We’ve had four glorious days in a row so, really, it would have been rude not to make the most of it and (in Ishbel’s latest malapropism) throw the kitchen fence at the garden.
My main dilemma each day has been deciding quite where to start.
A light green haze of sticky Wullie is rolling inexorably over the garden. If not halted now it will weave its way into clumps of perennials and through the twiggy base of shrubs, never to be untangled. I spend the afternoons playing peevers in the beds by the stream hopping from gap to gap, trying to avoid standing on emerging allium and euphorbia, gathering up all the sticky strands before they run riot. They will, of course, still run riot…..At the back of the bottom pond the camassia is up and just starting to bloom so it’s “now or never” there. I resolve to give it my best shot and, in a cunning plan to crowd out returning weeds, fill the newly created gaps with lupins. With any luck they will like it there and self seed. If only they would self weed as well….
As well as the greenhouse seeds, I ordered several packets of “sow direct” seeds as a labour-saving device. Well, it may cut down on the pricking out, but my gently throbbing back tells me that labour saving it is not. The scattering of each packet entails:
- at least four laps of the garden to identify the optimal location;
- digging out at least two tub trugs of weeds which have spontaneously combusted from the “house compost/leaf mould” used to mulch the site and keep it, yes, free of weeds;
- the rehoming of the inevitable violets, foxgloves, aquilegia which have also decided to set up home there (which of course also entails the removal of a further trug of weeds from the destination site); and
- filling up the barrow with the sterilised “bought in” compost and getting it up the hill (it is always up a slope, always..) so that the requisite “light friable soil” (unknown in my garden) can be prepared.
In time honoured fashion, immediately after scattering any seeds acute amnesia sets in and by the time I get back to the house I have absolutely no idea what went where. I just have to hope for distinctive seedlings. Last year I carefully avoided disturbing a patch of emerging weeds for weeks in the misguided belief they were zinnia…
But it’s not all been hard graft. Before kick off and after putting the tools away I treat myself to a little wander round to see what’s up. I’m really very pleased with how things are looking just now – a little sun really works wonders. The tulips are especially spectacular – the feeding I did last year has really paid off in the new long border, they have come back splendidly. The white fritillaria in the nuttery seem set on world domination and I can see the funny pink heads of darner peltata poking through the persicaria. And I have not lacked company in my labours. Catriona has taken to dozing by the fence opposite the library bed and mooing enthusiastically when I trundle past with a barrow in the hope that it is filled with bananas. Lyra and the cats waft in and out in a decorative manner. The hedge sparrows are all a twitter and you can’t kneel down to winkle out a weed without disturbing amorous toads.
All is well with the world in my small patch at least. Happy Easter all