Friday, 28 July 2017


It its a tough life moulting one's feathers like this jay but to then get caught in the squirrel trap AGAIN! is just too much.

Back from a holiday in Pembrokeshire and this morning I am greeted at the back of the house by a half eaten young rabbit. The local cat has struck again I think. In fact the only thing on the garden camera is a rabbit - perhaps a posthumous movie?

The weeds are enormous - only taken a week - and there is much work to do. Everything in the garden seems to be growing at a amazing rate (except the eucryphia which looks a bit weary.)

First day and trimmed bay hedge using secateurs not shears. The old raspberry canes have been removed, R has dead headed the roses and cut some rhubarb. The roses and raspberries have been fed with pelleted hen manure. I took some cuttings from the bay trimmings.
Last of the black currants made into a compote. (Great with ice cream or greek yogurt.)

The 'senecio' (brachyglottis) on the banking is over and clipped. R dead heading. I have cut and tidied the stream where it runs through the lawn and scythed part of the upper garden where R had noticed some pretty white flowers in the tangle - bindweed!
Tuesday and desperate rush to mow lawn before several days of wet grass, spitting as I went. R tidied rhubarb and weeded, I cleared around strangled fig on the banking. The rhubarb is looking good.
Then a bit of lightning and torrential rain, in fact so wet even the squirrels are trying to find shelter - this one clinging under the shed roof overlap. (Having stuffed itself with my peanuts before.)

The veg beds looks good, a bit of chard, beetroot, carrots and broad beans. I talked with PB about this and the conclusion is, no digging, a layer of compost and I covered the bed with black pond liner to exclude light, keep the soil drier and warmer.
I shall do that again this winter though if we get the go-ahead for a house extension I may have to fill the space with herbaceous plants moved to allow the builder access.
Plants like the agapanthus and orange day lilies.

The cut plants, especially the red alstromerias, have been splendid. I did a vase with them, crososmia Lucifer (very red) and acanthus (Bear's Breeches) shown here. Unfortunately the acanthus is viciously prickly, a nasty piece of work and I am still pulling out spines.

The buddleias have been bursting with flower and feeding bumble bees, not seen any honey bees and the butterflies are few. We have had the usual whites plus an occasional small tortoiseshell, red admiral and fritillary but nothing like most years - very disappointing.

Just back from the private preview of the Lake Artists Exhibition in Grasmere. (Brother looking well but stressed (President now)). We deliberately avoided Ambleside - a madhouse in the school holidays - and went via Red Bank, back via the west of the Rothay. Both narrow roads peppered with walkers (fun with a silent hybrid car) but little traffic - do not go into the Lake District in July/August now if we can help it - 20 million visitors a year and now a World Heritage Site.

Home, cup of tea and another look at the pic of new grandson born on the 26th

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