anef: (Xmas angel)
Have been out doing some weeding.  The good news is that some of the bulbs that I planted in the autumn have survived and are sending up new little green shoots tentatively into the air.  The bad news is that -er - I have trampled some of them with my great clod-hopping feet.  Oops!
anef: (Default)
Just to say I have been out in the front garden cutting back bushes.  It's bright and sunny, but there is a bitter wind from Siberia, and my fingers and toes have gone numb.  Also my nose and eyes were watering the whole time.  I managed an hour and have now come back inside to warm up.   My fingers are scarlet with returning blood, and a little fizzy. 
anef: (Default)
Every Spring I say to myself  "Why is the garden so bare?  Why didn't I plant any bulbs last September?".  Not next year!  I have been to the garden centre.  I have bought tulips (some orange spiky ones called ballerina, some white and some yellow tulip shaped ones and some red spiky ones.  I was looking for some Captain Fryatt that they have in the botanic gardens but can't find a source, even on-line.  Ah well.).  Also assorted crocuses and daffodils. 

I also bought a bulb planter for a fiver, just on the off-chance that it might help.  Actually, it's quite good - even in our heavy clay soil I have been managing to screw it into the soil and create a hole of the relevant depth for planting.  Then you pop the bulb in, release the handle and the soil falls back on top of the bulb.  I reckon it saved me an hour or so this afternoon.

Anyway, I've got about half the bulbs in - more than 30 I think, all in their little holes.  The last hole I dug already had a couple of little daffodil bulbs in it, looking up in surprise as if to say "It's not time to get up yet, you know."  I hastily put the soil back on top.  I guess I should have split them up but they looked so cosy in the little hole together that I didn't like to.

So next Spring expect me to be asking "Why is the garden so bare?  Where are all the b********g tulips I killed myself planting in September?  Eh?" 


May. 5th, 2008 04:12 pm
anef: (Default)
Have just been out weeding the front garden to the accompaniment of the Sunday Afternoon Drummer from the left and free-form jazz from across the road. 

Now, weeding our front garden is bad enough, as it is mostly paved or tiled.  Weeding consists mostly of digging dandelions out of crevices with the aid of a broken kitchen knife, so it's one of those Sisyphean tasks.  In fact, why did they bother to invent all those dull and repetitive torments in the underworld (you know, carrying water in a sieve, rolling rocks up hill) when they could quite easily have set someone to weeding dandelions?  Adding free form jazz is the equivalent of the daily vulture coming to rip your liver out.

So, anyway.  A good 2/3rds of the dandelions and other eager little weedlets gone.  Another hour or so would probably kill it, except I really can't stand the musical accompaniments any more.  Have come inside to Soothe my Nerves.
anef: (Default)
It's raining.  This is Good For the Garden in one way, obviously, but I had intended to get out there and do some more weeding.  I spent a couple of hours yesterday, doing some work on the woodlandy bits at the back.  This is not a huge area  - maybe eight or ten square metres, with an apple tree and some bushes at the back. It's shady and I've been trying to get some woodland plants to grow under the trees - foxgloves and pulmonaria and hellebores and such like.  It's full of bluebells and celandines at the moment, with stinking iris at the back, and it's covered in a mat of general weedstuff that I can't name. 

There is creeping ivy, and stuff that might be groundsel, or possibly chickweed (or is that only in ponds?), and that sticky stuff with long fingers that grows all over everything but is very shallow-rooted, and lots of something very pervasive with serrated leaves.  No, not dandelions, although we have plenty of those, thank you.  All I know is that it isn't ground elder (which is a bit like saying, well, I don't have housemaid's knee).   I almost fell upon the alkanet with relief, not because it's good (which it isn't) but because I know what it is.

So I dug away at this stuff, and made some space for my Sissinghurst White pulmonaria to breathe and split them up as recommended by the chap at the nursery.  They seem a  lot more fragile than the blue and pink varieties, but very pretty.  I've  done the same on the other side with my alchemilla, which seems to come back year after year despite being neglected and swamped by weeds.  My posh aquilegia that I bought last year (Black Barlow) seems to have survived the winter although no flowers as yet and of course all the normal aquilegia is rampant and I shall have to go around thinning them out.  My aim is to replace most of the weedy sorts of aquilegia with some prettier ones, with yellow or white flowers and long flying spurs.

Anyway, if anyone knows a good website for identifying weeds (with large and detailed pictures) please send me a link.  If I'm sending plants into oblivion, I'd at least like to know what they are.  And it's very hard to complain adequately to other people "and the flowerbeds are absolutely covered in X" if you don't know what X is.


anef: (Default)

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