I have received a few gardening books and spent a bit of Christmas money on magazines and books. I also received lots of catalogues… So I have things to inspire my garden this year. (A few of my Christmas purchases are still caught up in the lorry blockades but that is delaying the excitement of Christmas) The ground is a bit soggy at moment to do a lot but seeds can be planted and things established for the growing season. It’s cold out there but we have the greenhouse en site and brown bin to fill with garden waste. I just need to read some of this to give me inspiration!
I have both daughters at home as we will be home schooled until, well, more of us have been vaccinated. Sensibly, teachers unions have objected to the opening of schools in Tier 4 areas, and all of Herts is now Tier 4. I haven’t heard whether the college I invigilate at will now close too. I can only hope… too many people think they will be ok, but there are too many examples now of victims, including MS sufferers.
So I have good reason to change my mind about working, even if I am a key worker. Much rather have a potter in the cold greenhouse!
I’ve used most of the cobbles I bought several months ago now to border the four slabs I’ve added to the front garden. It taken most of the afternoon and a couple of trips to purchase extra plants! Heucheras and Lily of the valley and little bulbs with blue flowers I forgot to note the name of are planted on top of my tulips beside my festucas. I love being creative and my youngest helped with the pebbles to get the path finished before it got dark.
I may also return to a garden centre where I saw some extremely delicate heucheras which were blueish with a red veined leaf which will contrast nicely with my apricot and plain chocolate purchases today. I also contrasted this with white cyclamen.
The existing flower bed with the tree stump was covered in snails. I am hoping by mulching it with horticultural grit and compost it will become less attractive to the slimy creatures but I suspect I may need to clear them a lot. I might start collecting egg shells to dry out and scatter. The garden could do with fewer snails if we can. They eat a lot of my favourites – they may be the culprits of munching my missing Japanese anemones… And there is still some things growing round the stump which need eradicating. Another day tomorrow…
As it is spitting (Scottish term for light rain, in fact it could be called drizzling) intermittently, and I don’t like getting wet, I have time to write but actually I want to be planting! I purchased a couple of cheap plants in my favourite Woolworths replacement store. I have to plant the grasses too and bulbs. Next spring needs to have an explosion of colour! So there are more bulbs to plant too.
Lunch had been forgotten and I went for a packet to be quick. Bad move when something called Piri-something is left. Yuk! But the outside is calling. The Ivy has sprouted buds and I wasn’t going to cut it when it was sunny and covered in bees, but it’s wet now and I need to discourage bees like the monster that came inside yesterday. Seriously huge, like a bird buzzing furiously, I was scared for us all. I am not a naturephobe, more appreciate such beautiful creatures on the other side of the window.
Can I carry any of the tree chunks I need to pile up? Good question and I have new gloves so maybe I can try? These are coming recommended and I think will be good for all the prickly stuff.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The greenhouse has a step of grey paviours which looks very smart, thanks to hubby.
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.
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.
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…
The hottest days have cooled down again. Today is fresh and I feel quite good about the weeds! Shock horror!
Actually I lied! But I have discovered another horror! And we identified this new terror after it had chewed it’s way through lots of buddleiha… and I spotted the leaves first, then the huge beetle which was identified as a cockchafer beetle or a May bug. They will eat trees, bushes and flowers! The larvae grow underground and eat roots then the bugs emerge round about now. Eek! Not what I wanted to hear. I honestly don’t want the adult eating my garden but I am not going to go out and exterminate them… catch 22!
I went back to work this morning to a very different college/exam setup. I was wiping everything multiple times. Think I will take gloves tomorrow! Afternoon to relax methinks.