bEAching ~ day one in the cottage garden

Today was the first day in the garden at the cottage.  DH had set off to take a trailer full of weeds to the local refuse site where they compost it down.  We compost what we can but when we run out of space we bag it up and then when I run out of bags he goes to the tip.

The question as always is where do I start when everywhere requires attention – a bit overwhelming at first glance but beyond the chaos there are little areas that are quite delightful.

The David Austen English shrub rose Gentle Hermione, a present from my late MIL, is an absolute picture and must have really enjoyed the late pruning I gave it on our last visit as there are more flowers than ever and the fragrance is heavenly when you walk past.

I decided to make a start by the gate, mainly because it was in the shade (and with the weather being unbearably hot I needed shade) but also because it hasn’t been touched since I cleared it last year and planted a Hydrangea.     It is a very shady but sheltered corner that only gets a glimpse of the sun during the summer months at about tea time.

Not a pretty sight.

The soil is poor and it is not an ideal place for anything too precious so the choice of a Hydrangea with them being pretty easy-going, and having quite a long flowering period was a good bet and will fill the space on its own eventually. You might just be able to spot it amongst the weeds and wild flowers which have been growing there at an alarming rate.   I remembered I also transplanted a pink flowering geranium as well from another border but was not quite sure if it was still in there.

Nothing to it but to roll my sleeves up and get stuck in but as usual in this garden it is never a ten minute job.  The Alkanet although very pretty with its deep purple blue flowers spreads everywhere and  has tap roots that just won’t give in and they always win – I dig out what I can and leave the final bit in the ground knowing that at some later date they will spring up again!

After an hour or two of digging, pulling and tugging I decided on a welcome tea break!

Then more of the same followed by a light easy lunch – egg salad with a little cheese – we are definitely not putting the gas oven on at the moment as the caravan is hot enough.

By the end of the afternoon I had cleared the patch leaving the Hydrangea and the geranium (surprisingly still there) and trimmed back the Ivy.  DH nailed a piece of mesh in the gap beside the gate beneath the Ivy to prevent unwanted dogs sneaking in and leaving their calling cards.  I thought the Ivy would have filled the gap by now but it seems to be ignoring this space and deciding to be rampant in places I don’t want it to be.

After digging in a bucket full of manure onto the cleared patch and adding some much-needed water my first job was done and you can see the result above.

Meanwhile DH had cut the ‘posh’ lawn and trimmed the horseshoe privet hedge on the woodland side then removed the old bamboo plants from the two big terracotta pots.  I can hear him gently snoring as I write this.

Tomorrow we are planning a trip out after lunch to Newton Stewart.  There is an excellent Nursery there and we are taking a picnic tea so we can go on afterwards to the old local cinema which is something rather special and I will provide pictures on my next post.  They are showing a film called Edie with Sheila Hancock – I know nothing about it other than it is set in Scotland and I quite like Sheila Hancock.

back soon x





6 Replies to “bEAching ~ day one in the cottage garden”

  1. You sound so happy and relaxed in this blog, despite all the hard work up there that I’m sure you’ve made the right decision re retiring. Your corners are delightful and the shade must be wonderful.
    We are so hot at present that we are having cold meals and glasses of water rather than tea!
    Have fun, Sue.


    1. We are on salads at the moment as we do not want to put the gas oven on in the caravan as the heat will be overpowering. I am still drinking my tea though even though it is far too hot really!


  2. Hi, Viv, I followed you across from my blog! Thanks for your comment.
    I find ivy fills the space available and definitely likes to extend its boundaries and it keeps trying to escape through the fence. I have to be ruthless!
    What a beautiful garden!


    1. Thank you Joy.
      Yes our Ivy extends into any space available – just not the little bit where I want it to LOL!!
      When we first bought the cottage the Ivy grew up the dry stone boundary wall across to the garage roof – down the garage wall and rerooted at the bottom of the garage wall!


  3. The gate looks like it was a good place to start. It must have been tricky trying to find the actual plants you wanted to save, but seems you did a grand job. Not easy in the heat. We keep a large caravan by a river, but living where we do (daily summer temps of 30/40C and high humidity), it has a/c. But even with that, I don’t bother using the oven in it during the summer. Good luck with the rest of the garden work, but enjoy your day out.


    1. I really don’t know how you cope in those temperatures. I have no idea what the temperature is here at the moment somewhere between 20 and 30C but it feels hot and I am finding I am flagging in the garden even in the shade. Evenings are no better at the moment as being in Scotland the sun doesn’t set as early as in Yorkshire and we have to keep all the doors and windows shut for the evening midges which are out in force. I feel like I am shut in a hot tin can!


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