Laughing in the face of winter...

I keep on weeding while the late summer flowers continue to bloom - laughing in the face of winter, which can't be too far away.

Sunday 25th May

Yesterday morning I weeded madly over the water race. Whenever I had to use the digger to help a taprooted weed out I managed to slice through daffodil bulbs. The Golden Hop has spread its roots far and wide - oops! I have unleashed a gentle monster there. I'm also sure that I managed to squash lots of emerging daffodil clumps with my gumboots. I can't remember where they are. I feel that I've been rather cruel. The two new Cornus trees in these borders are slowly growing, and rather oddly cling onto their leaves for ages - they seem to drop very late. I suppose this is allowed.

 These multi-coloured leaves are a beautiful sight in the garden late May.
Cornus leaves

Today I'm waiting for the sun to reach the Stables seat before going outside with my book and morning coffee. Part of being a happy gardener is strictly ceremonial. Another part is the successful maintenance of tools (oops - I have just seen my edge cutters, left outside for a week - I will have to grovel to Stephen to sharpen the blades. Also I think I have lost the loppers. Unfortunately I may have left them in the grass somewhere, and if the mower finds them first...) I will be back to report in when my fingernails are suitably dirty.

 My dog is getting old!
Taj-Dog is Slowing Down

Saturday 31st May

A three day weekend - with very little potential for school disruptions - and the promise of mild weather - what should I do first? I'm waiting for the sun to rise to a more respectful height - this is the season of low sun, where the Hump trees are just a little too big, though to be fair it's quite cloudy out there as well. I've already read a gardening magazine and had two cups of morning coffee. It's probably time that I put my blue gumboots on and made an outdoor effort.

Nearly Winter!

The temperatures are misleading - we are an inch away from real winter, with log fires in the daytime and southerly wind and rainstorms, and morning frosts. Even though the garden continues to flower madly (dahlias, roses) there's a fragility about the colour - the air is too still, and the green lawns are perpetually damp with dew. The sun is weakly warming, and lots of the garden borders seem to have gone silent.

 Fit for a queen!
Bonfire and Wheelbarrow

The Weeds Are Still Growing...

So how come the weeds continue to grow and flourish? Muddy knees and bottoms are part of the weeding routines in late May. Even last weekend, crawling around in the dirt, I felt that I'd lost touch a little with the moods of my plants. Perhaps it's just winter - the shut-down season. Perhaps I need to start by turning into a bonfire queen.

Or I could plant all those daffodil bulbs - Where? Where? Or I could move more pots into the glass-house - my frost-free luck cannot continue, and all the pelargoniums are still being tricked into brilliant leaf and flower. It would be a real shame if they got burnt. I will return a little later, hopefully with wise words and a warm heart.


So far so good. I've scratched around the water race near Rooster Bridge where I've been clipping and cutting back, and generally poking at the dirt.

 There are many different foliage plants here. Please don't look at the weeds.
looking towards Rooster Bridge

I've also tried to clean up the laundry stone steps. There is mint here which is unmanageable (I didn't plant it! Honestly!) and creeps around the stones. I'm about to return with the new outside broom and see if my scraping has made a difference. The weather is ridiculously balmy, and the sun seems to have slipped far too low in the sky.


I am once more a gardening legend. I have cleared and chopped and weeded all day.