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!