It’s been a little wet recently. By which I mean, it has rained a lot, for several months now, and the ground is sodden. Something brought home to me courtesy of a photo taken by TNG – I think he thought he might finally get a swimming pool…
It appears I may have a few drainage issues in the Kitchen garden. I am so glad I opted for raised beds!
Anyway, despite the delights of indoor sowing I have been champing at the bit to get outdoors and garden. With the ground so very wet actual digging, planting etc. is not terribly advisable, but I had ordered Autumn fruiting raspberry canes so I had to at least create somewhere for them to go. Rather than have 3.5m deep beds at the back of the kitchen garden I have inserted a narrow (60cm/2′) border, enriched the soil with the last of the manure, and hey presto, no sooner had I finished digging it all over than TNG stuck his head outdoors to announce the arrival of plants – raspberry canes (‘Polka’). Which were duly planted, just before it started raining. Again.
The scaffold boards mark where one of the two “entrance” borders to the kitchen garden will be, if it ever dries up enough for me to lift the turf. Eventually I’d like to grow cordon fruit to divide the two areas of the back garden, but for now these borders will be a mini cutting garden and nectar bar. I also managed to barrow compost onto the raised beds, topping the manure with a fine(ish) layer suitable for sowing in to. No weeds so far, thanks to the cardboard mulch at the bottom, but I will be “weeding” small pieces of polystyrene for a while, I think. I collected 6 litres of it from 8 barrow loads, but hey, it could be worse – it could be glass, as Dave would tell you, and anyway, it was free in the end.
So, no planting, no moving of shrubs, no fencing, as ground was too wet. What to do? Pruning. More like a massacre, actually. There are three buddleja growing at the entrance to the little close of houses we live in. I originally assumed that they were planted in a bed, but further investigation shows that actually the path goes right up to the wall, they have just done what buddlejas do so well, and inserted themselves into cracks and grown. A lot. They were lovely while in flower, but soon looked tatty, and we wondered how much of the view they cut off.
It was dry and sunny yesterday, so given that I couldn’t do any of the gardening I really wanted to do I took
my our reciprocating saw to them. It was great fun, but of course after the fun bit comes the tidying. I generated huge mounds of waste, which we were determined would not go to waste, so gradually it is all being turned in to kindling, wood to dry off and burn, or shredded material I can use to make a path at the back of the new raspberry bed. The shredder is very effective, but brutally noisy and has a tendency to throw branches around which can easily whip you in the face, so it was not much fun, and totally destroyed what had been a still and quiet day. I cheered myself up by stopping for frequent tea breaks and admiring the newly acquired view, but of course Sod’s Law being what it is, by the time I had finished (well, done as much as I could manage anyway) it was cold and overcast. But if you look carefully in the following photo, you should just about be able to see the sea to left of the roof of the white house at the bottom of the hill.
From inside the house the change is even more dramatic, as we get to see out towards the Isle of Man now, and get more of the headland in view. Likewise as you walk down the road towards the beach from the village the view opens up in a rather magical way. The problem being that in a couple of months these buddlejas will be bouncing back into very enthusiastic growth. I’ve already talked to most of the neighbours about them, and everyone I have spoken to would be more than happy for them to go and be replaced with something smaller and better behaved. I think this is a job for BIL and the mattock he has proven to be so adept at wielding…
I still have a large pile of buddleja prunings to deal with, and tomorrow the rain returns, but at least I have daffodils. Walking through the front garden on my way to inspect my own buddleja I caught a glimpse of gold out of the corner of my eye. And there, in the middle of a fuchsia, was a lovely little clump of miniature narcissus. Spring is on the way. I only hope it is accompanied by some drier weather.