Well, there was a lot I had planned to do in the garden this weekend. However, a sudden bout of heart palpitations, sweats, dizziness and bright lights meant it was all cut short.
After that little turn I decided the best thing I could do was just take it easy this weekend.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t get anything done though.
Before it all kicked off I pulled up all the Sunflowers that have nothing more to give, which now only leaves me with two plants that are full of flowers still.
The plan for the weekend was: pull up the sunflowers, mow the lawns, cut the Echinops down, clear the pond of bindweed and fallen leaves, but the edging in up in the woodland area. There was also the remains of a field maple that needed digging out of the ground, and a shed load of weeding around the garden.
So, the first thing on my list was achieved – yay me! Next I headed up to the woodland garden – bit of a grand name for a 10 x 10 metre area, but the idea is to get it feeling a bit more like a woodland. I wasn’t going to do anything on this area until next year, but hey, plans can change.
I’d already put in a few plants, such as the holly and the dogwood, plus planted some cyclamen, oh and about 200 bulbs – hyacinth, miscansus, narcissi, bluebell and snowdrops.
This whole area started last year with the planting of about 18 Hazels to border it, some primrose and a plum tree. We also put in three field maples. The Hazel’s are well and truly established, although some are much bigger than others and as they’re now 3yrs old I’ll be able to start coppicing them from next year. I’ve got 6 others elsewhere so have plenty to work with. The whole area was then covered with weed-proof lining and a shed load of bark chippings put over the top.
The weed-proof lining didn’t work at all and it wasn’t long before the bind-weed and the grass started getting through. I knew I’d have to do something about it, but as I said was putting this off until 2018. I’m just too impatient.
And so I dug out my trench to put in the corrugated steel edging. I only bought one roll as I wasn’t sure if I’d like it or not and wanted to try it before I spend out on more. Now that it’s in the ground, I actually like it and so will get some more. Once that was in I decided to remove the final Field Maple. And it was this that did me in and brought an end to my gardening for this weekend.
It was bloody hard work. I had to dig down about 3ft and work round the roots. The ground is very sticky and compacted so it took a lot of breaking up to get anywhere. After about 40 minutes I started feeling a bit odd and then had to sit down.
This means nothing more got done this weekend. So these jobs need to be carried over to next week, so fingers crossed the weather holds out.
There’s a lot of grass and nettles growing on this edge – I’m tempted to keep the nettles going as I know they attract a lot of insects, especially tortoiseshell and peacock butterflies. I just need to keep them under control a bit as they were the dominant plant at this end of the garden and to be honest I was getting fed up with being stung. That said, I don’t want to get rid of them completely.
Now, apart from a bit of weeding I don’t think I’ll much more to this area this year – just get the final edging in now I’ve tried it out. The shoots of the bulbs are already showing in some places, so I don’t want to dig it all over again and disturb them. Once we get to next year and the Weeping Birch is back in leaf and hopefully the Plum will be better too, I’ll think about the other plants I want to get in up here, such as the Harts Tongue Ferns and Sweet Woodruff.
Once this area is in place the real work will have to begin, as the corner plot behind it is in a right state at the moment. There’s a massive Buddleia tree with brambles draping from it. The previous owners dumped loads of wood, bricks, roof tiles, planks of wood and even an old steel day bed back here and it’s all been taken over by bind weed and nettles. It’s going to take a lot of hard graft to clear it, but we’ve got the plan to turn it into a bit of secret garden leading off of this woodland garden. it could be lovely, we just have to do it!