Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Split shifts

Saturday and Sunday
Hot, hot, hot and no complaints from Hobbit.  Last week disappeared without me planting the lovely perennials I bought last week and it was doing the plants no good sitting in pots in this weather. 

My solution was "put four plants in the ground, water, go and watch tennis for 20 minutes, repeat".  And in this way nearly 40 perennials and 10 shrubs were settled into their new homes and although I don't care much for tennis, I still managed to watch most of Andy Murray's Wimbledon victory.

We've had to resort to a bottle of Algo-Rem to clear the blanket week and algae which has turned the Top Pond into a thick, brown mess so I also spent quite a bit of time messing around removing clumps of sludge which will make a marvellous addition to the compost bins.  The newly cleared water has revealed some Tadzilla-sized tadpoles happily swimming around.

LP is about to leave and won't be available again until early October.  Part of me is more than a little pleased that he's made the decision to follow a long-held dream and work somewhere else for the summer.  I could not create this garden without his help but it's going to be lovely to get off the hamster wheel and have a few weeks rest :}   Yes, we could have slowed things down and only had him work here once a month, for example, but Management and I are both looking forward to the house and garden being sorted out enough that we can turn our back on large projects and enjoy living here.  If we hadn't pushed things so hard in the last couple of years it would have taken a decade or two to get things how we wanted them.

In order to get a few things finished before he departed, and despite the heat, Mighty Mouse was determined to put in a few final hours.  A job we'd planned for weeks but never managed to get to was installing arches along the fedge in the Cottage Garden.  Once they're covered with heavy-duty clematis net the honeysuckle and other climbers in this bed have got a chance to grow upwards rather than sideways :}

That was the easy job.  Next task was to rectify the lawn mess created nearly two years ago when the ponds were excavated.  First a wooden edge to keep fresh soil from spilling onto the bark path ...

At which point I finally got LP to agree to go home.  It was 2.30 and I'd been more than worried about one or both of us collapsing with heat exhaustion.  Determined to continue with progress he insisted on returning at 6.00pm and working until 9.00.  Mildly insane but far more comfortable.

Only a few hours more work necessary to get the lawn sorted so an early start . . . 6.00am.  The bacon sarnies at 8.00am tasted great :}

LP shifted soil, raked & smooth {and insisted in raking the path to remove the barrow tracks!}, we both threw grass seed around with abandon and the final job was to fix up some netting to stop Daisy charging straight over the fine soil.

And now my long summer holiday can really start.  There's a lot to be said for the Mediterranean practice of doing a couple of hours pottering around first thing, relaxing indoors during the heat of the day and going outside again around 5.00pm when it's cool enough to safely move around.  No complaints from Daisy either.

These pictures were taken a week or so later - it's looking good!


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