Oh it really is the most beautiful day. The wind is whipping everything around and I fear for the last of my faded tissue paper peonies;
They’re nearly over, and have faded to a delicious sugared almond pink with darker stripes. The wind is tossing the ragged edged pompom heads and I think the petals will soon be swirling around the garden like confetti. I have savoured every blowsy moment of them. I’m debating dividing the clump when they die back a bit. Everything I read says you shouldn’t move or disturb them but I’ve already moved this lot twice, roughly and rudely as I didn’t know…
I have plucked out every offending rusty hollyhock leaf and put Z on standby to do the same. Earlier in the week I paid Ida and him to pick every dandelion flower they could see.(20p, well worth it.) Actually the count this year is not too bad. My main weed enemies are bindweed and marestail. Most things I read are very gloomy about these but my G’ma merely shrugs, “you must pack the ground with plants.” she pronounces. So that’s my plan..along with a regular beheading of the maretail spikes in spring. Bindweed is trickier. I hoe and dig as much of the fat white root out and learn to co-exist with it.
Zeph is quite fond of the marestail as research reveals it was around with the dinosaurs. I reassure him that I’m pretty sure I’m never going to manage to eradicate it.
Everything is spikely green and beautiful. Windswept, yes very windswept – there are small pots and debris all over the place, the trees swish and slough and todays poppies have been quickly denuded.
The house is a lovely breezy cool cave, one with slamming doors and windows. The sun is blazing hot. It burns the back of my neck as I wrestle with the other half of that damn anemone. The wind seems to have made the kids bickerish and there are raised indignant noises on the trampoline and around the swing. I do my best to resist intervention as I’ve decided that’s a rod for my back. Occasionally I distract them with news of a frog or slow worm for them to peer at and once with a minimilk each.
We’ve planted some more beans and found a place against the wall next to the plum-tree for Z’s pond project. Looking down the list the only things we need are some pond plants and logs. I’m pretty sure he’ll be able to beg some from my mom’s huge hazel log pile and I promise a garden centre visit for the plants. There is one near a bus stop with a huge water garden centre. I’ve always liked the idea of growing a waterlily in a pot…I’ve got an old galvanised wash tub in my junkyard pile…..
Here is one of the little viola’s we planted in amongst my paving slabs. They seem to have survived the random stepping the best. I want to get some chamomile as well if we are near a garden centre. In fact there are a million things on my mental plant list. I need iron restraint.
I weed a few places and scatter trowels of my dodgy compost around the bases of things. Evidence of our poor compost husbandry is clear…
Fruitnets, eggshells, avo seeds and skins and monkey nuts. They’re all hidden under the herbaceous leaves…I rely on the worms to pull it all down. (except the fruitnet..I had the good grace to pull that out) I’ve pretty much emptied the bin from the bottom now so time to start filling it again. We have a council food bin for cooked and meat scraps to I resolve to maybe put the avo discards in there. Eggshells now go to the anti-slug project bucket so all is well.
Sitting and weeding at flowerlevel I am gratified by the huge amount of humming, busy insects. We have lots of bees and various hoverflies. Zeph fetches his insect book and we check out them out. My favourite is the bee fly. Look at his enormous snout. I’m also very fond of the red bottomed bumblebees. In fact all the bumblebees. We also find two spiders on the irises with long slender legs and bodies that looks as though they’ve been gold leafed. They’re not in the book, it’s only a Collins gem. Zeph is disapproving…
There has been very little blossom on the apple and plum-tree. I fear there won’t be much fruit. I wonder if I’ve managed to misprune. I did it late last summer and now I think maybe I pruned away all the fruiting wood. I must see if there’s a pruning book in the library. They’re only a couple of years old so we don’t get buckets of produce anyway but still…
We spent saturday at G’mas, watering and making some important calls;
Their buds are a deep apricot and they fade as they open through a glorious deep golden yellow to primrose. Appropriately they’re called May Gold. When you sniff them it’s easy to see why roses always hit the top spot in all those nation’s favourite flower polls. Everytime I walk past them I feel happy. The thought of them helped me out of bed this morning. Back to school tomorrow, I hope the return to routine might help me ward off the gloom. I feel the need to be more productive. Today I mostly just look at the flowers.
All my beautiful things.
(I know I say this a lot…if it helps – in my head it’s like the Count in sesame street…)