My goodness, over a month since I last posted and what a month it has been. Basically for most of April it rained. We had the odd dry day but mostly wet, damp days. This has made it very difficult to get the work done in the garden. The weeds are waist high in places as we just haven't had the time to clear it. 

There is a path in there somewhere!

Mum has had a really hard month. Lots of changes have taken place, the main one being her sleeping pattern. She was sleeping 12 hours or there abouts. This gave us time to get the animals sorted and morning chores done before she got up. During April that all changed. She was getting up in the night, 5 or 6 times, thinking it was morning. It now doesn't register that it is dark so time to be in bed. I always wake up early and really enjoy an hour or 2 alone in the morning. It allows me time for me, this is so important as a carer to keep you sane. This time has now gone too. Its like mum is waiting for me to get up no matter what time it is. Within a minute she is in the kitchen. This, I find is the hardest. We finally got so tired that we decided to get her a sleeping pill. We went for an all natural one that promotes melatonin production. This is the chemical that makes us sleep. She has been having them a week now and it has really settled her down. She is still up early in the mornings but is much more settled through the night, only getting up once for the toilet and then straight back to bed. 
Also she has had another 2 episodes where she passes out. We are now loathed to leave her alone for any length of time as one happened when she was sitting outside. When one of these happen, we notice little things different about her. she can find it hard to recall words, an example, the newly hatched chicks were ducks in the morning and cats at night when she was tired. The repetition of sentences during the day...the same sentence or question over and over again. Yesterday it was windy and she kept repeating, "the wind has really got up, do you often have wind like this?" We can hear the same sentence possibly up to 50 times a day. It can get very wearing. We try to redirect with humour normally. Even though this journey is hard our sense of humour keeps us all going. We do laugh lots, you have to be able to find the humour, it gets us through.

Back to the work here. On the odd days that we have been able to get outside we have been trying to clear beds and plant up. One such bed was the root bed. It had lots of swede and beetroot. I pickled the beetroot and canned the swede to store.

Mid April saw me receive 2 books for my permaculture course. I haven't had much free time to study this month but I have been able to read. The book on weeds is really eye-opening. It makes you look at the garden with a different mindset. We often leave weeds to grow in the summer as they protect our vegetable plants from the harsh sun. This book explains how they do so much more than this. They improve the soil, stop evaporation and add organic material to the garden, to name but a few benefits. 

One day we managed to move the new raspberry plants that had begun to grow. We dug them up and moved them closer to the wires, so that as they grow we can tie them up for easier picking. There were at least 10 new plants and I am sure there will be more grow as the season progresses

The garden is producing well. We have had an abundance of asparagus and artichokes too. All this wet weather has made the plants go mad. The broad beans are just starting to produce, as are the mange tu. We have lots of spinach, lettuce and chard ready for picking. The three sister planting on the new terrace, all the plants are growing well too.