Friday, 8 June 2018

A slight change of plan

I knew exactly what I was going to do today - cut the grass, plant out runner beans and lettuce, sow seeds such as peas, Cavelo Nero and the like.  Stupid me - we ALL know that PLAN is a four letter word which is really spelt    F - A - I - L.

It was the early morning phone call from our tree surgeon which did it:  “I’m back at work now, got a full load of shredded leylandii, I can be with you in 20 minutes”.  He’s had a couple of months off work dealing with first a bereavement and then becoming a Dad, and this is his first job since the break, no way I was going to say “no”.  He knew I was waiting for the first available load of material and made an effort to bring it to us when he could have dropped it nearer the job he was doing.  So my plan to work gently in the net-house was shot to ***** and out came the tractor and trailer.

Before we could start to move it all there was clearing out self-seeded plants from the big raised bed at the back of the house. Then there was moving this:

to here:

Being sensible folk we stopped for lunch, during which Simon turned up again so the pile doubled in size:

Damn.  I had hoped to move some of the first load before the second turned up!   Never mind, at just the cost of “petrol money",  this material is virtually free and makes such a tremendous difference to the garden.  Daisy just looks on in disgust . . . "stupid hoomans, why don't they spend the afternoon laying somewhere cool and shady?"   She has a point . . .

Management and I had a busy afternoon:  I filled large tubs and moved them with the tractor.  He filled the wheelbarrow and started to put some of the material in our now empty compost bay.

We made sure to stop by 6.00pm, but a huge amount had been achieved.   The daffodil bed outside the garden has had a very thick mulch and looks much tidier.

Whilst I’m out the front: the Clematis Montana (this is ‘Broughton Star”) has been spectacular this year, now past its best but still looks gorgeous tumbling over the laurel hedge.

I made an Executive Decision about the large raised bed and covered it.  Completely.

The black membrane is so that the blackbirds do not treat it as a new adventure playground and the neighbours’ cats do not use it as a toilet.  Those panels aren't pretty but I can exchange them for wooden battens.  The theme for this year is mean to be “consolidation” - confirming and maintaining all the lovely parts of the garden which we have completed and not starting anything new.  So I made the decision not to plant up all 7 metres of this bed with more vegetables that will need watering and constant attention.  Partly the ‘consolidation’ thing, and partly because I want to be away in the campervan or caravan and not be here watering plants all the time!

In the same vein I have employed “cheating gardening” in a couple of beds in the Cottage Garden.  They really need a bit of digging, weeding and replanting.  Instead they have had a very thick mulch which will suppress most of the weeds and rot down nicely.  Next Spring I can think about what gets planted for the future.

And by the time we stopped and put the vehicles back where they belong:

We're probably back to the equivalent of one load.  There will now be a short break whilst we recover!


  1. Your garden is looking lovely, but I'm with Daisy, find a spot and rest !!!

    1. Thanks Marlene, we did exactly what you suggested and had a vey quiet Saturday :)

  2. Surprises can be both rewarding & hard yakka, so well done to you both. The garden is looking so lush in many places & that clematis is awesome. Never seen one growing like that out here, probably 'cause our summers can throw 40+ days at us on the odd occasion. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. Take care.

    1. Hi Susan, I'm thrilled with the clematis (which is actually three plants) because I grew them from cuttings.

  3. I bet the clematis is spectacular in ‘real life’

    1. Hi Sue, I am biased but yes, it is pretty eye-catching.

  4. You couldn't say no to the gift and it's very rewarding to see the results of your hard work. You'll definitely have earned your break away. I love the photo of Daisy on the wall watching you work so hard :)

    1. Cheers Eileen, absolutely never say no when this sort of 'bounty' is offered!


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