Remember on St. Vincent’s day, if that the sun his beams display. For ’tis a token, bright and clear, of prosperous weather all the year.
St. Vincent’s day is 22nd January and the sun was certainly beaming as I stood in the garden by the apple trees that afternoon.
The stones just keep on coming. Digging in the barn garden by the wall is becoming a real test of will. So many stones, presumably from when the wall was rebuilt. But needs must and when you have apple cordons to put in they need free draining soil with a good lot of organic material in there, not the claggy, wet, blue clay we are seeing! So it’s all hands on deck with everyone doing their bit, adding farmyard manure, compost and gritty sand. Now the soil is starting to look much better.
Well, work stopped this week when we thought we had made a gruesome discovery. The soil is so bad by the barn garden wall that we decided to double dig where the apples are to be planted. It is nothing like the Sculpture Garden soil which is beautiful. We removed what could only loosely be described as topsoil and dug over the subsoil whilst trying to get as deep as possible. The soil is full of old stone, hard core and Tarmac making it quite horrendous. Heavy clay with much blue clay indicating very poor drainage, not good for apples. After a couple of hours we found a vertebra and then what appeared to be a tibia. This bone was clearly old and it sent a few shivers down the spines of all of us! The police were duly called, CID arrived with cameras and equipment and told us to stop digging. A frisson of excitement ran through the team as we all wondered if this could be a human skeleton. Who could it have been? Why were they in the barn garden? Why had they not been buried in the churchyard only a hundred metres away?
A Community Police Office was posted at the gate in case it was now a crime scene. Thoughts played through my mind that evening as I wondered about who this person could have been. The next day I made my way to the garden where a fold down table had been placed over the hole in the border. I wondered how long we would have to stop work? the apples need to be in by the end of Feb. My questions were later answered by office staff who told me the police had confirmed that these were indeed cow bones!