AGH! (Or why did I agree to this?)


All right, I know it’s been ages and ages since my last post. A) I’ve been working like a nutcase, and B) every other moment – almost – has been spent gardening. That’s because I have rather rashly agreed to open my garden. To the extremely professional garden club here, so to people who know what they’re doing. In a fortnight or so.

This gem is the one of the veg beds:


Garlic harvested, broad beans eaten. Need to weed, dig over and place squashes – in huge pots – on top. Rain keeps stopping ‘play’. Play! Ha!

How about this, then?


Whaddya mean, what is it? It’s the bonfire heap, of course, up at the top of the meadow. Oh shiiiiiiiiiittttt. But P reckons a quick strim and this will look acceptable, if not enormously better. though we might need to dispose of an entire Matto Grosso’s worth of cleavers.

Then there are other terrible areas such as behind the greenhouse, notably, and under the camellias. But my main focus, when it isn’t raining and sometimes when it is, is this:


It’s a flower bed. Oh yes it is.


(PS: When P asked ‘are you opening the garden this year?’ and added ‘it’s quite good because it means everything gets done’ I should have hit him with the spade.)
(PPS: and yes, the letters on the image titles are indeed significant.)
(PPPS: Back in a fortnight. Assuming I live that long.)




23 Comments Add yours

  1. lletty says:

    It will be fine! Hope you are serving a coffee and cake as most garden visitors enjoy that part of the visit the most!

    1. kate says:

      I’m doing it with one of my neighbours, and she’s hosting the cake session. Last time I did, and I don’t think many people noticed the garden…!

  2. Beryl says:

    Bunting – bunting’s a great distraction. As are many signposts saying ‘wildlife corner’. All power to your elbow though, am sure you’ll carry it off. 🙂

    1. kate says:

      Wildlife entirety? Just found a toad under some decaying rubbish…

  3. You are crazy!! But thank you for sharing the less-than-perfect areas, it makes me feel better about mine. And I am sure that your joint efforts will soon have it all looking wonderful. I’d offer to come over and help, but I have my own jungle to tame. Including cleavers, nettles, brambles and, of course, bindweed…

    1. kate says:

      Ah, now so far I’ve not got bindweed. But I see your bindweed and raise you couch grass.

      (We reenacted Canute and the waves yesterday, with P trying to remove every thread of couch grass root from an area. Then he stood up – after about twenty mins – and said ‘it’ll come back’ in doom-laden tones. It will.)

      1. Pah. I win. I’ve got couch grass too. And red sorrel…

        1. kate says:

          😡💥🔪🔫💣 and any other murdering things I can find. Flamethrower conspicuous by absence.

  4. I’m always tempted to label the weeds in Latin … If they comment on them tell visitors you’re especially proud of certain fine specimens. Good luck as you head into the breach.

  5. VP says:

    Good luck! Top tip from Mary Keen for garden openers – mow the lawn and sweep the paths/patio. Thinking about it, they do a lot of that at Chelsea too 😉

    1. kate says:

      P is specifically on edging and mowing duty that morning – but knowing my luck it will be raining anyway…

      1. VP says:

        On the bright side (‘scuse pun)… if it rains, they’ll head off for the tea and cake option much earlier 😉

  6. croftgarden says:

    Not sure if you deserve a medal (I’m sure the RHS has something appropriate) or shall I call the men in white coats?
    Call it a wildlife garden, spike the tea with gin and produce some well laced fruit cake and you’ll be the hit of the season.
    I’d love to visit your garden – do you have a heli pad?

    1. kate says:

      Last one first – think a team of beaters armed with machetes would be needed, and if you know of any I’m sure I can manage cake and good Welsh whisky… Agh….

      Seriously, it is beginning to look better. Honestly. But worse would have been impossible. I, however, look like the wrath of god, complete with nettle stings, fingernails which look as though I didn’t possess a pair of gardening gloves, a stoop like someone 150 years old and flipping cleavers everywhere, including in the house. Where’s that whisky?

      1. croftgarden says:

        Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and good gardeners always look as if they might benefit from some remedial care in a spa.
        I’m thinking of some before and after signs to show what the cultivated areas look like after weeding!
        I’m sure you’ll have a glorious day and lots of appreciative visitors.

        1. kate says:

          Fingers crossed….

  7. Cathy says:

    Hmm – ‘wildlife area’, that’s a good idea. Rising to a challenge is very good for the soul Kate, if not for the back and the fingernails and I have every confidence you will make it (even if dosed with several glasses of an appropriate remedial tipple in the intervening period)! As of yesterday I am on 12 month countdown to NGS opening so I appreciate your tips (no, not your bonfire and flowerbed ones!)!

    1. kate says:

      Unbelievably, we may end up doing something NGSish next year. If so, I am going to need gin in buckets. In tankers…

      It’s being so limited by the weather and, now the weather has improved, by my :4]#%€$¥%%^* back…

      Good luck. Can we add chocolate by the lorryload as well?

  8. Steve says:

    Just keep at it and the garden will repay you in the future. When we bought our house 22 years ago the previous owners opened twice a year in the NGS. So naturally we followed suit and assumed the garden would be fine. The following April we opened as they had done and we assumed the borders must have many bulbs in them. Actually when we came to open we had one interesting flower out, a single dog’s tooth violet! since then we have incorporated a paddock into the garden and in April there are typically over 1000 tulips and early roses out.

    1. kate says:

      Paddocks are a great solution – my meadow srarted almost in the same way, but without NGS momentum. Laziness instead…!

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