Well intentioned?

I think my garden is missing me. December is my 'should be doing' month, and I run around in a continuous loop - the dog park, lunch with friends, piano practice, the Christmas jigsaw, a fruity cider, to bed with a book, the dog park, and so on. My gardening efforts are well-intentioned but sporadic.

 The water race is hidden in there.

Saturday 19th December

Yesterday I continued my weeding and scraping efforts in the back of the Shrubbery. It's shady, and filled with the prettiest evergreens. The dogs were near me - the collies with their tennis balls, big brown Escher on his long staked lead. I'm glad I decided to work in this area.

The gnomes :
These two chaps are rather stylish.

Firstly the two vintage garden gnomes had fallen off their tree stump - what had they been up to? There were many weeds to remove, courtesy of the top-soil compost mix I'd added to the garden last winter. The new plantings - Pittosporums, Hebes, fat-leaf Cordylines, a special Viburnum, and a clean-green Cercis tree - are all doing well.

But the spring flowering Genista has produced a number of smaller seedling shrubs - should I have known this would happen? And am I happy about it? In other words, should they stay or should they go? They might be another BIG mistake, like the Goldenrod I planted in (and later removed from) the Allotment Garden.

 A David Austin.
Strawberry Hill Rose


Today I looked around the Herb Spiral, quite late in the day. Oops! Things have rather got out of hand (in a nice way) and some major trimming and weeding is required. This is tomorrow's first task. The mainly white Lychnis is now flowering with the later pale roses (like Strawberry Hill and Windemere). It's the 'icing sugar and marshmallow' look!

The daylilies are starting, the red-currants are about to turn red, and the leeks are starting to go to seed. This is deliberate, honestly! I adore their seed-heads, which are rather more numerous and spectacular than my four surviving purple Alliums.

I'm not going to mention the creepy grass, or the dandelion-look-alike weeds, or the suckers from the variegated elm, or the fat hen, or the annual stinging nettles... Hee hee. I just did!

 A variety with light coloured leaves.

Sunday Morning, Early...

I am inspired! My garden has spoken to me again, in a friendly, encouraging voice. It needs me! It has indeed missed me, its much-loved, respected, favourite gardener (its Head Gardener, and the only gardener, if the truth be told). The dog park, the sushi bar, and the Christmas jigsaw will all have to wait.

Nearly Eight Hours Later...

Aha! A record, surely, for a day's worth of summer gardening. I am so proud. I've just had a shower, and put on the whitest floatiest apres-gardening shirt. I just ignored the time of day and kept on working - weeding, trimming, dead-heading, doing the lawn edges, pulling out yet more old forget-me-nots.

 With a barrowful of mess!
Working by the Spiral

Winnie has been so sweet - she wriggles into the garden border to drop her tennis ball at my feet, then retreats back to the lawn to wait for the throw. Over and over and over again. Dear dog.

Sticky Willie

Late in the day I found a lot of Sticky Willy in front of the glasshouse. He would probably win the Weed of the Month award. I've promised my garden that I will pull as much of him out as I can - tomorrow. On a technically serious note, I remove the sticky green growth but often leave the roots behind. Sticky Willie is an annual weed, so this shouldn't matter, right? As long as I don't allow it to go to seed? Scary stuff.

 Well, sort of!
The Herb Spiral is Weeded

But the garden out there looks busy and blousy. Very pretty, and oh so grateful!