It is not every day you get to plant a tree, or even more significantly take part in the creation of a community orchard, but that was the surprising way our weekend began.
Fortunately, the morning selected for 'The Big Dig', was a bright and sunny Saturday morning at the start of half-term.
We arrived in the nearby parking area to see a procession from the local community
walking up towards the site,
carrying a hotchpotch of spades, forks and trowels.
The organisers had made careful preparations and marked each place where a tree was to be positioned with an orange cross.
DH, being colour blind, had difficulty identifying the precise spot we were to dig. Orange paint on green grass was not the best colour combination for him, but we managed to convince him that we located the right spot and we set to work.
First, we needed to dig a hole 1ft by 1ft by 1ft - I don't think we will ever be completely metric - and we enquired of the-man-with-the-plan what particular tree was allocated for this spot.
"Tree no 1 - 'Tydeman's Early Worcester" was the pronouncement.
We examine the stock for the specified sapling.
The KHT attempted to hammer a stake into the ground, without a great deal of success.
DH gave the post a few hearty wacks,
sufficient to hold the support firmly in place until the tree is established.
Then we carefully placed the tree in the hole, bud towards the sun as directed
added squirrel-proofing and a tie.
"Easy peasy!" - says she who helped hold one tree and then wandered off to pick the brains of one of the very helpful local councillors, whilst DH and the KHT finished the first and then planted a second tree - Kidd's Orange Red to be precise.
To the best of my knowledge, no gentlemen with bowler hats were harmed during the digging or filling in of any of the holes
By now the orchard was taking shape. We left the tree planters munching on bacon sandwiches, provided by a local pub. Meanwhile, we are all hoping that the orchard is sufficiently off the beaten track so as not to attract vandalism, but close enough to housing, so that locals will keep a protective eye on the saplings.
Later a pronouncement was made.
"I see someone has planted a Russian flag on the scaffolding at Salisbury Cathedral."
"Who thought that up?," I wondered to myself...
"It was removed by the Cathedral authorities once it was brought to their attention."I had visions of a cassocked Dean clambering up ladders and along planks to retrieve the offending article.
"Why would anyone want to do that?" enquired a mystified DH.
It is NOT a good idea to laugh while drinking a coffee. Cue frantic swabbing of my computer keyboard before any liquid could permeate to the roots of the keys.
Hopefully, the trees will last longer than the flag...