Sunday, 4 September 2011

Once You Lop You Just Can't Stop

Once again I found myself scrambling up some steep ladders to do some lopping this week. This time it was a conifer. Under the instigation of Parsley I went scrambling up, armed with a natty new bow-saw, a pair of Fiskars loppers and a mini tree saw. Not all at once mind! I'm no octopus.

Overcoming my initial fear of heights I went up for the first cut. It was damn difficult as I was getting scratched to high heaven by all the surrounding twigs and branches. Prickly little fuckers! But once I'd got some of them out the way the cutting proper was swift and merciless. The first cut is the deepest as the saying goes. Took me two journeys to chop down the first part of the main trunk. Barely had time to alert Parsley as a huge branch replete with slapping leaves came hurtling down towards her; not so much as a TIIIM BURTON! Had a second go at it after that, cutting off another 2 feet approx.

The other branches were much easier, although by now I was getting cocky and there were flying branches knocking off stone bird baths and ivy. 'Push it towards the dome!' or 'Not towards the arrch!' screamed Parsley. Well she didn't scream but she could've done.

Once the main body had been cut (we surveyed from upstairs to get the lowdown), I went up again to trim off the rogue bits and dismantle a pigeons nest. Don't worry no chicks this time of year. Then Parsley did the nice cosmetic part, tidying it up so it didn't look like topiary gone hideously wrong. Ten bags of cuttings and a couple of trunks later we sat down to sup Polish lager and a bottle of wine that could rip the varnish off floorboards. Cheers Bargain (B)ooze. Cheers.

Crazy Paving!

Here I am on a blazer of a Sunday afternoon, incongruously swathed in thermal underwear. It's been a fair while since I blogged and as ever there have been some great antics going on. If by antics you include bomb sized marrows with their very own handles, leveling shrapnel infested soil or eating chicken chowder and talking about prostate checks under the safety of a September solardome then, yes winks there have been antics.

The subject of this blog relates to an antic known as POWER WASHING HEXAGONAL PAVING SLABS. Pulling out and rigging up the Wolf Blaster Max (see link below incase you've forgotten) was a job in its own right. This lovely little piece of equipment can literally tear the skin off your body.

So caution had to be taken. We're talking the full Craig David here - big earphones, goggs and gloves. Transporting each of the slabs over to the other side of the garden (Parsley never likes things to be easy, even when they're perfect there will be another task, like shifting the house a couple of degrees west so it gets more sunlight etc), I slammed them on a giant tarpaulin bag. On with the Wolf to clean off the impacted dirt and scuz. For the most part it worked a big cakey dream. In my own way I felt like one of those restorers who cleans years of soot etc off the roof of the Sistine Chapel. In another mode I felt very happy to be holding a power tool feeling like I could advertise it on TV. Only people with hair like mine appear as extras in Game of Thrones, not a power tool in sight for this warlock!

Witticisms included: 'Diet Irn Bru break,' (Parsley) 'Diet Panda Coke Break,' (Parsley) and 'It categorically cannot be Panda Coke. Because whenever you say Coke it belongs to Coca Cola. It's Panda Cola!' (Cakeatonne). 'Awfully rich.' (Parsley and Oregano in response to Cakeatonne's snobbery). 'Girls Aloyd' (All three of us!)

We're about half way through cleaning them. They will look awesome in the solardome. Watch this space. Space rhymes with what? PACE. (Peace).

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Summer Slam Part II

Now let's consider the flowery side of things. For the most part my patience and assiduity have paid off. The garden at Rue Albert has been action packed all the way through the last few months. In no particular order: we've had the hollyhocks bloom beautifully - starting off purple crimson, developing into a light burgundy, climbing well above six feet. Matching them for height have been my Italian white sunflowers, which though somewhat scrawny have still flowered beautifully. Special mention goes to my ruby eclipse sunflower which at current has ten flowering heads on the way! The chocolate, red sun and autumn beauty varieties have been slower to emerge and I'm still waiting on them. Same for the teddy bear variety which was largely chomped by slugs, but there's a few of them on the way.

Poppies have gone mental, as ever varied and magical. The opium poppies especially. The seed heads are like Persian towers!

The foxgloves (foxy mixed?!) may have come over from Sam's garden, but I did sow some of my own seeds last year. They have positively swarmed at the bottom of the garden. I love the texture of the leaves, silky, furry and fiendish. Slightly further up the nasturtiums have staked their claim to the fence and the ground, exploding in tangerine flames. A slightly wilted looking chocolate cosmos sits amongst them. Sweet peas trail up the fence. I am really proud of these. At first I was set to give up on them, as I was running out of space. However, throughout Summer we have had a constant supply of sweet smelling cut flowers for the living room and our respective bedrooms. Waking up to a subtle waft of honey will put some UMMMF in your day let me tell you!

Some blue cornflowers make a nice cool addition to all the reds, yellows and oranges, as does the hydra headed white cosmos that Sir Cakeatonne pledged to my cause.

The pond is looking good. The white lily has flowered on two occasions, beautiful for it's brevity. The leaves themselves house egg clusters on their underside - I'm assuming they belong to the newts as we have seen the first babies chillaxing just under the surface. The water soldiers have tripled in size, with the water hyacinths multiplying at a rate of knots. Still no flowers on them though!

The ludicrously munificent Malva zebrinas have come on a big cakey dream. Less so the African daisies - out of 300+ seeds I have had about five of them flower. Still waiting on the Gladioli to appear. Both the arisaema have grown a single leaf, but now appear to be in a kind of stasis. Won't see any flowers this year methinks! The same can't be said for all our lilies, which were universally amazing. Same goes for the Park Princess Dahlia. SMOOSH!

Overall, the garden is very beautiful. I love sitting on the bench, watching the bees, feeling the sun on my pythons...I've worked for this! And there's still much more to be done.

Summer Slam Part I

It seems strange to be writing about Summer when there's hailstones smashing off the roof, but here goes. It has been a tremendous season of gardening with amazing one liners flying from all directions: 'C'wor look at this slug! It looks like a dog shit / a burger!' 'Dig in and mong out!' 'I'm sweating like a pre-abattoir pig!' We have been so busy at our various schemes, I have quite let the time escape me and sadly neglected the blog. No mo'.

We have moved an oak tree and possibly killed it. We have laid down a path round the back of the solar dome, which involved car loads of brick transportation on the sly, a lot of swearing and complete whingeing on my part...OU THUNDER!..real time writing at its best here people; we have shaved down a huge part of the privet at the back of the garden, which involved any amount of jousting, eye-sweat-in-the-goggles and python testing. We have laughed at Alan in full woodcutter mode smooshing logs with his log splitter. I tried it and completely failed. Haaaaa.

Tragically one of the apple trees at Rue Albert gave up the ghost a few weeks ago, and completely snapped at the base. I had to saw it down then using a panoply of tools hack it into small pieces to be taken away. Two full trugs of apples went into the compost bin after being sliced and diced by my trusty Spear and Jackson spade a.k.a Samson. Let me tell you that compost dalek is kicking off a hell of a stink right now!

Parsley and I made a huge push on our garden thereafter. We trimmed back the dead or decayed branches of the second apple tree - which is much larger and superabundant, although it lists to the right terribly. We completely cut back a part of the elder tree as it was rotting from the base, then had a go at the security hedge (name escapes me), the hawthorn and another branch which came right across from Sam's garden. Using a bow saw and the unmitigated power of combined pythonage we razzed through branches, logs, twigs, getting loads of scratches like they were merit marks. 'Ed, you look tired, you should take a break,' 'I will, I just gotta razz through this last bit here,' etc. Nothing to do with Razy Gogonea, honest. As if that wasn't enough we later razzed down a huge part of the buddleia tree in order to make it more bushy for next year. It was the hardest I'd worked all year, finishing only at around nine p.m with somewhere in the region of fifteen or sixteen gardening bags all lined up. Whew!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Introducing Beeyarna Man

Anybody remember this little gem from the 80s? Well, our version is Beeyarna Man, brother to Sir Cakeatonne, otherwise known as Sam. A month or so ago we hit the allotment, digging up some rock hard soil so we could plant some llleeeeeks. It was a beautiful, hot day with much huffing and puffing. As we hadn't trimmed the walkways in a while, there were lots of obscured and ankle threatening trenches about. Sure enough as Parsley and I were singing our newly created theme tune for Sam: 'The handyman can, the handyman can, especially when his name is Beeyarna Sam,' (to this tune: Sam went flying down a trench and stuck his arms in the air. He looked every bit like he was flying! Not once but twice! Mad props kid!

Sunday, 3 July 2011


Man alive, I feel like a bag of meal. All this drinking in the sun has taken it's toll! Which reminds me of a little session Parsley and I had in the dome. But first I am glad to announce P Unit paid us a visit in June. We had tea in the garden with the babies going mental. Joseph and Alice got on very well with each other, thus strengthening relations between the units! Proper little bit of diplomatic smooching going on!

Later on I got a call from Parsley, inviting me over to the Domestead for some wine. We sat and roared with laughter in the blazing hot solardome. There was a carpet of sweat on my back....nice. The wine flowed wonderfully, and then club classics on Heart fm took over BIG TIME. There was loads of whoops, roars and yeaaarghs! They were churning out those cheesy catastrophes like there was no tomorrow. Parsley kept complaining she was knackered then promptly leapt on to the caravan steps in the middle of the dome and threw her hands up in a victory dance. It wasn't long before we were sipping rum from St Lucia...

After verbally jousting with Cakeatonne : "I've cycled five miles, had five pints and will give you a bunch of fives in your greasy face if you eat any more of my fish and chips!", and chasing Smethwick, we set up candles in the dome and carried on dancing. Horrifically drunk by 2/3 we managed to destroy a table, some lamps and our brain cells. Megawatti!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Over the Moon in June!

Apologies from my good self for no June blogs this month. I know you've all been baying like bloodthirsty hounds to hear what's been happening in the select quarters of my garden and the allotment. Well, bay no more pups.

Where do I start? Well, Parsley passed on her dad's suit to me, and we did a little photo shoot in the solardome. Needless to say, looking like an 80's cop is well wicked! 100% Polyester chaffing! So glam though!

The same day I took to pressure washing Parsley and Cakeatonne's Philippe Starck chairs. These little beauties even account for my terrible tendency to slouch. Additionally they look mega in the solardome. Not content on getting your average pressure washer, Parsley invested in a WOLF BLASTER MAX. Which in Weasel parlance is WULIF BLASTER MAXIWIINKS. Blasting the chairs with the washer created some serious noise, so I had to wear big ear defenders. I looked like Craig David.

Parsley knows how to tame the Wulif.

After a couple of hours of doing that, Cakeatonne and I headed down to the allotment to plant mo'peas and some sweet corn. As they are wind pollinated we took a bit of time guessing how it was best to align them. Classic bit of allotment dialogue:

Oregano: 'So how do you think I should plant them Cake?'
Cakeatonne: 'Well they've got to be able to pollinate, so in clusters, ideally.'
Oregano: 'Ok, like the five on a dice then?'
Cakeatonne: 'What's that when it's at home?'
Oregano [displaying a rudimentary diagram with his fingers] 'You know, the five dots on a dice!'
Cakeatonne: 'D'oh yeah! But no, not like that.'

True K.O.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

May Roundup

It's been something of a mixed month, but overall massively positive. The drama of Madame Bluetit has played itself out again this year! Two years ago she used the apple tree trunk as a nest and out popped five chicks. This year she revisited the same spot and there were six! After menacing taunts from Tad and bastard face (aka Tad's less popular cousin) she came through. I can hear them daily cheeping to each other in the branches of the buddleia. Hell of a racket the past few weeks though. Not even been able to hang the washing out. Slugs. Slugs. My word how I hate SLUGS. They've chomped through my Italian white sunflowers, a chocolate cosmos, corncockles, maybe even a bit of a water lily. After waiting eight months my Arisaema Costatum bulbils is emerging. About the same time as Mother of P Unit's! This is staying in a pot until it's well established, for I fear the attack of the sluggs. Same goes for the Arisaema Candidissimum. They should look like this when they grow fully:


Parsley and Cakatonne's solardome is going from strength to strength. A big set of caravan steps with a rail nicely cuts the dome into 'rooms' or sections, serving as a focal point under the mirror ball. Cakeatonne was going to listen to new age music with stoner wizards, so we slammed on the tunes This had us pumping and krumping so hard the panes of glass were shaking. Can't handle this swag. When we weren't bouncing like Wigan Pier, Parsley was busy using bunsen burner tripods to support a panoply of wicked plants. Yeah science! Not forgetting Parsley's amazing rap group name: FLACCID CREW. A spinoff of Not So Solid Crew, sponsored by Completely OK sauce.

Lastly I have planted up my pond Iris...fingers crossed for some dragonflies in Summer!

The Dalek

After a three week wait from Even Greener (a 'Straight Company', make of that what you will) my beloved 220 litre compost bin arrived. Despite clear instructions saying, and I quote: 'If no-one is there to receive the compost bin can it please be left at the bottom of the alleyway thank you,' there it sat amidst the rosebush and the mint, like a mute black plastic 12.00 a.m. I'd been out supping Bushmills and export mead with my warlocks at the Spotted Dog and was a little worse for wear. So sozzled was I, I'd forgotten my Get-instantly-sober-and-don't-wake-your-housemate-up-spell. Instead I lifted that bin up like it was a dear friend or bride to be and swept through the house, knockingover chairs, glasses, molecules...anything that got in the way of my triumphant procession to the garden.

It now sits at the bottom left half of the fence, neatly disguised by a young bamboo bush. I'll tell you now it's got one hell of an appetite. Following the sacred compost mantra: Air Water Food Warmth, I have been throwing in kitchen scraps, loo rolls, twigs, tea bags, some young weeds, hedge trimmings, newspaper shreddings...And yes, that hallowed liquid known as piss. Actually it's so good it's become pi$$, on account of how it's going to speed up the Ed special brand of compost and save me money. Just don't tell David, he's mortified at the prospect of anyone unfurling their python and adding a natural, free dash of golden nectar to the composting process.

I shall keep you informed on my progress. At the moment things are looking and smelling good! C'wor what a fucking stink! Ey! I just thought of a perfect strapline! MAKING MATTER, MATTER! ©Oregano 2011


Never trust B&Q. Never rely on Homebase. Go to Shirley Aquatics instead!

Having scoped out some marine soil from B&Q and done a stock check with the Solihull branch, David and I mounted up and headed out into a day as grey as a used teabag. It was raining HARD. Where was the sunshine the boffins, or should I say BUFFOONS in their wonky Olympus, predicted? Scuppered as a politicians promise. So yeah, over to the industrial estate, bleak and yet more grey than the sky. In the thousands of cubic metres known to all as Solihull B&Q there was not one bag of aquatic soil. Not even a crumb. Ergo, Costa del Solihull is not the destination for pond lovers.

On a hope and a prayer we went over to Shirley Aquatics. We weren't even through the door before we saw hundreds of bags of the stuff! My spirits were lifted considerably. Finding out each bag was almost double what they were charging at B&Q didn't put a dent in my mood. Not when you had big tanks of Koi Carp (c'wor they fucking stank). Some of them were going for £75, I think they were worth every nickel. Putting one of those bad boys in our pond would be like putting a conger eel in a pint glass.

We had a good walk around, being watched by an Alsatian the size of a man. They had everything from luminous gravel to fish tanks that looked like they'd been designed by apple. Our port of call was outside, where they had tubs of elodea, water hyacinths, pond lilies, grasses, and tonnes of marginals. I grabbed two bunches of the elodea, and a cheaper version of the aquatic soil....go on say it's all the same you ding dong! David bought a water hyacinth and a lobelia. Bagged and tagged we went home and slapped it all in the pond. The newts love it: for the record I think we have four. Sir Isaac Newton, Oliver Newton John, Newton Faulkner, Thandie Newton. All together they are NEWT KIDS ON THE BLOCK!

The frogs don't seem to mind it either. The russet coloured tank who sometimes emerges has such a saucy look in his amphibian eye he'd make a demon blush!

Sir Cakeatonne & The Pursuit of Wing Clipping Principle

Having rolled home after a long day at work, full from 400 pints of tea to quell a hangover that could've stop Hannibal's army, I got a chirpy text from Cakeamillion. 'At home? Fancy clipping some chickens wings ?' My response was immediate; I was straight on the blower to him arranging the precision task. This basically boiled down to Jake coaxing the chucks from the pen with meal worms, whilst I stood there like a drunken dork, willy dans le wind. Chick Norris and Henny G weren't a problem but as usual Baden Fowl had other ideas and was screaming like a firework.

For those of you who haven't trimmed a hen's wing before it's quite simple. Get Cakeatonne to hold the chuck under his arm whilst splaying out the feathers of one wing, cut through them approximately 2" in, desperately fight off a temporary bout of nausea as you hear the cartilage click as it's cut. Boom! There you have it, a bird with unbalanced wings that can't escape your garden. To that end, why would anyone want to escape Parsley & Cakeatonne's garden?! It's fucking wicked!


Monday, 9 May 2011


There's been a storm of activity in the rainless month of April leading into the partially inundated month of May. Extra special mention must go to Sir Cakeatonne's YOGHURT DANCE which for reasons of modesty and decorum cannot be revealed in video format. Cakeatonne, whilst well versed in swinging his hips and bashing a yoghurt pot, singly refuses to do repeat performances. A great shame! Razy could take some tips from him...

Nature has gone crazy. The purple sensations have flowered; st
atic firework explosions of purple that give off a nice STINK. I have discovered a peony under the ivy bush which I've now moved to the bottom section of the garden, in it's very own cage. The French marigolds have started to flower only to be colonised by a hundred miniature black and yellow spiders. Wicked! We have our first newt in the pond, called? Yes you guessed it: Sir Isaac Newton. I don't care if it's a female.

The first of the sunflowers which I've been growing since February has flowered. The Italian whites are doing well, and the teddy bears have started to emerge in the chimney next to the creeping geranium. Watch this space for more.

Lilies are growing fast, particularly the ones in the pots, as are the Persian buttercups. The hostas are growing at a beautiful rate. I recently acquired the hadspen variety, which goes a really intense cobalt blue. Looking forward to seeing those little bad boys in all their glory.

I have sown my African daisies, meadow flowers and cosmos, though there are few signs of emergence at present. More positive is the growth of echinacea and coleus in the studio. However there is little to no sign of anything happening with the Himalayan blue poppies. I'm not giving up!

* * * * * *

On the allotment, the recent frost scorched everyone's potatoes, and killed most or all of the beans/peas. After the great, scorching weather we've had for the last few weeks, you'd think the risk of frost would be minimal. But no! Old Jack has still got a foot in the door. Time to smash his toes in! That is if I don't catch the pesky kids who keep coming onto our plot sing-screaming BA BA BLACK SHEEP, smash them into a pie and eat them with a side serving of Cakeatonne's pedigree kedgeree in the dome.

First I have to get the cure for this accursed builders bum!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Mo' Peas...beans and onions

Two visits to the allotment this week = good times. First visit Parsley, Weasel and I transported down runner beans to be dropped off at the pavilion. Spoke quite a bit with John and Sue about PESKY KIDS coming through the fence near the storm drain, running over all the plots. Little buggers! It's an ongoing battle to keep them out.

I planted two varieties of onions in nice straight lines (snigger) as Parsley pointed out to her daughter how often my bum crack was on show. Let's say about 99% of the time. Took a lot longer than expected. This was due to the soil being rock hard, cracked up into uncompromising slabs and boulders. If it wasn't the soil, it was layers of hay strewn horse manure...dried!

Oregano: 'Bloody hell this is hard! It's all rocks and dried tobacco leaves!'
Parsley: 'Haaa!'
Weasel: 'Haaaaaaaaaaah!' (Laughing at my bum falling out all the time, not my quip).

It was however a glorious allotment afternoon, splashed with gold.

Once home, I was fairly vivified by the time spent on the allotment. I cleared our 'wood store' comprised of kindling and treated planks, tipping some compost in for good measure. This was for our new herb and salad bed! Yeah winks!

* * *

Second trip was hardcore rugged and raw. Utterly rushed after spending a hellish half hour at Homebase, nearly arguing with an Oliver Reed lookalike for getting in the way, slapping four 60 litre bags of compost on a wonky donkey trolley, then getting the hell out of there, I legged it over to Parsley and Cakeatonne's. We (Cake and I) took down several lengths of wood, bantering about the size of our snakes / pythons, all the while trapping the skin of our arms, laughing, screaming etc, all the way down to the allotment. We dropped off the wood then met Alan (Parsley's dad in case you're new or have forgotten). He'd brought along some special stakes which would act as support for the beams, which in turn would support the beans! Arriba arriba! For the first time in my life I saw a swarm of bees, I don't mean a couple of winged dudes hanging around in a heat haze, I mean hundreds of buzzing insects about seven feet in the air. We beat a hasty retreat.

Whilst Cakeatonne and Alan erected the posts (I told you DIY was not my thing) I plucked out weeds from the carrot bed, aka a 70s bath raised from the ground on bricks. I didn't fail to take some photos though, as you can see.

Once the frames were up and tied together, I cut lengths of string that would run over both sides, in order that the runners could climb up them. In itself not a hard task, but Dieu, it was hot. The sweat was running down my face like it was going out of fashion. I kept on cowering under the trees, atop a pile of earth and weeds. Cakeatonne came back, armed with tent pegs and two forks. There's a joke and punchline in there somewhere, alas I have not the power to summon one at present. Tied the strings round the pegs (ten in total), making sure they were nice and taut. Cakeatonne forked over the plot behind us so we could put more stuff in. We swapped jobs half way through. Digging and a piggin, forking and a squawking on a blazing hot day is saved for Greek gods not Kings Heathians! Nonetheless we overcame. It's no mean task getting frames up, digging up hoochy coochy and then planting stuff on a day determined to turn your flesh to wax and joyously watch you melt into a puddle. Spring you say? No man, Summer's come early. Paaayce.

Operation Pondwater

Spurred on by the appearance of Pandora, David and I set about turning round the wonder that was our garden pond. Early Sunday morning last week, I went out and dredged the last of the mud and dried grass from the bottom of the pond. David had ripped out a veritable medusa's mane of grass and clogged up dirt prior to this, and cleaned up the paving tiles, so my job was easy. The frogs hated me, mutely leaping away, or suffering themselves to be handled for a moment, before being released into the hedges.Once David came out we got all the materials together - that is fleece, pond liner (£30!) scissors et al. Now as I'm utterly useless with anything approaching accurate DIY, it was in Mr Millers hands, and he did a stellar job. Whereas I was in my scrubs, he was there in customised houndstooth pants and chelsea boots. What a pair.

Started by lifting off the paving tiles and laying down an initial layer of fleece. Once this was in place, supported by said tiles, David then laid down layer number two. The pond liner was unwrapped, folding out like a pterodactyls wing, fairly swamping us both. It had two sides, green and black. We chose black. Although it was much thicker than the fleece, it was much easier to cut. Once we had it nicely tucked to the contours of the pond bed, the tiles were replaced and some compost added 'twixt the cracks. Previously the grass had kind of glued them all together, so some were very loose. When in doubt call it rustic.

Then the hard part came. Lacking the means to rig up a hose and fill up the pond in double time, we co-ordinated, filling a trug and a kitchen bin full of water and pouring it in the newly lined pond. Fairly took us an hour. At the end we had a celebratory beer, cooking ourselves under the sun, planning what to plant in there...

* * *

A week on and we now have two water lilies submerged at the bottom of the pond and two water soldiers. No wildlife as yet, unless you count a drowned, utterly pale worm and some wood lice. Come back Kermit!


What would any decent garden be without some ornamentation? Hanging baskets, gnomes, stone Buddhas, flamingos...Why not go one better and get a four foot something, thirteen stone concrete statue of Pandora?! Why not drive to Stourbridge on a late night mission to pick her up and bring her back in the dark, then have to ask Parsley and Cakeatonne for a wheelbarrow so she could be transported to the bottom of the garden? There she GLOWS.

I tell you what, she looks wicked! (And not at all kitsch!)

Monday, 11 April 2011

Ground Farce

I have been quite the handyman recently. Went over to see my sister, her boyfriend Tony aka the Boneman and my awesome nephew Joseph last Sunday. It was an emotional visit as our dear friend and bed humper extraordinaire Benson had died on Tuesday. He was a hell of a dog, my best four legged friend - bursting with personality, barks and a way of letting you know all was not bad in the world. I miss him.

As a new start I tidied up (some) of the garden. Worked my way from the top, removing weeds from under the palm tree then attacking the cooch grass. Damn stuff never wants to come up easily. The soil was a wonderful brick red colour and well drained, making me jealous. It kept raining so my job wasn't made any easier, but I ploughed on and was quite pleased by the results when it came to sundown. This is but the first phase of my job. I love doing it.

The energy I got from it was phenomenal and for the next two days I worked our garden hard, we're talking epic de-weeding, hover-mowering the grass, demarcating then cutting up turf for a border...and relax. Only I couldn't. Whenever I had a spare second I was doing a bit of weeding or piggin' and a diggin'.

This week has been the same. Just today I added a wicker border to the bottom of the garden. As ever it was an extreme bodge job. Playing close attention to the golden mean, using a spirit level and securing the border with plenty of soil was absolutely a brilliant idea for someone else to take up. I whacked it all in with a rubber mallet and to hell with it! When the grass grows back it will look mintball deluxe.

After that I tidied up the great little patch between the ivy bush and the buddleia, to better reveal the emerging poppies, the geraniums and the forget me nots. Then I planted some lillies in the freshly tilled and utterly weed free soil (snigger). I moved the mystery plants which I got from the Hardy Plant Society, see: to the freshly created shady border. In with the hellebore seeds next to the fern at the far end. May have to wait a long long time to see anything happen with these bad boys. Man oh man there's so much happening in this garden!