It was looking as if it might be tricky to find something which would Count for the project today. Cold and cough continue. Continue to look like something the cat dragged in. And today we are off to Manchester to pick up grandchild number 4 from nursery and look after him overnight to give his hardworking parents a tiny break. I contemplated not going and letting Ian do it by himself but that just seemed too sad. So I was very aware of limited time and limited energy. Fortunately Ian had Staking the amelanchier on his list and I decided that holding the post would obviously count as it was a vital part of the job! This is because we have adopted the practice of staking diagonally rather than vertically and diagonal stakes need someone to hold them at an angle in order to start them off right!
We moved this amelanchier last year. There have been three planted up here by the shepherd's hut for five or six years, maybe seven. It is a useful rule of thumb that any timescale which occurs to me needs to have a couple of years added to it. Every now and then that goes completely awry and the original thought needs doubling but I am pretty sure this is the seventh year since the original three have been here. At the same time we planted two by the drive. One thrived and one really didn't. The soil there is particularly thin so Ian moved the one which was a little too near our fire site and it went up to live with the others by the shepherd's hut. He had supported it when it went in but the rootball continued to feel rather rocky in the ground so another staking approach was called for.
This is a great example of how very long things take. When the trees went in they were little sticks and the picture in my head of amelanchiers with their feet in violets seemed a long way off, if not completely impossible. Since then they have been joined by dogwoods, primroses and native daffodils. Last year was the first time it looked anything like the picture in my head and to be honest I think we need another seven before the trees are proper trees and dogwoods are generous spreading shapes like the ones at the bottom of the field. But it is beginning....
So against all the odds, there is a tiny entry for day 4! Time taken? About ten minutes.