The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Garden Report 2007 - 18

It has been a period of days of great activity between periods of idleness as far as the garden is concerned.

The afternoon after my last garden report I completed weeding the gap created my removing the old broom. There was a lot of ground elder in there. I would be kidding myself to believe that I have dug it all out, but I tried. I then did as I had planned - rhododendron and heathers, along with the last couple of fuchsias and tulip bulbs.

As it was still sunny and warm I decided to make the most of the late afternoon and make a start on pruning the shrubs in the high bank. The buddleia was first on the hit list. I think I got a little carried away... Paul helped me to carry the debris over the road to the dump area.

I then had a planned break from the garden - jam/jelly making mode again. And then the weather turned cold and miserable so a few more days off.

The next foray out there saw me attacking (pruning) the senecios, flowering raspberry and yet another spiraea in the long bank.

The pruning dump is getting quite full up - in danger of blocking off our view again. I had great fun when I decided to tread down the branches and found it was quite springy - not quite as good as a trampoline but I could still do quite a good tigger impersonation.

Another few days off due to bad weather.

It was a little cold on Wednesday, but dry. I decided to make the most of it - the brambles I had uncovered pruning the buddleia had been annoying me ever since. I traced them back to several points around the pampas grass, which meant that I also needed to pull out the old leaves and canes from that to make an easier route through. I found another self-seeded pampas up there which I dug out as best I could. Margaret had phoned a few days back - she has a friend who wanted one, and if I had any more going spare... The last task was to plant the alliums - easier said than done. We obviously have/had a mole up there - there were a couple of small mounds that I had trampled underfoot. When I tried to use the bulb planter it went in fine, but the soil just fell straight back out again refilling the hole. Even trying to excavate planting holes with the trowel kept causing mini landslides back into them. I managed to plant about a dozen before calling it a day.

Yesterday was another good weather day. I got straight out there after the morning dog walk. I was determined to get the rest of the alliums in. Plan one was thwarted - I wanted to plant them amongst the geranium patch in the middle of the high bank, but couldn't make any headway through the stems and roots. Plan two hit the same problems amongst the alpine strawberries patch.

Well, nothing for it other that attack the spiraea that was growing between the two. Slow progress at first, trying to find places to stand to be able to get at it. After a while I was able to crawl under it and attack it from below until I could see daylight again. I managed to get around the back of it to pull out the giant nettles that were there - six-footers.

After lunch it was back out there to clear the dross that had accumulated under it, and then dig it over removing the stones and crud. Paul had bought me another pack of heathers from Aldi's. After a bit of playing about I decided on planting the four pink ones. At the back of them I planted the remaining bluebell and grape hyacynths from Lilian, and in front the alliums and a couple of groups of Pheasant Eye narcissi. The remainder of the narcissi pack I planted in the grass verge alongside the drive.

Buoyed on with how easily the bulb-planter had gone into the verge I got the last pack of narcissi from the house. All was going well until I decided to plant some up near the top of the bank by the trellis. I had just finished when I lost my footing. I don't know quite what happened as I slid unceremoniously down, but my right boob got one hell of a thump on the ground. It took a good couple of minutes before I got myself back up. Undeterred, however, I planted the rest of the bulbs but on the flat area. I finished off the day with the last of the lily tulips in LB6 - all the bulbs that I have so far had from J Parker are now in.

On the 'what's new' flowering front the sedum Autumn Joy are putting on a good display. I have quite a few patches of these in the high bank. There are also a couple of lare clumps of pale mauve asters that are just starting to flower.

The mahonias are flowering already. I am sure they are meant to be winter flowerers...

Jean phoned me up a couple of days ago to tell me how lovely the lilies are that I gave her earlier in the year. The pot that I planted up with ten bulbs is also looking pretty good, and we can smell them when we sit on the bench with our coffee.

Three of the lupins that I got from J Parker as plug plants have grown like mad since I planted them in the garden, and have decided to throw up flower spikes a little late in the season.

The mirabilis jalapa, another of my ten perennials for 95 pence, has also put on quite a spurt in the last few weeks and is now covered in small lemon coloured flowers.

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