I was working in the front garden yesterday, putting another coat of stain on the fence, and trying to clear the border of weeds ready for planting. There appeared to be a layer of green gravel on most of the surface, which I decided to put aside for use either as landscaping material or for drainage in my planned Mediterranean herb bed. I’m not sure if there was originally a thick layer of gravel that the worms have gradually incorporated into the soil, or if the soil itself is actually really gravelly here, and some of it has worked its way to the surface. Either way, a little exploration of the area I want to move one of the willows to demonstrated that there is lots of gravel mixed with the sand and clay to at least a spade’s depth. And then I found this:
It had been covered in two inches of gravel and soil, plus a sheet of melamine-covered ply, but there it is, right where I wanted to plant a bamboo. Back to the drawing board. I woke up this morning pondering what to plant where to still screen the compost bin area at the side of the house, and yet avoid the drain cover. I got up planning to pore over the books, and then I saw magic outside. Frost, coating everything with a transforming layer of glistening white crystals, under clear blue sunny skies. Needless to say I ran outside with my camera. After several weeks of watching others capture frost on plants and wondering if I would ever get that here, I was like a child in a sweetshop. Click on an image to see the larger version.
I love the way frost transforms even ugly things. Roadside verges become things of beauty.
But I have never seen frost on seaweed before. Or walked on frozen sand. Beautiful. Again, click on any of the thumbnails to see a slideshow of larger images.
I returned to my ponderings of how to accommodate the newly discovered drain cover in a much better frame of mind. Later I met up with the two women behind “Cemaes in Bloom” and agreed which of the plants I don’t want they could use to brighten up the village. Recycling at its best. They were thrilled to have a skimmia, several cordylines and a dozen azaleas to use, and will collect them next week, freeing space for me to use for the plants I want. And given that they are always in need of extra plants, and hold regular plant sales to help fund the operation, I don’t have to compost any extra plants I manage to grow from seed any more, or foist them on to unwilling friends and family, they will find a happy home and contribute to the greening of the village. All in all, a good day.