The weather heard my plea even if the BBC weather forecast did not, and Sunday was dry. In the afternoon the sun came out and it was dry and hot. I overdid it, spending about six hours working in the garden.
On Monday we were invited around to Malcolm's for lunch, primarily for Paul and Malcolm to discuss their bridge system for when they play in the Peebles congress. It was dull here when we set out but it got sunnier as we headed inland, and by the time we were at Kelso it was another glorious day. Malcolm gave us an orientation tour of his garden - he has two full-time gardeners and a third student during the summer. There is a large walled garden subdivided into various sections, including a rose garden, alpine garden, fernery, herbaceous border, vegetable plots, fruit trees and soft fruit cages. The greenhouses were enormous. There are grounds around the house with many large trees and shrubs...
After lunch Paul and Malcolm got down to business, while I was in heaven wandering around the walled garden at my leisure. I had been told I was welcome to collect seeds, although it is still a little early. I hadn't taken my little envelopes with me, but I had a 'dog poo' bag in my pocket to hold the few seed heads that I picked. I have been told I am welcome to visit at any time to see the garden and collect seed :)
The weather was not as good on Tuesday which is just as well as I was really aching by then.
There was a torrential downpour in the early hours of Wednesday, and the bottom of our drive was flooded from the blocked drains in the morning. Allan came round to complete our match - he won the next two games to take the match 13-10. I won the first game of match three.
I woke early yesterday to beautiful blue skies. It was not supposed to last so I decided to make the most of the morning. The weather actually held until about 4.30 p.m., when the promised thunderstorm materialised. The forecast for today was the same, but the rain has not come yet.
I have actually got a lot done in the three gardening days. The hardy fuchsias have been potted on. The border along the trellis has been weeded, and the verbascum and campanula from Janet and iris from Anne have been planted there. I weeded the route up to the giant crocosmias in the high bank and have got the canes in place ready to tie them back. The footing was extremely precarious up there - I kept sliding back as it was so muddy. I have re-weeded several of the seed beds. I dug up a couple of clumps of californian/shirley poppies, separated the seedlings and replanted them to fill in gaps. The 'failed' beds of nigella and cornflowers have been resown with night scented stocks and cosmos - I can see signs of them coming up already. The lady's mantle at the drive side of LB2 has been dug out and my new lupins from J Parker planted in their place. The rose bed has been weeded again and the roses mulched with grass clippings. Two hanging baskets have been planted up and hung from the trellis over the oil tank. The only problem with photographing the 'new in flower' is that I see all the things that still need to be done...
I am very pleased with the small raised bed at the top of the drive. This had very little in it other than weeds when we got here - it needed plants that like shade. I am now running out of space in it, having planted it up with two hellebores, four hardy geraniums, hosta, tiarella, epimedium, meconopsis, day lilies and aquilegias.
The high bank is filling in now with all the perennials shooting up. I was very pleased to see the self-seeded poppies in this corner - this area is very dry with the pampas grass and cotoneaster. I think it is a philadelphus in flower at the back of the pampas grass. I am not sure what the purple plant is - it could be some form of hebe. The butterflies seem to like it. The osteospermums are still going strong, and are a lot happier when the sun shines.
The spiraeas are now starting to flower. I have too many - they seem to self seed prolifically. I even dug and potted one up from the rose bed when I was weeding it. When they finish flowering I will try to dig some out. They remainder will need a vigorous pruning...
I am not sure what this shrub is. It may be a bottlerush of some type. There is quite a large stand of it in the hedging on the way to Edrom.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of my self-seeded lupins that I transplanted last autumn is yellow. Last week a pink one came into flower. I was expecting them to all be purple as per the original plant that was in the garden. One of the reasons that I bought more hybrid lupins was to get some other colours.
The heucheras that I brought up with me are thriving. This one has escaped from underneath yet another overgrown spiraea. Somewhere under there are a couple of astilbes that I need to help to freedom.
The hostas that have survived the assaults from slugs and snails are now beginning to flower. The ones in the long bank seem to be doing a lot better than the ones in the high bank.
I think this part of LB1 is looking very cottage gardeny at the moment. I brought the pale lilac coloured geranium up with me. I bought the astrantia behind it at the Paxton village plant sale last year.
The geranium 'Johnson's Blue' is also in its full glory at the moment. This large clump is at the top of LB5/6. I have another one, also bought at Paxton, in the raised bed (see above).
These oxalis (?) have self-seeded into the stones at the bottom of the high bank. I have ensured that Paul has not pulled them out.
I have several large patches of these sedums now flowering.
The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...
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