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!

Our shed to be

It’s been long desired, and when you start laying out bits of the garden furniture to give a sense of actual dimensions, then it starts feeling like the shed will happen. A barbecue is on to feed us this evening – it’s been a gorgeous day so it makes sense – and the little one’s made a salad already. Life in the garden takes on meaning when you can do so many things. I’ve dried bedlinens as well today and they have the scent of being blown dry. Scrumptious!

These are definitely weeds! And beside a bush I can start clearing as it’s privetty and not desired…

The area behind the shed has never been cleared/planted with anything special and so clearing it all will not bring any anxiety. I have promised to try to grow some rose cuttings so that we will be able to grow some of the stripy, and beautifully scented roses, but it’s not something I’ve done before. A bit like my first plantings in the raised beds and greenhouse; all a bit experimental, and not necessarily successful. And it does mean I can remove the shrubs I am not bothered about, which are largely spiky and not wanted! Yay!

Boxes moved to see where the outline might be.

We’ve even discussed taking away a lot of the lawn by the new shed and making it a real planted garden, was I hearing that right? Has my other half offered me a budget? Well no, but he mentioned digging up the grass… and planting in front of the shed! So it could be lovely! I might just have to resite my successfully growing silver birch? I already have to return my herb garden to usefulness. It might mean moving our raised beds but I am not offering to do that yet!

Our shed to be

It’s been long desired, and when you start laying out bits of the garden furniture to give a sense of actual dimensions, then it starts feeling like the shed will happen. A barbecue is on to feed us this evening – it’s been a gorgeous day so it makes sense – and the little one’s made a salad already. Life in the garden takes on meaning when you can do so many things. I’ve dried bedlinens as well today and they have the scent of being blown dry. Scrumptious!

Maybe we can have a large pool too?
These are definitely weeds! And beside a bush I can start clearing as it’s privetty and not desired…

The area behind the shed has never been cleared/planted with anything special and so clearing it all will not bring any anxiety. I have promised to try to grow some rose cuttings so that we will be able to grow some of the stripy, and beautifully scented roses, but it’s not something I’ve done before. A bit like my first plantings in the raised beds and greenhouse; all a bit experimental, and not necessarily successful. And it does mean I can remove the shrubs I am not bothered about, which are largely spiky and not wanted! Yay!

Boxes moved to see where the outline might be.

We’ve even discussed taking away a lot of the lawn by the new shed and making it a real planted garden, was I hearing that right? Has my other half offered me a budget? Well no, but he mentioned digging up the grass… and planting in front of the shed! So it could be lovely! I might just have to resite my successfully growing silver birch? I already have to return my herb garden to usefulness. It might mean moving our raised beds but I am not offering to do that yet!

Keeping the dog away from the fire pit.
Things are growing despite the weeds! Lambs ears I think they’re called. And part of my purchases at Beth Chatto!

Pruning to eradicate…

I have said it frequently that there is lots to eliminate in our garden? Well I offered to take down unwanted bushes by the new shed site, and was pushed to clip the laurel by the gate instead. I want this gone so I attacked it with gusto. The garden collection happened earlier (a day late due to bank holiday) and I have filled the bin with laurel.

I think I have read that you can get skin irritations with laurel so it remains to be seen whether my itches get any worse? That is months now of itching on my arms, legs and torso. Electronic consultation with GP was not very clear. Blood tests they have done have ruled out possible causes apparently. MS nurse said it was unlikely my medication caused it, so we are back to topical causes. Change to washing powder, check, shampoo, check, body lotions well too many to work out a culprit. My nails are longer than they have ever been so scratching causes the skin to break…

Keeping busy stops it, and with hubby desperate to have a shed built before the winter set in (!) I have to get cracking with lots of garden jobs. I have to collect pea gravel for the slabs, go on a weed purge and reorganise the area where we started to eliminate the herb garden, as the shed is not going there now! I move things around a lot. There was a pile of chainsawed chestnut logs needing stacked for the fire. Done! A bit like how tidying inside the house becomes like Groundhog Day: as I clear a room, another needs doing…

This was the chain saw in action! Dried out timber goes in the woodburner. Will it last the winter.

Admin and stuff…

The first child returns to school tomorrow and in a way it feels like something is starting to go back to normal. But it is still weird wondering whether sending the children back to school is correct? We have a testing system (I believe) but we really don’t understand (and some aren’t following) the rules. What am I going to do with no children at home? I’ve applied for jobs and heard nothing. Some random people have approached me but I don’t think it’s about work for me, more they want to part me with what little money I have.

I’ve also been doing some online networking and trying to get my blog onto other platforms. I believe this should be straightforward but platforms have different systems and languages (and I’ve never professed a multi-linguistic bent) which need more time than I want to spend. A little of that and I’ve lost interest to be honest. Any suggestions: send me a Messenger/WhatsApp/text you know how!

And then there was a bunch of Scottish rhubarb to be stewed and baked before it went rubbery in the fridge. And I’ve made a better job than last time we tried to use up garden produce. It had one largish apple from the garden and the quantity was doubled in one dish (not two) so hopefully it will still do a couple of meals but the sponge wont be rubbery. Good ole Glasgow Cookery Book, and the recipe is Eve’s Pudding, who knew?

And I have bought some bulbs, passing through Hitchin market I bought some blue tulips. And the guy said these are targeted by squirrels- who knew? – as none appeared last year he’s possibly right! Morrison’s saw me getting more purples. And Alan Titchmarsh was showing how to layer bulbs in pots the other night. Diarmuid OGavin was also showcasing garden arrangements on Channel Four and I loved his sketches. Must do some for our new plans…

Back in the Garden! On a Bank Holiday no less…

I have picked up six bucketloads of fallen apples. I have composted three and brown binned the rest. We have received the bill for our next year, to start in October. This includes our three months extra and we are gonna need to continue paying. Lots of talk about the Government sneaking through changes to council responsibilities but hey we are getting used to this by now.

The garden isn’t paying any attention as a week’s neglect has just seen the same old, same old – weed growth and more weed growth alongside a heavy scattering of fully plump apples. I was meant to cut the grass but apple buckets were filled instead.

And discussing the shed has meant a new site has been chosen. Still need to clear the fallen sycamore which was stored for burning. Think it is seasoned after three years? But the garden is being planned! And it is going to mean a lot of work…

Neglected marrow!
Mushrooms behind the book shed!
Apples! For compost!
Clearing this area by the greenhouse still needs to happen…