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.

Spider!

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.

Gladioli
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!

A garden visit…

Visiting Scotland and staying with grandpa meant looking for things to do in the middle of the post pandemic shutdown. I read an online report that described the top things to visit and Cambo gardens on the Fife coast came highly recommended. It was a wet day so the kids got to spend the day in Broughty Ferry.

We bought tickets online and drove to Kinsbarns nr Craill and arrived just after opening but the last space in the car park was ours! It was very well set up and there was a really nice gift shop and cafe.

A heron kept watch on the stream.

The garden was mainly in a courtyard but all laid out differently with occasional signs explaining areas under renovations or under weed extermination. There were veg herb and fruit beds and vines and cordons. For the end of August there were lots of blooms (my fave agapanthus) and considering the reduced garden staff due to the pandemic it was in quite amazing luscious conditions with bright colour swatches with swathes of grasses.

We had a healthy plate of salad made fresh from the produce – some peas were definitely saved – and the walk from the garden through woodland led straight out to the sea (over the golf course tee and green).

Definitely a good garden to visit if you’re near St Andrews. And combine it with the botanical gardens and butterfly house (that we visited last year) makes for a real gardeners paradise.

Sea shore
Healthy lunch
In the conservatory
The woodland walk down to the sea: quite a gentle walk with one steep stepped stretch.

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…

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!

Weeding again!

Rome wasn’t built in five years, and wandering round our shambles I felt despair and anger! But I’ve given myself a talking to. And started in on the mares tail. Front garden full of lots of seed heads from alliums and other beauties we have enjoyed this year but the mares tail, bindweed valerian and other pests also threatened to do away with the things I have planted. Nothing a bit of elbow grease and perpetual vigilance won’t do away with.

Must give you some flowers…
Look at that mares tail!

I’ve read on forums that some of these thugs need to be beaten over a long period and I have left them alone because I’ve been working and down in the dumps. I’m not blaming anything in particular but my screen time has been through the roof. And the weeds are overpowering every area I have worked hard to clear.

Clearing an area where we have the littlest shed, I asked a question. My other half has been planning to build two more sheds, but I think we are still better to use the area I’ve planted herbs. I can replant a herb garden and we can move the quite diddy greenhouse onto the cleared slab? Hubby has agreed to rethink. Well I think we both are, as this garden is still a work in progress and doesn’t have a particular area which gives me joy. Working on it! Calla lilies are shooting up in some boxes atm. Yay! More flowers to come…

Hope it’s not a weed!
Phormium is getting strangled. Think it’s vine weevil…

Maintenance!

There has been a bit of hard work today! Given a 430 wake up from our intrepid scout who was brought inside by the smell of a dead rat… found by the side of a shed (we have a few, take your pick!) she had managed a good few hours of sleep! My bags, however, are deepest purple today!

The grass has been cut, brambles and spiky things excised, and several discussions about shed renovations and purchases and repositioning have been had.

White cosmos- think courgettes will be exchanged with next door!

It’s thirsty work all this gardening and friends exchanging photos from the socially distanced pub make me want to find said secluded spot. But the media has been full of bad behaviour which makes me less inclined to think it a good idea.

I’m still finding my happy medium however as yesterday’s family reunion took it out of me, as it became a longer day than anticipated and then we had the scout overnighter going on simultaneously by zoom.

Hence my editing of areas of the garden needing weeding- a job for another day…

Buddleia in bud.