The seasonal feel of the garden...

After five wet days the seasonal feel of the garden has changed. Most of the autumn leaves have now fallen - perhaps everything is starting to shut down for winter.

 The trtees are getting ready for winter.
No Leaves Left!

Saturday 15th May

What shall I do first today? it's sort of been raining most of the week - but today looks much better. I have a lot of garden work to catch up on - I seem to have spent the week inside peering out of the house windows. The rooster and hens seem to have spent the week on the house decking and patio peering through the glass back at me. Hmm...

 The yearly winter feast for the birds.
Crabapples Ripening


No work done yet, but I have walked around the gardens (followed closely by rooster) - everything is so wet and muddy. I do, however, have a plan. I'm going to make a start in about an hour - seriously digging, clearing, and replanting the Apple Tree garden and the side border in the Pond Paddock. This second area has been neglected for a few years, and is now at the mercy of an invasive Lamium (honestly I didn't introduce it here!) and squillions of self sown euphorbias (the variety called polychroma, whose bright yellow flowers I always claim to love in spring)...

We'll see if my resolve (when writing this diary) can be translated into muddy action.


I gardened in the cold and the wet for an hour - weeding by leaning into arabesque poses rather than getting down and dirty. It's dismal and drizzly. Oh well - at least I am formulating plans for total redevelopment. I pulled out lots of perennial Agastache.

Cream Delight Flax :
This flax, or Phormium, is a landscaper's treat, with beautiful cream and sage striped leaves.

The flax Cream Delight is rather too big - hosta clumps nearby are getting covered over. It might be time to divide and shift around (have never touched the hostas in the Apple Tree Garden). Such are the things I am now pondering - dry and warm inside the house.

Sunday 16th May

Many people find it hard to separate reality from virtuality. I am currently experiencing a most satisfactory link between the two. In an effort to clean up the Apple Tree Garden on this website - fix the spelling mistakes, get some good before and after photographs (I probably shouldn't even be writing about this) - that sort of thing - I am totally inspired to clean up the actual garden (out there in the drizzle). I started yesterday, and today I am really fired up. There is to be a total revamp! I'll get some before and after photographs to remember!

And rooster and the hens are still here, though their days are numbered - I enjoy chicken manure, but alas! - not over my patio table and chairs! Anyway, they will be good company for a major muddy digging makeover.

 Connecting the Pond Paddock with the top lawn.
New Apple Tree Garden Path


I have made a start on the new look Apple Tree Garden. There's a new path which connects the Pond Paddock with the lawn above, I've removed two Fritz Nobis roses which were in the shade, and I've tried to interest Stephen in doing a spot of chainsawing. Of course rooster and the hens (my garden companions) have tried out the new path - with assorted excited chook noises. If ever I go completely batty, I can blame my new bird-friends.

I've also raked up the oak leaves from the lawns and think I'll try to make some leaf mould. This shows my sane responsible side.


I couldn't seem to sell the chainsaw idea - so I removed large bits of annoying trees with an ordinary saw. The new path looks great, and the Clair Matin rose in here will finally get enough light. Removal of the Lamium will be quite difficult - and the bright yellow euphorbias will be restricted to just one patch. Either the large flax or the equally large ruby Astelia (ruby is rather a romantic exaggeration) will be shifting out. All these plans - hope it's not raining tomorrow!

Monday 17th May

Right! Time to continue the serious remodelling and digging in the Pond Paddock. How am I going to get the lamium out? I guess I really need to completely dig up everything (except the pink rhododendron) and put what I wish to retain in pots and chuck the rest. Seems really simple when you write it down - the removal of invasive groundcovers is rather more daunting in the real garden. How muddy am I allowed to get? Hmm...


Three words... Muddy Gardening Legend.

And one thought... No serious gardener should ever drive past free bags of manure without stopping and filling up the car boot.

 It's nearly time for these giants to shut up shop for the winter.
Gunnera by the Water Race

Tuesday 18h May

Bad luck - I have a little bit of paid work today. So I won't be able to get into the garden until later. I have to keep chasing and shooing rooster and the hens off the decking. Back soon, hopefully to lure them into the garden and kill some more Lamium.

Thursday 20th May

Well I'm back - but not as soon as I'd expected! It's mid-day and I am about to deal to the rest of the Lamium. Then I might start shifting the pot half-hardies (like the beautiful black Aeonium, left carelessly in the middle of the house patio) into the glass house. I've been lucky that so far there have been no frosts. I haven't prepared the Gunnera either - I usually try and fold their big leaves over their crowns fro protection.


I am so sick of pulling out Lamium. I have come inside for afternoon tea. I may return. I may not.

Friday 21st May

I have returned, a day later. I need to finish this latest effort. I never finish anything properly. I need more discipline - or perhaps an incentive system - I am hopeless. Let's see today if I can get ALL THE LAMIUM completely out - before I'm allowed to do anything else!

Over Two Hours Later...

I'm almost finished. The only reason I've stopped is fatigue - plus a cut on my hand which I don't want to get dirty. Anyway, the resulting Pond Paddock garden looks really really good - and I've replanted the Fritz Nobis roses in a more sensible place. They are once flowering, so with my drastic pruning I may not get any flowers next spring. While I worked rooster and the hens poked and clucked away nearby. Maybe when I'm digging they think I'm one of them?