A lazy month?

Snoozing Bee on Dahlia

Goodbye January. You've been a rather lazy month - well, not exactly you, more so your Head Gardener and her Non-Gardening Partner (who has spent most of the new year on holiday). A month can't really have its own personality, I guess. But all is well, and your dahlias are gorgeous.

It's the time of the year when I clean up the Lychnis plants. Old ones are pulled out, teenagers are trimmed. Their flowering colours are wonderful - white, magenta, pinks in between, but the flowerless stems are quite grey, and they are everywhere. Grey is not such a good summer look in my garden. Am not greyist in general, mind you...

So yesterday there I was, gently bending and nipping rather gracefully at the Lychnis, when I spied a garden horror in the middle of the Driveway Lawn's circular garden bed. Aargh! Convolvulus, a recent arrival, brought in with recycled hydrangeas planted nearby, then spread around (probably) by the birds.

Kind or greedy?

There are two ways to think of this. One : what a kind, welcoming gardener I was to offer a good country home (with unconditional garden love) to these unwanted plants (and the convolvulus they brought with them). Two : what a greedy gardener, grabbing at freebies mindlessly, without any thought or care. Crikey - it could have been oxalis!

 A small area in the Hump Garden.
Trim the Lychnis!

Today, wearing appropriate clothing (i.e. old has-been jeans that I can sit down in) I will do a grand dig around and make sure (ha ha) I've got all the Convolvulus out. How did I let this happen? No, more to the point, when did I let this happen? And where else is it happening? Aargh!

Two days later...

Couldn't find any more convolvulus. But something else took my eye - the lower patio Wisteria had died. So yesterday I spent ages lopping it into bits. This morning I decided that the upper patio's Wisteria was out of control. Ha ha! So I hacked at it to create space for the Compassion roses. There's now lots more mess to shift.

 A bee and butterfly magnet.
White Buddleia

After a quick lunch I went back into the Hump Garden to continue clearing the Lychnis. Alas, by now the heat of the day was upon me, so I only lasted an hour. Two barrowfuls. Not really good enough, but better than none.

Physical exercise...

It seems that the gardening I've done these last few days has been very physical exercise. Pushing heavy barrows, carting armfuls of heavy Wisteria tangles, and so on.

 Lots of bumble bees in the garden at the moment.
January Bumble Bee

The last word in January should go to the bumble bees. I'm seeing lots of them, enjoying the single dahlias, the Buddleias in flower (both the white and the species purple), and the tiniest red flowers on the variegated Scrophularia. My garden is alive and ready for February? Hmm...