I thought I might be able to just squeeze in a sub-week warning post as it seems things have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous.
For example, I’ll tell you right now that the best time to start concreting a high foot-traffic area is 72 hours before Open Day. While waiting for that concrete to dry, perhaps a more “normal” activity like repairing a cavity in the pergola before fitting the final rafter might be an idea. If getting up a ladder is too much, then you can try a border redesign.
When the hysteria around Open Day is getting a little too much, then a trip out to the local garden centre to panic-buy anything with leaves is in order. After bringing those carefully considered purchases home, it’s time to try fitting them into the garden, meaning you’ll have to move whatever’s already planted there first, before the “latest new thing” can go in. I like to buy once but plant twice.
Just make sure to keep the soil looking messy, so it doesn’t scream, “I woz planted 24 hrs ago”.
I must admit that I never would have anticipated the range of jobs needed to get ready for the first Open Day. All those niggling little 5-minute jobs that I’ve put off (for years in some cases) all suddenly come to the fore. I’m mixing concrete one minute, up a ladder the next, then down at ground level with the grass shears, edging the borders.
On top of it all I’m trying to present a calm response to those asking if I am ready. At this point I wouldn’t even know the meaning of the word.
Tomorrow is the “contingency day”, the one day I kept as a spare for those “unforeseen items”. I already have a list that I’ll work through and it’s not looking too terrible. It’s just a series of tiny little fixes, it might only take me half a day to get through them all. Some of the jobs on the list are as simple as moving a pot from here to there. I can handle that. That’s probably all I can handle at this stage.
After contingency day, time’s up in the garden and I have to be back inside to start all the baking. The garden is only half the reason why visitors come, the other half is for what comes from mixing together copious quantities of fat, carbs and sugar, and baking it all in the oven.
I feel more prepared for the baking as I’ve done catering quantity cake before and I already have the recipes written down and went through a trial run last year and it’s all entirely predictable.
You never know though. Anything could happen in the next 72 hours.