A good thing about doing lots of hand weeding - one works on a small scale, searching for and identifying tiny things. Amongst the weeds I've found little seedling roses, little Alchemilla Mollises, and Lupin seedlings struggling underneath shrubs. And the most wonderful discovery - variegated white Honesty babies.
These will have to last the year and flower next spring. I thought I'd lost these. All these tiny treasures, by-products of a hand weeding regime. Confession - I now have a squirty/puffy bottle of contact weed-killer, for the deep-rooted dandelions and the sorrel.
Friday 25th September
This morning I visited my friend up country. I thought I'd tricked the dogs by driving an indirect route (they get vocally excited). Alas, they were not fooled. So we had ten minutes of super-dog noise in a tiny car, rattling and barking our way along a rural road... Eek! My friend and I had an official 'Start the Old-Lady Colouring-In' ceremony, complete with a solemn speech. Then I attacked a beetle with random browns and purples, while my friend, much more delicate, stroked pale blues and greens onto a bee. The colouring-in ice is finally broken!
Then we did some weeding in her garden. How oddly enjoyable this was! Same weeds as mine. After a wee stop at a country cafe I worked for four hours in my own garden, thinking unkind thoughts about pea-straw, horse manure, topsoil, and compost, the addition of which I blame for my happy, thriving weed colonies.
Saturday 26th September
The Allotment Garden is now completely flowery, with self-sown Calendulas, foxgloves, repositioned roses, daylilies and other perennials. Where on earth will I plant my potatoes and vegetables? I will have to clear out one of the rectangular plots. I am embarrassed by having, for example, five varieties of beans, some of which require stakes, and four different packets of carrots. The Jersey Benne spuds are sprouting and go in now. Decisions...
Winnie by the Cherry Blossom
Running Out of September
I am fast running out of September. So silly, therefore, to race into the house after swimming and immediately sit down at the computer, rather than the garden. But I like to say hello (even if only to myself).
Aha! And I know where the spuds are going - the dogs and I checked it all out on our first morning walk. I can easily dig up and plonk down the Calendulas which are in the way.
But I also have some serious glass-house work to do, for which I need potting mix. The local home and garden store which sells this also has Geraniums, fat-leafed green Cordylines, blossom trees, pots of herbs, and Lavenders, all on special.
Of course the dogs would love to go to the dog park. And they won't fit very well if I fill my car up with plants afterwards. What to do? Attempt the impossible. But first have a cup of coffee and take photographs of the new cherry tree blossoming. I'm filling my journal pages with the wondrous joys of pretty spring things. Vibrant, hopeful spring.
Tiddles the Tabby
Much, Much Later...
I managed to squash three dogs, potting mix, and plants into my car. Then I weeded and shifted and shovelled top-soil and compost onto the proposed spud-bed. Big Fluff-Fluff sat in the garden and watched, motionless, while Winnie guarded the boundary, ready to 'rescue' any weeds thrown over next-door. Oops. Tiddles the tabby played in the driveway. It took me three hours. And for three hours these devoted (and slightly daft?) animals kept me company. No wonder I feel blessed.
Now the plan is to soak my sore hands in a hot bath, then have fish'n'chips and a bottle of fruity cider. Glowing with pride, I will then wander over to the cottage (guided by the orange flow of my solar dog lantern) and to bed. Yes! A lovely end to a lovely spring day.
Sunday 27th September
Another glorious day, filled to the brim with gardening.
I've squirted nasty unmentionable stuff into dandelions and over sorrel in the Agapanthus Garden. I found some healthy juvenile Gunnera lurking in quite the wrong place, and dug them up. Winnie, no help, kept raiding the bucket and trotting off with a plant in her mouth. I think she likes the Gunnera texture? My idea to clear the ferns completely from the water's edge for the Gunnera didn't work so well, so I just replanted the sprouting crowns as best I could alongside some others.
I spend a couple of late afternoon hours in the glass-house pricking out seedlings. There are ridiculously excessive numbers of lettuces, whose little seedlings are so soft and difficult to handle. I've done white Cosmos flowers, Echiums, yellow Californian poppies, and Spinach.
I only made one mistake - I wandered over to a rarely visited little garden area at the very end of the day. Obviously I saw much to do. Weeds, ferns needing trimming, a little stone wall which had collapsed, even some roses needing pruning. Oops. It seems so unfair to come inside after seven hours (yes, seven hours) compiling a head list of things that haven't been done and need doing.
Oh well. Tomorrow I'm going away for two days. Everything will have to wait. Back soon.