Firewood n Halloween?

Think we will have a few roaring fires between now and Halloween as a lot of seasoned logs were split today. Not taking the credit as I was still eradicating spiky things – brambles and a neglected rose/crab apple? It was covered in brambles so that it was almost hidden. I’m not sure whether it has ever been pruned in our five years here. But the brambles were coming through the fence so originate next door.

Sunday with rain drops!

But I have had a sickness bug so even if it had been dry for five minutes I didn’t feel like being outside. My stomach still feels a bit dodgy. I only went to work for 3 hours on Friday but was it enough to pick up a bug from the college? Social distances were observed so I should have been far enough away not to get the germs… No one in the house has this? It’s not the symptoms of Covid and I don’t like being sick! How mysterious!

I think our gardening adventures are going to be curtailed of October continues to be wet. It would be nice if the rain would do one…

Trying out those gloves!

I did mostly spiky stuff to try them out but it’s damp out. Someone said it’s going to be wet all week? No! That’s not good. The gloves aren’t waterproof. And I exterminates several chunky brambles!

Those are all spiky!

It’s been a stop/start kind of day. But at the end of it I have cleared a lot of things I don’t want. The bush I tackled looks like a boring old privet so it will be pruned back hard. Like the bush with orange berries, that’s going too! But I planted a red cordeline next to the transplanted heuchera and that area just needed a fake stone robin as a finishing touch. In the world of an MSer days can get hard unless you can stagger them so doing something different in the garden in short bursts helps me to feel like I am achieving things.

Too much pyracantha for the bin!
I love the burgundy colours against the green.

Still gardening!

It’s lovely out today and I’ve done some of the stuff I had been putting off. I’ve replanted the heuchera that was in the rotten garden box. It is beyond saving that one but I’ve popped the heuchera into the bed I cleared yesterday. I was visited by my friendly robin. Well I would be as I uncovered snails and all sorts.

Sun on the gladioli…

I’ve also done some digging but hey the sun is now too high and it’s my least favoured job. But I replanted the heuchera and was rewarded by a visit from Red. I buried the bulbs I put in on Saturday with a layer of compost from the rotten box so I’ve mulched the bed I cleared.

I’ve also ordered some super tough garden gloves as I am tired of fishing out thorns in the evening! And the tree boys come tomorrow. There is lots happening, like the snails it will happen, slow and sure.

Red.
Transplanted heuchera.

It’s all spiky!

I thought I’d spend some time weeding but the bit I attacked was all spiky so after a little while I gave up as I don’t like feeling attacked back! It was a bit much for me after another afternoon yesterday of lethargy. I’ve run out of my cbd and realising that it was helping, despite it getting the blame (not by me!) for causing the itching. I’ve realised the itching is probably exacerbated by the inactivity which has been recurring during the lockdown period.

Not so easy to dig after three days of rain…
Paint everywhere!

I am not full of vim anymore (was I ever?) but I try to narrow that down to anything in particular and it doesn’t appear to be one thing or another. I am trying to focus on finishing things too. We have lots of paint tins needing used. In fact yesterday morning was spent clearing up a tin that toppled over and caused a great big mess (I wasn’t going to say anything about that!) but it was part of the reason my spirits dipped yesterday and despite my youngest helping with the cleanup, finding my jewellery tin abandoned in the garden put me in a foul mood. The tin, a toilet bag and some necklaces are still covered in paint…

But going back to the garden and thinking about removing all the stuff I dislike, so much that I liked about the garden and was going to keep (the horse chestnuts being key here) have had to be removed and it’s really changing what the garden looks like. The grass that grows (wildly) is largely consistent with wild grass, and I think couch grass must have several cultivars? Some of it is wide leaved and some is very thin. I yanked out lots of the thin stuff today but brambles and wild roses grow through it too, as well as the weeds with fluffy seed heads (not dandelions). I hoped that we can perhaps reclaim my older daughter’s flower bed which is wild but she likes the biodiversity and her tree (not planted) as well as the orange gladioli. I will keep at the weeds in it however though I need to find some tougher gloves! Shall I change my blog to weeding within limits?

Spikes and grass!
Path is forming.

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!

Baking bits!

We have a few too many brambles, and I left the biggest bunch too long! Soggy mouldy blackberries don’t make super crumbles… we made two sponges today and that wasn’t using too many berries so I’ve gone out to pick some more and with my Apple catcher pulled off some largish apples from the tree. The sponge mixture was a bit soft because I decided mid mix to double the quantities and went a little off recipe… And we are getting a chorus of sorts from the apples, and I get the feeling we may lose a few more smashing onto the Perspex of the greenhouse.

I love the little buds on verbena boniariensis.

Lots of sweet little flowers around and about in the garden at the moment and I had thought all the best things were past. I discovered a penstemon or two coming through. I’m not sure whether that is perennial or not. Will watch out for it next year!

Penstemon planted in the spring.
Oxalis? Peeking through in one of the raised beds…
Apple and bramble sponges. They do look a bit flat…

Hot again!

Those two trees got a serious trim. They are spiky too which adds them to my least favourite options for keeping in the garden of the future. It seems the chop they got last year encouraged them to produce fruits but I’m not 100% sure what they are…

Lots of spiky things growing here!

Why do plants in some places grow well and others they fail to thrive? Buddleia grows amazingly in the bed by the house but there is a narrow spindle I have identified next to those spiky trees as buddleia which must have been planted 3 years ago. We struggle to stop the monster by the house…

Straggly buddleia… (before brambles were culled)
…monster three buddleia after a trim?

But the culling better stop as it’s brown (garden waste) bin tomorrow and I have filled as much as I can with the weeds I don’t add to compost. I feel sure my energy levels are rising again and I have to say it could be down to the cbd capsules I am taking. Still only one tablet but much higher concentration. Reading the small print it says to disclose it to an employer in case they do random drug tests, but it’s thoroughly tested to not contain any credible levels of the stuff that can get you in trouble. Not working through the summer so not panicking about it either…

I have lots of seeds to scatter and lots of places to put them. To have a garden with lots of flowers next year would be fabulous. Need to decide where they go! Random as ever and reallocating herbs along the way is interesting too, as I think I will not lay out a herb garden again but integrate them with other perennials.

Significant apple drop from the tree that failed to fruit last year. And a drum beat from landing on the Perspex…

The garden is growing organically!