My modular approach to May

 In the Allotment Garden.
Little Path with Stone Edges

My modular approach to May - and indeed most gardening months, of which I enjoy twelve - is as follows : I keep on doing lots of little bits of everything. Sounds pretty lightweight and inoffensive!

Monday 2nd May

Today the dogs and I wandered back and forth from next-door's front paddock, collecting river stones and barrowfuls of horse manure (there's a pile which has my name on it). Meanwhile my non-modular neighbour has had noisy trucks arriving, dumping piles of fill. There are two ways to look at the swirling dust which keeps blowing onto my property. One - what a nuisance! Two - hee hee. All your top soil is blowing off onto my garden. Now that's much nicer!


Well done me. I'm replacing the firewood log edges in the Allotment Garden with chunky stones. So far, so good. I've also been barrowing horse manure and sawdust, and - as a totally sensible end to these activities - the edging logs have now been split and stacked by the back door. The dogs have enjoyed snuffling around, and black cat Buster has been covertly keeping an eye (AKA spying) on us all. Tiddles the tabby, doesn't 'do' secretive - she just curls up in the open and snoozes. It's very easy to almost tread on her.

 These self-sow in the Allotment Garden

Wednesday 4th May

Yesterday and today - more of the same. I've heightened (?) the stone wall around the driveway curve. I've started raking the horse manure mixture over the Allotment Gardens, pushing it in and around the Calendulas and rugosa roses. Yet more edging logs are split, ready to be burnt.

Big brown Escher has spent a half an hour digging an enormous horizontal tunnel through a pile of weedy fill, watched by Buster the cat. She thinks - no, she knows - that dogs are totally daft. All that effort, when with a little lurking the rodent or rabbit becomes careless and shows itself. And why not just walk round to get to the other side? All that dust on your nose and paws...

Thursday 5th May

At dawn I looked at the thick layer of fallen leaves in the Pond Paddock. And I thought : autumn has a mind-tempo of its own (or something like that). Musically it's all over the place, accelerando, ritard, poco a poco, molto... And then there's a giant pause, when no leaf falls, and no colour changes. Not for too long, though.

 Rake up those leaves!
The Pond Paddock

Alas, my gardening can't fully follow the needs of the season. I should be raking leaves (they're mainly oak) and squishing them into big black plastic bags. But if I don't continue barrowing the horse manure over from next-door, some random bulldozer driver will spread it flat and then that will be that. Do both, perhaps? Then the gardening shoulders (and back) would be sorely tested...


We are having a late 'lunch for dogs' (I am the Big Boss B). I am also extremely hungry, as my Shape Up For Life campaign kicks into its fifth week. None of my human friends have noticed. My gardening shirts have - they are definitely looser!

Salvia uligosa :
A beautiful mid-blue Salvia which flowers for ever - well, until mid-autumn.

I've been watering and weeding the Allotment Gardens - digging up irises, trimming the huge patch of Salvia uligosa (sorry bees, but the flowers have finished), barrowing in horse manure, and replacing wood edges with stones. It has been most modular. Lifting and placing stones certainly is.

 Another self-seeder in the Allotment Garden, flowering now.

The Dogs...

The dogs have been 'helping'. Winnie lies on the manure heap (it's warm), while Rusty scares away the birds. Dragon-dog Escher burrows underground, snorting loudly. To relieve the boredom of barrowing manure around (the pile is huge) I've been thinking about a canine version of The Bachelor (daft TV programme which I watch - oops). I'm imagining dog dates : visiting a duck pond, doing agility work-outs together, trotting around the dog park on a group date... I think I might be in desperate need of human company!

OK. The last session for the day, probably only two hours before I give up. So what needs doing? Replant those irises in a sunnier space, dig out the miniature Agapanthus and do the same, barrow at least five more loads of horse manure over, collect more stones, finish the Salvia trim, shift the hoses. Aargh! Then convince self that a modest portion of chicken and salad, washed down with iced water, is THE most tasty evening meal in the world. Hmm... Am definitely in a Big Bossy B mood!


I decided not to shift the Agapanthus, but I replanted the irises, filled in a little path which had Salvia on both sides - impassable when the tall stems are growing. I did shift the hoses so the screening Pittosporums could get a good soak, and I did spread a couple more barrows of manure. And this water tastes jolly nice. Honestly!