Experimental Translocation in the interests of Marital Harmony

Waving R and R on their way, there’s just time to buzz around the house for a tidy up, then down to Weymouth to collect Mum for a lunch date. We sit in The Lobster Pot on Portland Bill, with Christina, and watch the Portland Race, particularly racy on this windy day and we enjoy a crab salad.

A bit later Mum and I call in at the Cafe Oasis at the Overcombe end of Greenhill Beach, where we enjoy a bargain mug of tea, gaze out towards the factory ship anchored in Weymouth Bay, and I give my mother a mini crash course in the ways of my still new iPhone and Facebook.

Mid-week finds Nick and I boarding a ferry at Portsmouth for a quick visit to St Vaast spanning three days. Regular visits to the house are needed to progress the work that still needs to be carried in the matter of our dry rot problem. We are presently surprised to find that all the remedial work needed to address the infernal fungus has been completed. It is now a matter of reinstating our home.

In the garden there are many plants still in flower and one bearded iris has decided to have an autumn fling. There is plenty to do there and by now there has been a significant reappearance of bee orchid leaf rosettes. Having mapped this year’s plants at seed-head stage, it looks as if this is a resurgence of existing plants. But there seem to be some new ones too.

Nick and I have come to an agreement. He needs to mow the lawn and I want to protect my bee orchids against the unforgiving blade of the mower. We have agreed that we must try and create some distinct swarms in the lawn which can be mown around, so I start to translocate outliers to pre-existing groups. It involves taking a clump of turf one spade’s width square by one spade’s spit deep. This way ensures that orchid roots remain encased in moist soil during the translocation. It’s a tedious process but by the time we are wrapping it up at the house on Friday, some 18 plants have been moved in this way. My farewell task is to take the camera round my October garden.

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