Some times you have to listen to people when they are giving you advice and you also have to listen to your body when it is protesting. I haven’t done either very well recently. Consequently, by the end of Saturday I was completed exhausted and my body ached all over. I suspect a two day trip to Plymouth to see my youngest son’s end of University design show driving for 3 hours each way in 25C degrees and standing up lots in a warm studio may have been one thing too many. So today I have cancelled my plans and decided not to attend the Stocktonbury Gardeners Market or Noel Kingsbury’s open garden or the other garden I was toying with. Today I followed one of my commentators, Yvonne from New Zealand’s, advice and scheduled some sleep and rest.
Everything seemed to be even bigger and lusher when I got home on Saturday afternoon despite it only being 24 hours since I went away. I suspect that what really happens is that I returned with fresh and less jaded eyes. So much to do but I have to remind myself that there are no major jobs to be done and so a day of pottering was prescribed.
Someone asked me how wide the path between the Cottage Border and the Big Border was. I am rubbish at measurement so I can show you it is one sleeping cat wide! This seems to be Maisie’s new favourite sleeping place, I think it is nice and warm in the sun.
Being over tired I was awake early so decided to start my gardening pottering early in case it turned out hot again. So 8:30 saw me tackling the wilderness that is the top border. This border runs along the front of the top fence and I have started to grow Pyracantha and Chaenomeles along the fence to provide coverage. In front of these are three Phyllostacys flexuosa to add coverage above the fence line. I am pretty sure this is the type of bamboo as if you look at the stems they zig zag which is just amazing to me. The plants have been in probably 4 years now and this is the first time the stems have zig zagged so much so that I had forgotten that was what attracted me to this variety in the first place! I have also added a Dahlia Imperalis and Cephalaria gigantea to the border as well as some Geranium palmatum. I have been remiss in keeping an eye on this border and the Cephalaria has grown to nearly 7 ft tall and flopped all over the path. The weeds were out of control and the Pyracantha needed serious pruning and tying into the fence and I also wanted to thin out the bamboo so the zig zags were more noticeable.
At the end of the path is a pot with a dahlia to add a focal point although this morning it was hard to see the focal point! I did struggle with corralling the stems of the Cephalaria gigantea so I must remember to stake the stems earlier next year. This area is all a little hit and miss without a real plan and I suppose in my head once the plants in the Hardy Exotic Border (on the lower side of the path) have grown up the view from the path down on the garden will be obscured and you will need to peer through leaves. At the moment this is the view and to give you some idea of perspective and steepness of the slope you can just see the bench on the new seating area at the bottom.
After lots of tying in and pruning I decided a more gentle activity was required so I weeded the patio which was looking very green with lots of grass and weed seedlings. As I said to my son I have done the bottom and the top of the garden which should make everything in between look neat!
I also pruned back the rosemary but that’s for another post.
At the end of the day I am pleased I decided to be sensible as I feel relaxed and recharged and when I look outside I don’t feel a sense of despair when I see the weedy patio.