We woke up to the sound of rain today and the power was off until Scottish Power could get their temporary generator going. So with the weather and the power we had no need to rush as there was very little we could do and opted for an unusually leisurely breakfast. The SP team worked all day renewing the transformer in the farmer’s field and the power went back on at 3.30 just as they had said in their letter.
I spent the morning updating my garden plants list – removing those that have not survived the winter or the rabbits and checking on the best pruning times for the different clematis and shrubs we have. Most of them I can remember but I find that is beneficial to the plants if I refresh my memory occasionally.
After lunch we listened to the Archers followed by a play and Gardeners Question time (someone had the same problem as us with the over abundant wild garlic – there is no easy way to eradicate it apparently and eating it was their best suggestion – eating a few tons of garlic sounds like a killer to me!), by which time it had stopped raining and was dry enough to go outside. As I went down the garden towards the Woodland Walk a rather large bunny scampered away up the banking quite shocked at my presence, I was more shocked at all the little holes he had left behind in the borders.
I decided to tackle the border that runs below the banking on the left side of the garden by the lane – it is a side of the garden that never comes together no matter what I do.
To one end of this border is the large conifer tree with spreading branches – nothing wants to grow under it save the Montbretia. At the other end we have a Viburnum Tinus which is blooming well at the moment and a self-seeded Fuschia now the size of a small tree – but I like it so I let it stay. The little group of Mahonia Charity are becoming a little leggy and I have threatened them with the chop – this seems to spur them on to producing some new side shoots – I will still sneak up on them and chop them down a bit though.A while ago we dug this patch over…and lay some grass seed… but it only partly helped for a while and now it is just another spot for the buttercups to take over if the campions don’t get there first.
It is heavily shaded for most of the day in summer and the water from the lane above filters down through the banking and ends up at the bottom making a very soggy patch with quite sticky heavy loam and it is really hard work getting anything to grow other than buttercups. The banking itself is much more peaty. Ferns of any type are attracted to take root here – but as I have said before you can have too many.
I am still not sure what possessed me to dig in this part of the garden today as the soil is usually squidgy here on a good day but with the rain it was even worse; the soil clung for dear life onto the roots of the weeds I lifted.
Meanwhile DH was on ditch clearing duty – the ditch separates the lower wood from the upper wood and runs at the back of the pond. If the ditch gets blocked over winter with all the leaf fall and does not drain down to the burn it overflows through a pipe into the pond and then eventually the pond overflows. He dislikes this job as intensely as his ‘waste management’ duties (the bins) at home. The process of ditch clearing is to jump in and sink in with a large shovel and heave the mud up to shoulder height and over in one streamlined manoeuvre like a Golf swing and deposit said mud onto the bank of the ditch. Quite a demanding job and one that can only be done in small doses before exhaustion takes over. Of course he chose the light grey sweatshirt over the navy one and came out of the ditch splattered with specks of wet mud resembling a spotted dick pudding.
The bonfire is on hold at the moment as two of the caravans nearest to us have the owners in residence – Mr E who is about our age and has bad knees and prefers to drive the short distance up the lane in his car to the pub for his meals – (he lost his wife to a heart attack a few years ago she hadn’t made 60; she was a heavy smoker), and Mr and Mrs Fixit who appear quite regularly and are always fixing something on the caravan – this time it was their satellite dish that had been spun round in the strong wind during the winter. We politely asked each of them in passing how long they had planned to stay – Sunday seemed to be the favourite day to go back home – we dare not ask the exact time – so the bonfire will just have to wait until we see them pack up and leave!
After a couple of hours we ran out of light and good weather so made our way back indoors. We had a no spend day too.
As you can tell we have such exciting times here!
A day of splodging around in icky sticky mounds of mud…