I’m willing to bet that most EOMVs this month will be full of flowers. Not mine, though the veg patch is beginning to add a contribution in the form of courgette flowers, and I’m starting to harvest (yum – baby broad beans).
But there is a general lack of much colour, and that’s made me do some thinking about one or two problem areas. A couple of which I’ve really been ignoring. Hm.
One is here. In the left background there’s a yellowish heap. It’s an enormous, overgrown sage, and it has a darker friend just behind it. They are spectacular, but they have taken over and swamped the garlic chives. I shall take cuttings, and try some layering, and clear this patch. It will make a really useful addition to the area available for veg, and the sages and garlic chives – should any still exist – can go elsewhere.
Hasn’t it been a great year for slugs? My poor, poor beans have been decimated in the classic definition of the term – I’ve lost about one in ten. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but they’ve been wiped out in clumps. I’m thinking of taking out a contract on slugs, should anyone know a hired killer. And I’ve got blight. But, but, but – the fruit trees are laden:
So much so that we’ve had to support one branch of the Victoria plum. In its first year, it produced four plums; last year, two – this year something tells me I’ll be making lots of jam. Hopefully!
I’ve also made a decision. I need a pond. There’s only one possible place, really, and this is it:
It’s not going to be very big, and it will happen in the winter (there’s too much to do right now), and there’ll be a problem with roots, but at least it will get some sunlight and the land is almost flat, so no need for anything which would look out of place up at the top of the meadow.
The bottom garden is lovely at this time of year – it really bakes when it’s sunny – but it needs work. When you look in one direction, it’s not too bad. Well, except for the tall cherry at the right, which has so many things wrong with it that it can’t last much longer. It’s quite old, and they don’t have very long lives, so it’s probably inevitable that it will go soon. But it flowers wonderfully at Christmas…
However, there’s not a lot of colour, unlike a month ago. I’m beginning to make changes which will help, adding plants here and there, and soon the croscosmia will be out, which makes a big difference. For the moment, though, the valerian has been cut back, the rose needs a prune, the hardy geraniums have mostly done their thing, I lost most of an enormous orange potentilla in the winter, and just now there’s a lot of green. I don’t mind, but it could do with a little lift.
(The beans help too – there’ll be borlottis and cose violettes clambering up the frame in the background soon:
Slugs permitting, that is. Plus note the potentilla debris in the foreground – first time I’ve seen this wall since I moved in, and it clearly needs attention. Or covering up again.)
The greenhouse is going well, though. I think (as long as I can keep the blight at bay) that I’ll have a good tomato crop this year. The Black Russians have set lots already, and one of the Cuor di Bue tomatoes has turned out to be another Black Russian.
And when I leave the greenhouse I can’t avoid my other problem area. It’s a pig to photograph, but it’s in the background here.
By the wall, there’s a big hydrangea. It’s very old and has huge twisted stems. It’s pruned regularly, and properly, but it just doesn’t flower very much – there are signs of two mopheads this year. There’s a lilac, part of which went in the winter, plus an enormous amount of snowberry and an apparently infinite amount of miscellaneous weed cover. As if that wasn’t enough, we’ve used this area for dumping turf when creating and reshaping beds. It’s shaded by the ancient pear, which I love, and the poor ailing cherry. I’m thinking Itea ilicifolia. Perhaps.
There’s a sign of what’s to come in the rather more predictable (and closer) future. The rose hedges are filling with hips.
Every year this happens about now, and every year it takes me by surprise. But I’ve also noticed the rowans filling up…