tell everybody about my incompetence.” To shut her up, I went to the art cupboard and rummaged for a plastic spoon and fork. We will see how successful you guys will be, I thought to myself. It’s not as easy as it looks.

“Could we have some metal cutlery instead?” the cheeky thing asked when I handed over what I had found.

“First you prove to me that you can stick to it. I know you guys! If it works I might find you some better tools.”

She wasn’t happy, but grabbed the tools and went straight out onto the balcony.

little manager

Recently I was asked if I could teach fiber art in the foundation studies at school. I am really excited about the prospect. And I am not the only one. You should have heard the puppets cheering when I  brought home the sewing machine from school one day to refresh my skills. Little Devil decided on the spot that he will be the stylist and ordered a black tie straight away. So he is the new self-appointed manager and he will take charge of all the fashion concerns of the Lil’ Dedes as he is thoroughly convinced, if I’d only made proper dresses for them, they would easily find admirers and could be sold to good homes. Last week he invited my friend Cath for an urgent breakfast meeting and talked her into sharing her table at the Birkenhead market two days before Christmas. Good on him for being so proactive!

But then he wrote out a long wish list of new Lil’Dede characters and dresses I have to make before then. And this is always the crunch point. The Dedes, little or big, are not lacking ideas, it is just that I am always landed with all the work. Though this time I obliged and started making the dresses right away. After all, I have to refresh my skills. It was all in a bit of a rush. The first dress on the list was for  Lil’Walrus. Obviously Little Devil thought this particular chap was in desperate need of sushing up. Just between you and me, that one’s an ugly character. I am not even sure whether it is a walrus or a mole. But Little Devil might have overdone it a bit. He had designed a green robe with a lace collar. Ah, you should have seen the big tears when Lil Walrus came out of the changing room. Little Devil on the other hand was very happy with his choice. I suspect they won’t be the only tears between now and Christmas.