19.10.39

Raining almost continuously till late evening. Impossible to do much out of doors. Dug a very little more of the rhubarb bed, cleaned up the remaining bit of the path, which however cannot be re-gravelled till I have got some more cinders (no coal delivered for the past 10 days). Tried experimentally some of the lime & naphthalene mixture,[1] also crushed rock salt, both said to be good weed killers. Tits are common about the house now. In the elm trees in the field some kind of bird makes a sawing noise every night. Don’t know whether this can be the owls.

If possible the following things have to be done before the end of November: [2]

Move wire of hen-run.

Clear all the grass off the new patch & the bit joining it to the old garden.

Heap turf so as to rot.

Rough-dig the new patch.

Transplant all the fruit bushes.

Clean out & dig the patch where the fruit trees have been.

Lime the vacant piece, the empty part of the rhubarb bed, & the place where the fruit bushes have been.

Clearing out the remaining patch under the hedge & prepare for rambler.

Remove most of the chrysanthemums when they have withered back.

Take up & store dahlia roots.

Plant shallots.

Sow broad beans.

Plant phloxes, michaelmas daisies (if not too early.)

Plant roses, rambler & polyantha. Transplant peonies.

Transplant apple tree.

Procure and plant blackberries.

Collect several sacks dead leaves.

Clean out strawberry bed.

Possibly also:[3]

Make up paths in kitchen garden.

Make new bed by gate.

5 eggs.

[1] Makes no impression whatever. T. thinks it would actually encourage weeds in the long run. However this mixture is also said to be good for expelling wire-worms. [Orwell’s note]

[2] All items have been ticked except ‘Clean out & dig the patch where the fruit bushes have been’ and ‘Sow broad beans,’ which are marked with a cross, ‘& the place where the fruit bushes have been’ and ‘Plant phloxes…’ which are not marked at all.

[3] These two tasks are marked with neither tick nor cross.Peter Davison

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5 Responses to 19.10.39

  1. The Ridger says:

    Wow. An impressive agenda.

    And those must be saw-whet owls, no? ;)

  2. Pingback: Twitter Trackbacks for 19.10.39 « THE ORWELL PRIZE [orwelldiaries.wordpress.com] on Topsy.com

  3. Steve says:

    I´ve never heard a saw-whet owl, but I thought they sounded like the sharpening of a saw, not the use of a saw in cutting wood?

    I know this is easy for me to say, but why can´t he just pull/hoe the weeds, instead of putting nasty stuff on his soil? One can see how ready the world was for agrichemicals, once the production capacity became available after the war.

  4. andrew says:

    neither tick nor cross nor pull nor hoe,
    moving wire of hen-run,
    raining continuously

  5. The Ridger says:

    I was joking about the owls.

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