Four updates and a confession

It’s time to come clean about the lawn mower. I know: I have been with-holding information from you. So here goes – it has been back for three weeks and it’s working fine. I held back on this, in order to be sure, being a little sceptical. So when the workshop supervisor warned us about a “one use only” machine, what was he doing? In PR-speak, “managing expectations”, perhaps. The good news is, the lawn is looking great again.

Our whole area is in uproar. It’s the major festival, Eid Al-Adha or the Feast of the Sacrifice. As always in Egypt, this means an inordinate amount of noise. Perhaps half the people who live in the area are away – probably at the seaside – and those left behind are bent on keeping us all wide awake, all the time, with high jinks on their quad/motor bikes, and by letting off firecrackers in the neighbourhood when you least expect it. What all of this has to do with the festival is hard to discern. And what it would be like if everyone were here is beyond imagining!

Back in the garden, surrounded by the din in the streets, the baby plants are coming along well with a couple of exceptions. The flat leaf parsley simply hasn’t appeared (it’s slow to germinate, but this is a record) and the organic coriander seeds have germinated and are now dying – again. The first sweet peas are awaited with interest.

At the same time, there’s a constant traffic in babies. Everything that is found to have self-propagated out of position is being moved to a new home: classic marigolds, petunias, borage, basil, thyme. Possibly even the odd rose will be uprooted in the coming weeks. Anything that flowers and is useful has to be put to good use to make the garden as sustainable as we can.

And the confession? I’m playing truant later this week. The next post may well be about lilies and lotus flowers in Kew, or winter gardens along the Thames near Chiswick. London – just for a change!

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