14 April 2011

Dead Useful

An occasional series on useful things
which we would want if only we knew
where to find them.

No.1 Barr's Bulb Dibber

Part of the charm of Marsh Hall comes from its lack of funding, poverty being the great preserver. So it's perfectly natural to find a wooden crate leaning against the wall of the stable lads' room which has been in use for 90 years. It is not treasured especially, but it has earned its keep.
Pol Roger Champagne 1921, a very useful box.

Down in the walled garden, potatoes by the name of Lady Crystal are being planted out, with the help of an old Barrs Bulb Dibber. It may be good for bulbs but it's great for potatoes, and is very quick, with one person dibbing and another placing the potato in the dibbed hole. On volunteer day, with two people tending each potato, the old-style team of gardeners is almost imaginable, with the head gardener standing upright with his full-length dibber and a more lowly person bent double, dropping potatoes into holes in the ground.

The box in which the potatoes have been chitted will be celebrating its fiftieth anniversary next year.

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