I seem to have lost July and August this year, so if anyone finds them …. please could you pop them in the post to me!
What a wonderful summer we have had – a proper summer, with lots of sunshine, some rain and thankfully very little wind. Of course, the gods love their little ironies;- earlier in the year I removed all the canna, banana, dahlias and eucomis plants from the “hot border”, stuck them in temporary pots behind the greenhouse and promptly forgot about them – they have loved this summer, and thriving on neglect have grown large and lush (behind the greenhouse) so they have now been moved to our “new terrace”. Although the one pictured above seems to be amongst the ornamental grasses and rudbeckia!
For those of you that have visited the garden, this is where the “top pond” the one right outside the back door was. We have changed the flower bed to give a bigger area for seating, filled the pond, and created a gravel area with large slates around it. Shedman just wants to change the row of slates to the left of the picture and then it will be completed. While I may not have been on the computer much (far to nice to be indoors, not to mention far to tired in the evenings) Shedman and I have done a couple of other major things to the garden. Actually, mostly it was Shedman, my time has completely been taken up with our fledgling nursery. Although it does feel rather like we are “Open all hours” but that is part and parcel of village life, cut flowers for a funeral at 7 o’clock at night, the request for flowers not the funeral, that was 9.30 the following morning. Some colour because “Mum in law is coming later today and I need to plant the pots” at 8.30 in the morning! Oh and lots of phones thrust in front of me displaying blurry images of plants and the question asked “what is this?” (Hydrangea) and “Have you got it?” (No). It would seem that locally we are gaining a reputation for selling plants and having some knowledge.
The garden is thriving on neglect if you look at it through half closed eyes. The lovely weather has also brought out all those “lovely” pests. I have never seen so many cabbage white butterflies in the garden, one day I counted over 50 and I thought that was a little unfair, as we don’t have any cabbages. I think most leaves in the garden have had a caterpillar, slug or snail
nibble chomp. Oh and the earwigs! gracious they are going for garden domination! Next year I am going to move my dahlias to another part of the garden – perhaps it will take a month or two for the earwigs to find them again.
Sadly, I have not done all those little tweaking tasks that I intended to do this year, so it looks like I will be in for a busy Autumn moving and planting the plants sitting in pots behind the greenhouse (not the “hot plants” but all the others that are lurking there) and sometime over the next few days I fully intend to take some time and simply sit and make notes of all the things that have flitted through my mind over the past couple of months. For example at some point I decided I absolutely had to have another peony (or three) for the keyhole garden. We had to remove the apple tree that was in this area, so there is a gap (yay) – you would think that the 6 peonies I all-ready have is enough for any garden, especially as they are so very fleeting – yet so very delicious.
So that was my summer … hard work but totally delicious. How is your summer going?
“Kate, are you there?” I yelled into her answerphone, “Come round for a cup of tea, the garden is looking fab”
Kate returned my call I told her the garden was looking wonderful and she duly came round for a cup of tea and to examine the garden after my claims of it looking fab and perfect.
Obviously it did not look perfect;- as no weeding, or rather very little has been done this year, no lawn edging, and no staking, no cutting back and there are some rather big planting gaps. The top pond has been removed, but the new patio has not been made, some things have got rather out of hand and the cutting garden is a disaster area ….. but apart from that it was “fab and perfect”
I am not in the habit of announcing that my garden is looking “fab and perfect” but recently I have been keeping a close eye on it, as next year I want to open it twice! (gulp). I am trying to judge “that moment” I know we all have “that moment” and for me at this time of year it is the moment when the peonies start opening, the iris sibirica are still around and the roses are blooming. A new addition to the June garden is phlomis russeliana, which is flowering for the first time and was given to me by Patient Gardener a couple of years ago.
My dilemma of course, is when will “that moment” occur next year …..
In 2011 that moment occurred in the week of the 11th June and looking back at the images, the garden was further on than it was the same week this year. In 2012 I was photographing the peony and astrantia combination and muttering about rain and gales.
Anyway Kate came for tea, we went around the garden with a fine tooth-comb teacups in hand and decided that yes it did (or rather would) look good enough to open in June as well as September, so I am thinking that I will open it on the 8th June 2014 …… or would the 15th be better? That is my dilemma!
When does your garden have “that moment” where (albeit with the aid of rose tinted spectacles) everything looks fab and perfect?
When VP announced the Bloggers Cut as her contribution to the Chelsea Fringe events, I gaily said I would have Dobby and Beangenie around to celebrate and eat cake.
I had hoped to get them to do a couple of hours weeding and then have cake as a reward, but sadly, as Beangenie was providing the cake, somehow that meant she was let off weeding duty.
As the day was deliciously warm – a real summers day, Dobby and I decided a much better use of our time was to clear out the pond. This is an annual task which I probably wouldn’t do if Dobby didn’t come and give me a hand – it is much more fun with two people swishing around knee deep in water pulling out vast clumps of gunk. Happily we found 4 small fish, which is excellent news as I thought the heron got them in the winter, sadly he did get “Lonely” our big gold fish.
For me visiting gardens and cake go hand in hand. I love to visit RHS and NGS gardens. The tea and cake is part of the whole experience. Sitting down with a cup of tea and (if the gods are kind) Coffee and Walnut cake gives me a chance to mull over what I have seen in the garden and when visiting the garden with friends, this is also a time to compare notes, as so often friends have noticed something that has completely passed me by and vise versa. When I open my garden for the NGS, cake is a really big part of the experience for my visitors. Some people in the village are disappointed that I am not opening this year, they like the fact that if the day is nice, they can walk to our house, walk around the garden, have a delicious tea and meet up with friends.
I think one of the reasons that I have stayed on the committee of our local gardening club is that one of the ladies on the committee provides wonderful cake for the meeting and (bless her) she now seems to have extra bits so I can bring them home for Shedman and second helpings for me! (yum yum).
I should perhaps point out here that one of the reasons that I enjoy cake so much is that I am rubbish at making it myself. I know that a good craftsman never blames his tools, but this winter I did have a little go at the whole baking thing. To my horror I discovered that the fact my oven doesn’t have a light really does matter when you are baking. That the temperature is 30 degrees below what it says on the dial and the difference between the top and bottom shelf, even though it is a fan oven is also 30 degrees …. needless to say, my little foray into cake making didn’t last long.
So because I love cake, and am rubbish at making them, I will do (almost) anything for cake, especially when it goes hand in hand with something garden related.
(You will no doubt notice that the garden is looking very wild and woolly but the tea was lovely, thanks to Dobby for the muffins and Beangenie for the chocolate cake)