Friday, 19 June 2015


At this time of year the light in the afternoon in the wood is just magical. Walking up there bathed in birdsong on a warm day is such a pleasure.

This is a brachyglottis (why did they have to 
change the name from a senecio?). The one at the top is too big. We had two on the bank below the kitchen so we experimented and assassinated one to see if it would regrow, and it is so doing. When the yellow flowers are done the big one will get a violent trim too, well, perhaps not quite so vicious.

So there I was, just up out of bed, put on my glasses and walked to the bedroom window looking across the garden - and there, on the other side of the glass, 16 feet up a sheer wall, was a small squirrel with its back to me. It was after the house martin eggs above its head. I yelled at it and banged the window and it haired off down the wall and away!

Two weeks ago R was saying poor little squirrel as one in a cage in our car whined and, as she put it, cried while being relocated. 
The thought of losing our house martins has changed all that. Now it is shoot the little bu****s. Actually this morning one caught in trap, one on ground below and another around by the kitchen sitting on top of the feeder pole!
So I have taken down the big peanut feeders until September and just left the so-called squirrel-proof one in place.

Still a sucker for an oriental poppy - so blowsy and colourful.

Whilst reorganising my room I found and old box of seeds. I do not know if they will germinate but have sown them here and there in bald patches - quaking grass, Ammi major, calendulas, nasturtiums and chervil. There were also some wallflowers so they have gone in the cutting bed for flowering next year.

So with nothing else to do I took off the old dead flowers from the rhododendron - the spicy scented one. Doing this, feasible on a small bush, will encourage a better blooming next year redirecting the energy of the plant into new growth rather than fruiting bodies.

My iTunes lists Artists by the first letter of their name so it goes Neil Sedaka, Neil Young, Nina Simone and then Otis Redding with me sitting on the chair of my desk. Why not by surname?

Back to gardening - down the pond the plants we put in last year are starting to come up - this is water crowfoot. We are now waiting for the waterlilies, bogbean and flowering rush to bloom.
Taking of bloom - algal bloom still in fine fettle with the recent warm weather. Will try some more straw.

Not all things in the garden have to be flowers or fruit. These Hosta leaves are so sculptural - and not yet slug chewed like the ones under the magnolia.
Other similar leafy plants (with dramatic leaves) are the cartoon and kale.

I have tried planting unusual things in the grass under some of the trees - here alliums at the foot of the great white cherry. I did try some ornamental grasses but they succumbed to the winter.

One of the necessary jobs without a short cut is the hand weeding of the asparagus bed. The shoots are not easy to see as I have just cropped them for a lunch.

Weeding, weeding, weeding, trying to keep on top of things - puling out the goosegrass by the handful (or is it handfuls?)

Weeds and now gooseberries have their annual attack of sawfly larvae and mildew - both at once - sigh!

Come Wednesday come rain come surprises - just had 29 visits from Portugal! These are the first from there for a while. I wonder what I wrote that caused this - did I mention being near Porches in March?
Yes, I did on 17th March - Blogged off to Portugal - cannot even remember my own blogs now!

Finally I must mention compost - for L and G - the old heap had had a nettle invasion but this can be remedied with a little forking and removal (when I get around to it)(when).

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