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Monday, 14 June 2021

I'll take that as a win

I am a victim of my own success.

I have spent years making the soil conditions at Bag End the best I can. Between me, Management and LP we must have moved tons and tons of manure, compost, bark chip and goodness knows what else around this garden to create humus rich soil, supress weeds, retain moisture. And I have to conclude that I have achieved what I set out to do because I now spend nearly all my time trying to get the upper hand on rampant growth. A horticultural paradox . . . and I try not to cringe at the irony of complaining when my plants grow too well, too big, too fast.

But it does mean that I have to work fairly hard not to have the whole place go feral, and sometimes it can be soul-destroying to just not have the time, energy or sufficient co-operative weather to get jobs done. Happily, today was not one of those days.

Today I focussed on the area immediately outside my study and although it took the whole day, actual working time was probably only 4 - 4½ hours. Before:





After: Self-seeded acquilega and foxgloves have all been moved somewhere more suitable, the heathers have had a good top-up with mulch, the pretend-box hedge of Lonicera nitida around the small bulb bed has had a good trim (nothing nests in here) and I cut the small lawn. The thalictrum which dominates the small bed in early summer is nearly over but has looked fabulous this year.



I know most normal folk do not leave a swathe of Vetch, buttercups and comfrey in their lawn but Bag End folk are not normal folk 😃.









I moved some self-sown Prunella vulgaris (Selfheal) into a corner that is difficult to mow.











I am currently watching a blackbird scrabble like crazy through the new bark mulch on the heathers which they will doubtless end up scattering all over the darn place, messy little buggers! But all these birds eat slugs and grubs which would otherwise eat my plants, which of course would not grow so well without the mulch that harbours all sorts of tiny beasties which are culinary delicacies if you're a songbird, and then the whole cycle starts all over again. ðŸĪŠ ☺️

I would like to think I could achieve as much tomorrow in another area, but right now all I can think of is a long, hot shower and my bed.




12 comments:

  1. I have the same problem with overgrowth and things becoming giant. We are weeding the wild flower bed at the moment stripping it bare to do some major alterations - it was full of red campion and blue alkanet - but they will return, no doubt when we go home they will sneak in. Your garden is looking good.

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    1. Ah, that sounds like you are back at Beach Cottage ☺️

      Hope things are going well. Sorry, I owe you an email 😟

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  2. It all looks fabulous. Sadly, I don't have the problem of a large garden or rampant growth, but the blackbirds are the cause of many a disturbance to the soil. They are wonderful to watch, however. X

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    1. Ah Jules, but without the large garden and triffid-like growth what you do have is time to go fell walking, swimming, paddle boarding . . .

      It is reassuring to know that the blackbirds here are not just making a special effort to be untidy ðŸĪĢ

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  3. Your garden looks fabulous and you work so hard.The weather is set to change again this week so make the most of these wonderful dry and sunny days.

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    1. Thanks Eileen, it continues to surprise me that I regularly rack up far more than the fabled 10,000 steps during a day in the garden ðŸĪĢ.

      I will be quite happy when the weather turns for a bit - the ground is SO dry.

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  4. It's a never ending role to be a gardener, we have been in our small garden 11 years, and everything is done, but I still find something to do each day. The best bit is to sit in the garden and enjoy your work. Your garden is beautiful.

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    1. You are absolutely right - a garden is never really "done". Hope you are enjoying sitting in yours though.

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  5. Blackbirds (and I encourage them into my garden with sultanas) live nearby where there are some very large trees and bushes but they come into my garden to scatter all the leaves and detritus from under the bushes, all over the stone paths. C'est la vie. I do rather envy you your garden but given that I, too, can exceed the 1000 steps even in my ¼ acre perhaps I'll be careful what I wish for at my age.

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    1. Thanks Graham, it seems that blackbirds are just untidy everywhere, so they are not making a special effort for me 😉.

      You are right about being careful what we wish for, at so many levels.

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  6. Your garden is looking great.abd I love that swathe!

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    1. thank you m'dear. I left the 'swathe' larger last year and ended up having very little lawn to walk on. It's a difficult balance for me deciding what will be 'human' lawn and what can be left as habitat.

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