Of mulch, hot brakepads and sunshine

The first weekend of the new positive rediscovering myself era has been excellent and unusually for a Sunday  evening I feel refreshed and recharged.

Saturday I had a day to myself as my eldest was out.  Having got up  early to do the weekly shop and give the house  a quick lick and a promise with the Hoover and duster from 11am I had a day to do whatever I wanted with.  The sun was shining and the sky was blue and the garden beckoned.  There is so much to do it was difficult to decide where to start.  Not only do I have all the usual seasonal tasks but I need to address the increasing neglect from the last two years.  I decided that I had done enough seed sowing last weekend and that this weekend I needed to really set to and achieve something significant to encourage me on.

A tidied staging area - very pleasing
A tidied staging area - very pleasing

First up was the patio  ‘theatre’.  Theatre is a rather grandiose title for what is essentially some breeze blocks and scaffolding boards but I am constantly surprised how much I use this  space.  I use it in the summer to house my growing collection of succulents who thrive in the sunshine.  At this time of year I use the space for hardening off seedlings and growing on plants.  However, when I looked at it yesterday morning it was shambolic, the gravel underneath was full of weeds (that is cyperus glaber which self seeds into the gravel) and the contents of the pots were in a sorry state.  I spent a good hour repotting and even got as far as going through some young plants which had been sitting neglected in pots down the end of the garden.  I am for ever surprised at what survives neglect especially over the winter.  Two restio plants in small pots have come through unscathed and will now be planted out as soon as I have decided where.  Even more surprising was a lone annual rudbeckia which had been lying in a small pot and had started to regrow – so much for being an annual.

Then after lunch the main task of the day was to tackle the slope  border known as the daisy border.  I worked through it cutting back and weeding and then mulched  the  majority with chipped bark.  This is something I need to do  in my garden more to help conserve moisture and  having seen how lovely and tidy and recharged the border looks I will definitely  be making the  effort to do  this across the garden.  The only downside is  that I could  barely stand up at the end of all that mulching since I  have to carry the mulch  up quite a steep garden, my eldest who normally does this for me was out and I’m  not as patient as I aspire to be.

My car wasn't quite this dirty
My car wasn't quite this dirty

Today there was no gardening since it was a special day for my eldest.  We had to get up at 6:30am to get to the rally driving school as I had bought him a season for his 21st birthday a couple of weeks ago. Despite being a secret petrolhead I have learnt that for spectators these venues can often be quite dull and you can’t see anything so I  had done some research and identified a couple of places nearby I could visit whilst he was doing his thing.  My main aim was to visit Batsford Arboretum.  However, wonderfully, spectators were allowed quite close and in between laps he came and sat with me and we discussed others progress.  It was such fun and despite the early morning cold a lovely day to sit outside in a big coat and get some more fresh air.  The track is on the Gloucestershire/Worcestershire border in the Vale of Evesham which is a fairly flat area. As it has been so dry recently the gravel track was incredibly dry and the dust clouds would have put  the fear into many a desert nomad.  Unfortunately the  dust was blowing towards where the cars were parked and in particular my car was parked overlooking the hand brake turn corner where the biggest dust clouds  were formed.  My eldest was creased up when we eventually got back to my car which was no longer silver but more a sandy beige and impossible to see out of.  In return he washed it for me this afternoon so that was a result.

It really was lovely to see his enjoyment at  throwing a car around. I do like having grown up sons they are so nice to spend time with, such great conversations and such fun.

All in all a lovely weekend and I hope to have many more of the same.



14 Comments Add yours

  1. Holleygarden says:

    How fun to have a special day with your young man, and for him to wash the car afterward was so nice! Things always tidy up fast, and how thrilling you got a surprise with the rudbeckia.

  2. Oh what a wonderful weekend…I do like the look of that flower bed and what a treat to spend it with your son…very special indeed!

  3. Sounds like a good time was had by all – it is amazing how much you can get done when you put your mind to it – the sunshine helps as well.

  4. hillwards says:

    Those mulched borders look splendid.
    Sounds like a lovely trip out – my parents bought my husband a driving experience at Brooklands last winter which he loved, and we all had a great day out. We expected to head back in to explore the M-B World exhibitions (which were stunning) while he was driving, but we ended up unable to tear ourselves away from watching him holding the car round the skid pan and haring around the tracks.

  5. Christina says:

    It’s lovely to hear you sound so positive Helen. Enjoy everything, that’s a great motto. Christina

  6. Lea says:

    Beautiful crocus!
    I have a lot of cleaning up, straightening up to do, too!
    Have a great week!
    Lea’s Menagerie

  7. easygardener says:

    I must say that parking near a handbreak corner is not a problem many of us have experienced 🙂
    I think the Spring tidy up is one of my favourite times in the garden – especially if the sun keeps on shining.

  8. tina says:

    Rally driving school sounds fun!! I have a husband and son who love that for sure. Your crocuses are looking great.

    Here it he meta tag to prevent pinning from Pinterest users:

    meta name=”pinterest” content=”nopin”

    It is found on their site and easily found on the web. I have a blogger blog and had to pin it prior to the head section. I guess that is where I pinned it. thanks for weighing in on Pinterest. I would not say you have to close your account as I am sure you don’t pin other people photographs. Keeping the account is beneficial to have access to your photos when folks pin them.

    On the watermark thing I use Picasa and only just figured out how to add the watermark easily. I had begun adding text but that was time consuming. Picasa is free and I love it though I am still learning it. Good luck!

    P.S. Is there any way you can link this blog to your blogger profile?

  9. b-a-g says:

    Saturday was indeed a perfect gardening day.

  10. Shirley says:

    Sounds like you got the balance of your weekend just perfect. Good to hear you enjoyed it 🙂

    Loving the Euonymus with the crocus, nice. It’s so satisfying to weed/tidy then mulch isn’t it? The difference is always amazing.

    Guessing the mulch is becoming a ‘must have’ down your way. I use bark too – just love the smell especially after the first rain. One tip I might give you when mulching (if drought is likely to a problem) is to soak the ground, absolutely soak it, before putting your mulch down 🙂

  11. A bit of weeding and mulching is always therapeutic! And what a great present for your son.

  12. Helen sounds like you had a great weekend, your garden is looking good, Frances

  13. Helen,
    Glad you got to be out enjoying your garden time, and your boys. I am out to do a bit of tidying myself today, as we are having sun before more snow.

  14. Yeah, I agree with you that is so nice to spend time with grown up sons such great conversations and such fun. But sometimes there’s still the “boys will be boys” that I sometimes hate 🙂

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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