A little tidier!

A bit more to add to the front and weeding the edges and trimming the spiky bush. Maybe that is going to disappear one day but blimey it hurts like crazy when I try to pick up bits I’ve chopped. I don’t always bring the right stuff but I used the paving knife to pull up some of the weeds in the crack.

I bought a couple of red-veined heuchera. The tree stump was trimmed back but I’m not sure I’ve eradicated golden rod…

Front path is looking better. I can’t wait for rain to wash the stones. They are still rather luminous but that is four bags worth and I don’t have any more.

Changing the front garden!

I started off digging a trench for tulips in the front garden and I dug a ten centimetre trench. It defines the area to the left which must remain garden and we had intended to make into driveway if we had the funds… (I need a job!)

Bulbs in their packets.

The grass was largely moss and plants I don’t want. Not grass at all. So I covered an area with weed barrier and used the bags of peagravel we got from my friend. It had a lot of compost mixed in so I’ve used that on the area of weed barrier and I planted some of my festuca glauca plants down the edge.

Tulip trench!
Ladybird investigates the weeding…

I’ve used four concrete slabs for walking, laid over some sharp sand and I will bring round some compost to fill some of the areas. But there’s lots of blooming golden rod and valerian which needs digging up. Those are my weeds if I’m honest, as well as the spiky bush at the gate which keeps regrowing. I’ve chopped it three or four times this year and I have to try and eradicate it before it gets too big again.

Tulip Bulbs!

Still ducking in and out between rain showers, the front garden is a work in progress but I think it will look good after we’ve had a couple of rains. I will try and find some other plants that will look good between the festuca. I saw some amazing heucheras yesterday. I sense a purchase…

Not finished but the garden is always in progress I’m learning!

Ouch!

Smallest is home after throwing up and she had her earphones on. Husband is in the shed, and ditto, so no one heard me… I had decided to clamber over the piles of logs (was it wise?) and investigate the space behind the shed.

These chunks are too heavy for me…

Which was weedy and filled with firewood in waiting. I pulled out a few weeds and was trying to clamber back. It would have been fine if I had not stepped down too hard on a pile of very soft sawdust. My foot went down and down and was close to my ankle snapping (I think) and me being stuck behind the shed for quite a long time.

Some bindweed coming over from next door.

As you can guess I did manage to put some weight back on it and fumble my way out of the space I no longer want to explore. I think I may be stuck to the house for a bit. Again not helping the grand scheme of things. I feel I may grapple with leg pain for the next few days. I said I’d work tomorrow as well. I don’t need to be hobbling round exam rooms. Ouch!

Needs cutting back but I didn’t take my snips on my clamber!

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!

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…