Rain, cats and adventurous two-year-olds mean that planting up is no easy matter in Rachel Household's back garden...

Yes, I've finally got rid of my begonias. Even though I hated them with a passion, I was still racked with guilt at throwing away plants that were not dead-dead, only half dead. Finding the time to re-pot my window boxes was a bit of a palaver. I had plans to take my time, follow the packet instructions and resist the urge to overplant. The first day of the weekend it rained non-stop, on Sunday we had to go to a christening.

I finally managed to find a moment late that afternoon in failing light. This was the moment when my two-year-old took it into his head to climb the lilac tree at the end of the garden and the four children from next door decided to introduce themselves ("What's your name?", "What's his name?", "How old is he?", and so on).

In between having a conversation with Felix-from-next-door and constantly rescuing Alex from the tree ("duck duck" translating as "stuck stuck"), I managed to do some planting. Out went the packet instructions and ideas about colour co-ordination, in went the bulbs willy-nilly, with winter pansies plonked on top.

Actually the pansies look pretty damn fine, if overcrowded. And anyway, I've decided that's my forte: I am destined to do pub window boxes, it's my calling. We pass one such pub on the way to see my parents. It's a riot of colour, just ludicrous - you can't see the building. And that's obviously what I aspire to, I should really open a drinking establishment (after all, I did work in one when I left school...)

It's also my intention to get some crocus bulbs into the earth, but it's so wet out there, I'm waiting for the water levels to go down. However, I did manage to get my 'King Alfred' daffs and some crocuses into a couple of lovely terracotta pots, again, with scant regard for spacing. After planting I meant to put them up on a ledge but was worried about the wind - they might get blown over - so planned to invest in some chicken wire to protect the bulbs in the meantime.

Too late. The other Thursday I came down the stairs, had a look out the window, and saw piles of earth on the ground, bulbs on the surface of the earth, and god knows what dug into the pots. Yes, the cats have dug up my bulbs and I presume used the pots for other purposes. Guess I'll have to start again...


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