What about the Hydrangeas?
Eek! What about the Hydrangeas? They're flowering madly, and I haven't yet taken a single photograph. They are beautiful, and I haven't yet written a single gushing sentence. It's time to remedy this - right now. OK, so the lawns are wet and it's still drizzling. Watery shoes, wet socks... A problem? Shouldn't be.
Wednesday 27th January
So, to redress the balance, here's my first hydrangea sentence. 'The mid-summer rain has encouraged the hydrangeas in my garden to even greater blooming feats.' Hmm... Bland, and lacks emotional connection, maybe?
Hydrangeas are shrubs that I tend to ignore, take for granted, forget to prune, and so on. I must do something about this. Though, in my defence, the garden generally isn't watery enough to guarantee their happiness. Often I find them struggling and have to water them with the hoses.
Eek! And what about the dogs? They've been inside for three days because it's been so drizzly-wet and I am loathe to get my shoes wet. I don't have gumboots. Solution! Plastic bags over the feet, hee hee. I will test this idea out at the dog park. Anyone who thinks this looks silly might just dismiss me as a daft old lady. But I will be a daft old lady who is showing great initiative and enjoying some outdoors exercise with three happy dogs. Ha!
The bags worked brilliantly! I'm home, and I'd love to be doing some gardening. Apart from the drizzle, all the vegetation is dripping wet, overhanging the paths, and the lawns underfoot are long and soggy. Excuses, excuses. All I've done for the last two days is pull weeds out of the driveway when I get the dogs up. Pretty low impact, this.
Thursday 28th January
Trying again to do homage to Hydrangeas, those honest, humble shrubs, heaped with old-fashioned charm. Hmm... Alliteration aside, I've noticed something nice. The flowers fit properly with the foliage. The big mop-tops have strong, fat shrubs to support them. The smaller, 'gourmet' hydrangeas are likewise in the right scale. Hydrangea blooms don't flop. Ha!
Yippee! Finally the drizzle has stopped. I've been in the garden for three hours, just trimming and weeding. I have missed my garden so much. OK, so there is so very much still to do. And so much Lychnis. Two years ago the interior of the Glass-House Garden was filled with pink and blue Lupins. And the daylilies didn't really do anything. This spring - hardly one Lupin. This summer - the Lychnis is covering everything with flowery fluff, and the daylilies have obviously settled in and are blooming beautifully.
Friday 29th January
I've had the busiest day. First the dog park, where we wandered around for an hour. Then, just as we all piled into the car, one of our friends arrived. 'Let's go to the dog park' I said, opened the doors, and we all piled out again. Do you know, I don't think those dogs noticed anything unusual. They don't have the sequential concept.
Since I've been home I've been working hard in the garden, trimming and weeding in the Herb Spiral and the surrounding Pergola garden. It's been slow, nit-picking work. For example, a nasty creeping grass has secretly been doing just that, and its roots have had to be uncovered and carefully coaxed out. I haven't finished that task. I've cut up all the old annual cornflowers and old pansies for 'mulch'. A revelation : much of the Lychnis is two or three years old, and so I've been sensibly pulling it out. Little self-sown replacements are already growing well in the shade of the big old clumps.
And thinking back to the hydrangeas, I think I've planted them in the most appropriate borders. Most are in dappled shade, and the original shrub by the side of the house loses the sun by lunchtime. All my newer plantings are en masse, so to speak, so their flowering impact is considerable. This summer my hydrangeas are happy, and that makes me happy. Yeay!