Shearing laurel…

I did some more digging but I also did some pruning of the laurel. The brown bin is filling. We have lots to get rid of and the pegs are in to start our shed layout.


Lots of digging is going to be happening apparently, despite my claim that I’m too old? I think the slabs require a lot more digging until the slabs slope away from the house. We have too many flooding the garden experiences to have the slabs slope toward the house…

But it’s hard work and the grass area in front of the bedroom is obviously full of couch grass, so I am very reluctant for that to be our grass area. It’s going to need some taming!

So much weeding needed!

I have the idea of using the gravel I bought randomly the other week to form the path but I am being told by hubby that it also needs digging… lalala I am not listening! It won’t need much now we have a tamper! I picked it and the crowbar up from the post office.

We moved this piece of concrete to make a sloping path from the side gate…
Very dusty pale mauve penstemon.

Rearranging stuff!

I may have overdone it today! I moved things around and set up a border for the flowerbed in the front. I also cut down some spiky bits and stabbed myself in the process; maybe I need to invest in armour?

In progress…

But it’s not possible to add to the garden waste for collection as it’s full, full, full! And I am trying to avoid further digging cos as I said last time, it wipes me out, fatigue like I have any number of autoimmune conditions all at the same time.

This rose bush needed cutting.

But I moved the little slabs to the front and almost made a circular ring round the bed I have ignored for a while. It needs compost I think and I will use some of the bags I bought on the last trip to the garden shop, which I haven’t visited in a while. I’m not sure whether we checked the ph there but the weeds are rampant…

Trolley was one of my best bargains this year!

I feel a bit more positive after achieving the circle and cutting back the rose which had regrown and I thought I had killed when I dug over that bed. I’ve added a few bulbs (it felt like a lot!) that I hope are not found by squirrels.

Washing off the pea gravel was taking too much water. It will go under the slabs. Hubby got a very heavy crow bar and an even heavier tamper which l had to pick up from the Post Office.
From a distance it looks almost circular?

Still pondering whether the grass can be dug up, ever?

I’ve started this blog so long ago, and in posting about getting paving slabs delivered in March I don’t believe I am still not walking out of the bedroom onto a patio… Every time I think we are going to move forward, my other half finds a reason for me to have to do another bit of demanding physical work. And I can’t, I truly can’t keep digging. I don’t have the strength. I can prune and weed like it is my only role in life but not digging, I feel like running away and not coming back.

Right colour!

The shed has been decided but it’s not really for me and the planning and building seems to have moved full centre on the plans we have for the foreseeable. Which has put said slabs on hold…

Not sure I can plant these where I was thinking I’d plant them!

In St Albans, I dug a pond but my dad helped me when I was flagging but it was when I was turning 35 and just before my MS diagnosis. I’m now closer to planning my fiftieth than I care to think and dad is mid 80s, planning on golfing his way to 100! I am not giving in but I am facing reality. How do I finish the slabs when lifting one is hard and moving four, one at a time, kills me? I’ve been advised in the past to get a work party organised by offering food and drink? Well that’s also easier said than done when we have barely seen a soul during lockdown. In the past I’ve tried to get charities to help. I must be sounding too well off or something, not so in need as others. I got a freebie from a gardener but he does plants rather than hard surfaces.

So I have so many things currently in progress that it is depressing me so much. I am not as fit as I was in November, the Pandemic saw to that. I have only got sporadic work and it pays for the odd coffee/bag of compost from the garden shop, so I am caught in the cycle of being unemployable due to lack of experience and employment that pays the bare minimum. Which garden rescue tv programme can I apply to, without having to stump up a budget or hack off a leg? (Only joking but my MS is largely too invisible… and I have not been raising millions online for others). My Green-fingered Christmas Selfpity Fairy? Ho hum. Ho hum. Ho hum.

Also the right colour but salvia not standing still…
Bags of pea gravel…
Raking the slab site but it still slopes the wrong way and the trays for drainage will need a bit more dig out! Eek!

Checking our pH levels?

A garden centre was visited and seemingly random and fairly cheap purchases were made. I was bought a pH meter and for £7.99 lots of fun was had wandering round the garden. As I suspected beds varied a lot! From highly acidic to virtually neutral. Hey no alkali but we don’t have rhododendrons? I think I remember that correctly.

Not sure which is which now…
Almost alkali in the newest bed?
New grasses!

But I’ve also been weeding as certain areas were in need. Hubby thought I was going to weed the raised beds but no I wanted to tackle the grasses growing mad in the triangle bed and the apple tree bed. I collected some more windfalls too and slipped them into the brown bin. I am not making lots with the mad quantities of apples we seem to have this year. Probably missing a trick. The juicer needs more use I think.

We actually visited two garden centres today, the second being where we can buy cheap pet foods as well as random plants. And I bought some grasses; well, the tree palms were a bit over budget at £150. But I am keen to structure a bit more of the garden using repeating plants, so I bought two types of grasses to border the brick path to the greenhouse. We will pick up pea gravel tomorrow so that might also make the path stay weedfree if we use it between the bricks I’ve moved around. As well as weeding I move things around, a lot.

Lots reflowering, this clematis normally comes out in May. Don’t focus on the weeds below…

And some of the paviors in the back are getting moved round the front! And the front is full of spiky froths from the bush by the drive. I really wonder about the things that keep popping up all over. Are they really part of the plan? No! I’m struggling with all the things I cannot fit in the green bin or compost. I was well impressed with Monty Don’s compost bins on Gardeners World last night but such a structure is definitely sinking down the wish list now, as the home office slips into a likelihood as hubby’s working from home has been made permanent. So it’s not MY office…

Roughly laid out bricks to form a path…

The world by Zoom?

The more we are relying on Zoom the less we understand about each other? Certainly I don’t want to walk into an unsafe room unless I have to but all this remoteness is a bit weird.

Cosmos still flowering!
These berries are profuse, and show the benefit of pruning.

I do have some bulbs to plant but everywhere needs weeding and the bin is full. I’m not in a weeding mood now either, as I feel a bit yuck. But sitting out in the garden I can see things still flowering and it is thought we are going to have an Indian summer. Does that mean it will heat up again? I will try to get into the garden tomorrow and plant the bulbs. As I said, it needs a good weed still but I have to feel good to do more of that. Little and often I hear you say? Well there is a lot.

I’ll probably get out there and find something else distract me and I still haven’t chased up the plastic gloves, or collected the pea gravel or planted the bulbs. Masses of jobs and I’m tiring myself out just thinking about it. Or maybe that was my dental checkup stress? First appointment since lockdown and I didn’t do it by Zoom. I shouldn’t brag but my teeth were not too bad according to my dentist, as he’d seen a lot of patients with terrible buildups and decay, so brownie points to me! And I got a free filling to make up for the lengthy wait for reopening. Sucker for freebies!

This bed collapsed when we tried to move it so the heuchera needs repotting
These weeds are everywhere!

Blown in by the wind!

We used to get lots of empty drink cans in our front garden (we are on a busyish road) but the wind also deposits other detritus which in Covid times appears to mean the clear plastic gloves… Joys! But seriously who is taking care to wear the damn things and then letting them blow in the wind!

The black sheet is to keep weeds down.

My garden is meant to be my safe space (dog deposits are the other bugbear) and I didn’t expect to have to get gloves on to pick up this random unsafe material and distract me from the other maintenance the garden so obviously requires.

Have I ranted enough? Shall I do passwords or PC/Apple incompatiblity? Or messy family members or finally getting 2-years-suspended jobs finished? Another post, another day!

Grass needs cut/dug up? Tended. As this is an area we will keep!
A teeny tiny rose still out today.

Random seeds…

Too random!
Hibiscus I think!

The dog barks a lot at the post. We got a special basket to protect deliveries and today was no different…

I have lost track of seeds I am waiting for and these may have been ordered several months ago. Nowhere on the package does it state what they are. I’ve ordered seeds from garden suppliers and for my sins, the biggest online retailer in the UK. Probably this is the source of my mystery seeds?

I’ve ordered some that in my history remain, so it could have been Mid-Covid quarantine, which makes them passionflowers? I have since read the propagation time: it could take ten years for any flowers to appear. Life’s too short! The plant I put in (I gave up on the seeds!!!) is healthy and looks like producing blooms…

Still flowering!
Passionflower is doing well!

PPS: it seems a lot of seeds have been sent out like this and the USDA (USA org) have sent warnings to 50 states suggesting they don’t plant these. I had seen the news report but I thought it would be ok. Now I really don’t know what to do with them… If I knew how to make a poll I would!