Darmera peltata fading leaf
Darmera peltata fading leaf

I would like to think that Monty Don would be proud of my compost making abilities but deep down I know that he would despair at my complete lack of organisation and efficiency.  I have good intentions and even got a third compost bin this year with the plan to have an efficient and well organised system where one bin is turned into another thus aerating the compost and producing fine crumbly compost at the end.  However, as ever in my life it seems, my plans and what actually happened bear little in common.

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It was all going well until the grand workshop plan come into being and as a result the back lawn was dug up.  This presented us with a large amount of turf and nowhere to really stack it.  Lo and behold an empty compost bin was just sitting there and before I knew it the bin was no longer empty but full of turf.  Because of this unexpected ‘harvest’ all the bins were full by mid summer and with my recent tidying up I have had to resort to using an old dustbin and also making extra piles of material as you can see above.

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Emptying compost bins is way down the  list of jobs I want to do of a weekend but I realised on Saturday that I had done all the essential bulb planting and really I should sort the bins out before I created even more chaos.  Amazingly the compost bin full of turfs had completely rotted down into loam.  There were a handful of mossy bits but that is it.  So I spent Saturday afternoon spreading the loam around the borders as a kind of mulch.

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The majority of it went on the back border by the top fence.  The slope is quite steep here and the soil is predominantly clay based so a struggle to dig.  I have a rhododendron I want to move here and then I went to develop this area, along with the other bits I have mentioned in recent weeks, for my growing collection of spring bulbs and woodland plants.  Hopefully the thick layer of loam will make this easier for me to do.

Crocus pulchellus 'Zephyr'
Crocus pulchellus ‘Zephyr’

Of course once I  had emptied the bin it was full again with the contents of the dustbin and the extra pile but at least there is some semblance of order – or so I tell myself.

I have spent the last week attending graduation ceremonies at work.  Part of my job is to look after the University’s VIP guests, escorting them to and from Worcester Cathedral.  It can be fascinating and I get to speak to some amazing people including this week a Noble prize winner, a Duke, an Earl and a medieval scholar.  But it can be quite exhausting making small talk, chasing after people, managing senior staff expectations not forgetting two late evenings after two dinners.  Therefore it was hardly surprising that when Sunday dawned grey and with biting winds I retreated inside.  It is strange at this time of year to only see the garden two days a week but I was thrilled to see the  buds on my Crocus pulchellus ‘Zephyr’ beginning to unfurl. My eldest also managed to source me a free supply of bark chip so hopefully next weekend, when I am less weary, I can mulch the front garden which is one of the few things I would really like to do before the really cold weather arrives.

I think from now until the New Year any jobs I do in the garden will be a bonus.

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