Some tidying before the end of summer?

I don’t like driving up to the house and being confronted by weeds and all things needing trimmed. Even worse when we have been away? So the garden bin was collected this morning and I’ve hacked at the golden rod and spiky buds and remains of valerian. And that’s before I can get out of the front garden.

Hosta flowers. Maybe it’s in a better place.

So the back was full of windfalls… makes the bin heavy and I am bushed. Thankfully I only get to the windfall apples every few days, as the waste of apples makes me sad. We have some brambles so I shall make a crumble or a sponge when I get some energy back.

Bud on my passionflower.

The house is looking tidyish but I am loathe to muck up the kitchen making sponge… but it’s the one I prefer. Sponge it is!

Still turning red.

Rain to end the hot weekend!

We have been busy pulling up the weeds and I made the first prune of the trees next to the herb garden. Herbs are being relocated and cuttings are in water to try and grow new plants. I am excited for what is planned, which in a roundabout way was what I originally hoped we’d do.

Barbecue has been rehomed.
Greenhouse glass needs a use…

The greenhouse has a step of grey paviours which looks very smart, thanks to hubby.

Calla lily was spotted…
Second flush of roses after deadheading…

I have been clipping initially round the tree which has the yellow plums on. We still want to check these are edible… but there is so much potential now for that corner of the garden.

And it’s raining now so I have decamped inside.

These have been replaced!
Reallocated paviors
Are these edible? From the clipped tree.
The initial clipping has uncovered a lot of contorted limbs. And brambles behind…

Gardenkeeping!

Like housekeeping only in the fresh air! Excitingly the Perspex ordered for the greenhouse arrived tout suite and in a day the ‘glazing panels’ with shatterproof and appleproof qualities have been inserted. The greenhouse is back in action and tidy! Lots of pressure washing has been done and decisions about steps into the greenhouse are in place.

Great slabs of concrete were being used around the littlest shed, which lies in pieces around and about – and it would make more sense to use them for steps out of the house? We built an extension and have never had a proper kitchen step. And double doors on other rooms also land on, well, not a lot, and it’s been a few years now. Like I’ve said before, lifetime projects…

But we have a paved area where the greenhouse was which can now be a little patio outside the shed in progress? It was made with some lovely little paviors I got through free cycle. And a little sitting area is much better use of this sun trap.

What a cracker!
Repotted my banana plant.
Still needing tidied up! And weeded!

Should I make plans?

A relative sent me these photos of their garden in Spain and it does make me want to travel again. Although the rules on quarantine being so arbitrary it does put me off. Being shut up in a tin can above the ocean with possible Covid transmitters makes me anxious but what if I already had it in March? Lots of people say they have been tested now so maybe it’s worth asking the questions.

However my passport ran out in February and I need to change my name in a new one, so methinks it won’t be quick to get a replacement.

I’m itching to go and see some gardens but will make do with a beach… Summer holidays are on!

Feeling like you are there?

Feeling invigorated!

I’ve started to feel like I can foresee new avenues opening up again. Lockdown is over, for whatever that means, and I have now worked through two weeks of exams. I have work next week and I have applied for several new things to keep me feeling like a useful member of society again. I have been out in the garden and applied the trimmers to the hedge to cut away the corner of the hedge so the neighbours can see out of their drive.

If we can have some rain free days, like on Sunday, we will be doing some more garden maintenance, making some more changes. Hubby went and purchased a stand today, and before you ask, is that like fork handles, it’s a short stand to cut up logs on. We’ve had lots of logs drying out in the rear/side of some sheds to make firewood with but I knew something was holding us back; the stand will make log cutting safer. We also have lots of extra shelving from blowaway greenhouse to stack cut down logs on? Stuff comes in useful if you hoard it? I also wonder if it got stacked along the walls of a work shed it will add an insulating layer when winter hits. Because I see my husband home working for the foreseeable future, like many others, fingers crossed, if their companies make it through the pandemic unscathed.

Love this astromeria!
Need to add this ivy etc to the green bin…

Life after lockdown is slowly looking like it will start returning; my youngest went to school to pick up her things from the year before homeschool and she felt better for seeing her friends again. She said they sat in hula hoops to keep 2 metres apart! So whoever is making hula hoops will be making it through the pandemic for sure…

I’m sure I planted more than one of these spherocephalum but I think I pulled some up in a vigorous weeding moment…

A select view of Life?

I mentioned before that I try to always be a glass half full type of person, but I apologise if what I feel at the moment is largely angry, depressed and hopeless. If I am honest I can’t even go for a coffee and discuss it with a friend, only meeting people fleetingly on my exercise excursions isn’t the same.

We are having a morning of making plans I think, before taking a run over to grandmas with her 83rd birthday presents. She has been horribly curtailed by C19, as she had a senior adventurers pass to get around Greater London and used it daily until lockdown. We have things to return too as she stayed in February and left behind a handful of her belongings. In return I will take her some brightly coloured flowers for the garden and a pot we picked up from the Best Before Cafe in town. We also got some brownies from The Cakey Lady, which I will advertise as a hardworking family business. (And they were enjoyed by all!)

Lily just flowered!
Freeby…
Osteospermum

But working all week (four mornings) has made me feel more positive, and the discussions of shed development has made me feel a bit more positive about life in our little enclave of LGC. Life is good here and we do have lots of projects to start/finish if we can stop spending time on our gadgets. We bought the house as an ongoing project, and the garden is constantly changing with new things in bud. And I know I concentrate on blooms mostly in my photos but that’s because often the flowers grow alongside the weeds! I edit those out…

First (red) crocossmia!
Not sure what this is? First time we’ve seen…

Not sure whether life is trying to be normal again?

Having done two days of work, I do feel like life has kind of returned to a pattern which is basically what I have done before everything shut down. Normal it isn’t though, nothing about life is secure and measured and predictable. Even the weather is joining in and letting us have rain, sun and storms. I have to say it’s more comfortable now than the heatwave several weeks ago. I want to do more to change the garden but the slabs and digging is easier in the dry, not so hot weather. That was this morning but afternoon had some rain.

Lily we planted last year.

I wandered round the garden and the neglect has caused some new flowers to make appearances.

I’ve also been looking at some of Letchworth’s gardens which were to have been open to the public in June and they’ve been released as a virtual display and I’ve now looked round about ten. They give me some hope for mine but many are actually 25 years or more under the same family and show me that I need to start building more plant areas and thinking about introducing more plants.

Www.letchworth-vog.org is the website to view!

Wild bindweed on a walk through fields last night. Almost pink outside.
Cornflower is purple – yes!

I’ve made some chocolate brownies and fingers crossed I managed the ingredients correctly but I have a horrible feeling I added an extra egg. That’s the MS I’m afraid. In 25 minutes I shall find out. Been doing the same Brownie recipe for 20 odd years (from the Independent) and I doubled it and confused myself. I also need a new brownie pan as it looks like all my baking trays have been used for roast vegetables and burnt to within an inch of charcoal. (Again not my domain, as I never seem to get the roast timings for all the parts together!)

Curry plant has so many buds…
Bramble flowers
First courgette!

But life is looking up, isn’t it? If you can get out in the garden you don’t have to worry about life on the outside, and the brownies are out of the oven in time for a good olde worlde high tea! And they were v tasty!

So my penance…

For cutting off the electricity my penance was weeding. Smallest helped but got to use my hedge gadget! I am not sure I will learn how to use that this year? But we/I pulled up lots of mares tail and pulled out dead valerian. That also appeals to miss helper? Hard to miss and not the prettiest when it is dying.

Valerian getting culled.
My nemesis

And the mares tail is everywhere… this may be the worst mistake of our house purchase. To not know the weeeds… Five years in and we haven’t really made a visible mark on the garden but my intention to be working and the reality are different. I am lucky to be working, don’t get me wrong, but zero hours don’t contractually make you well off. I will do as much as I can over the next month and see whether I can ‘magic’ something into my life that I had to put on hold, due to Covid restrictions like everyone in the world.

Thursday is our garden collection day and the grass cuttings are rather pungent. But adding a load of other weeds today made the front garden a little tidier. Little one didn’t get up to the top of the hedge but thoroughly enjoyed using my new hedge gadget and my new tipper cart. I have to do a little more digging and soil shifting to lay out the slabs I want, and we have to order a tonne of sand and some lime cement to lay the slabs properly. I am not a big strong builder and neither are the rest of the family, so we may be a while getting the slabs laid. Oh well…

The hedge is a bit taller than my youngest…

Electricity! Pah!

Just blew all the kitchen fuses! Making a toasty of all things but the charger for the lawnmower somehow got caught in the toasty maker and melted! Not sure what was more annoying about this… nearly losing my lunch or the gadget that makes our lawnmower easy to use? With no cable to run through? Well it has lost its cable for the charger so we may be looking at having to buy new battery… uurgh

Who knew making toasties was so dangerous?

The annoying thing about that is I have been nagging about clear workspaces till I’m blue in the face. And I was too hungry to follow my own advice. Determined as I was to get some food for a late lunch into me, I had even offered to make a toasty for hubby in the garage, and it was going fine until ‘POP’!

Lilies about to bloom

Not sure what this means for the lawnmower until hubby can check after work. I don’t do electrics – does anybody blame me? – garden bench is my place this afternoon!

Pretty sure these are blackberries (or brambles?)