Another attempt to turn my Lithuanian housemate into an environmentalist leads to more confusion when I show her the list of tasks I am hoping will be tackled tomorrow as part of my gardening garden party.
The gardening garden party is a fabulous idea dreamt up by my solicitor when I first bought my house. The idea is that a bunch of people come to your home and do the gardening and, in turn, you feed them. It works like a dream and has been running now for four years, the first year my solicitor came too.
This year, as well as weaving a willow fence panel, fixing bird boxes and cleaning the pond I have written ‘turn the compost’ on the list.
“What is this compost?” Erika says
I show her the bin of peelings. “You keep your old vegetables and tea bags and it all rots down. Then you spread it on the soil.”
She looks suspicious. “You are putting rotten food on the garden?”
“Yes,” I say, “but it’s not disgusting. It’s like food for the plants. It will help us get more flowers.”
“More flowers means more bees,” Erika says. Erika is allergic to bees and is, understandably, not a fan.
Still, she has taken to recycling with gusto, even keeping a graveyard of old shoes in the garden.
“You can grow plants in them,” she tells me.