A watery, grey day along the shores of Poole Harbour. Rain mists intermittently down across the headlands; instructors sit beneath the canopies of their kitesurfing trailers. Concessions are open, but empty, pirate themed sand buckets and shovels competing with dairy ice and shell sculptures for customer’s spare change.
Along the shoreline, a lone figure plucks at red rocks amidst the white sands, filling a shopping sack with walnut-sized stones.
It’s time for planting.
I found most of what I needed at the garden store outside Royston, compost (potting soil), small trowel (no pirate theme), mister, a few replacement plants. About half of the herbs survived the winter in Maastricht and all of the green plants thrived. But it seemed better to change the soil rather than just turn and fertilize it (at least that’s what the container gardening books advise), and that meant adding some stones and sand to the bottom of the pots and planters. The stores are short of gravel, so the beach was a natural alternative.
Transferring and planting took a couple of hours, a good time for thinking while getting some dirt under my nails. Papers were approved and ready to go out to investors; I had bank holiday / weekend plans to finalize for a visit to Dorchester (Hardy and Maiden Castle, assigned by my “Life in the UK” book).