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Back on the horse

The garden has been becoming slowly less garden and more jungle.  I quite like it a bit overgrown: I prefer that to the kind of garden where each plant is surrounded by a neatly-raked border of empty brown earth, or everything is covered in gravel.    I like the birds to have space, and to have bees and dragonflies and random flowers popping up everywhere.

But my mother visited recently and left wagging her head and saying 'I don't know what can be done about your garden'.   And she does have a point. The worry that one day we will not actually be able to get beyond the patio without a machete is a real one.

So we begin again.

So far, most of the lawns are mown, and the paths are mostly cleared, apart from the one that goes from the two big apple trees to the cherry tree, which is basically occupied by a giant bush at the moment and is on the To Do list.     Pp has hacked his way all the way up to the compost heap, and I have had a stern word with the fig tree and the grape vine about their territorial ambitions.  This may even result in us getting some figs and grapes by the end of the year now that they are not such giant mounds of foliage and the sun can get to the fruiting parts.

I have planted some nasturtian seeds that I bought last year in a fit of enthusiasm and never got around to.   I thought they weren't going to germinate, but yesterday I found some nasturtian seedlings!  This is very cheering.  I hope they don't get slugged.

And I have bought a few random marigolds and verbenas from the shop and stuck them in baskets,  potted on the rosemary bush and my last remaining dianthus which has somehow survived from a few years ago when last I grew things from seed.  I used to grow my own bedding and didnt' like the idea of buying in stuff growing in dubious compost in disposable plastic pots, but I think I will work up to that.  At the moment at least the flowers are cheering.

The supposed Actinidia Arguta 'Issai' that I planted some years ago had loads of flowers again this year, but again hasn't set a single fruit.   I think it may be time to admit that bloody Thompson and Morgan must have got the variety muddled up and have sent me one that is not in fact self fertile.    I have emailled a proper nursery to ask if they know of any way to sex the plant so I can buy it a mate, or if I'll have to remove it and start over.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
10th Jul, 2015 11:20 (UTC)
My garden is very small, so there is no grass except on the path next to the beds, which gets clipped whenever the grass finishes seeding (birds come and eat the seeds, so I leave them). I don't have much bare earth except underneath the areca palm and the jasmine, which is slowly being colonised by the gotu-kola, which is an excellent ground cover, and also makes a good salad chopped up very small and tossed quickly over a low flame with chopped shallot, chickpea powder, cashew nuts, a drop of soya sauce and some chopped red chillis if you like things hot. Where there is earth visible I sweep fallen leaves to cover it, to be humus in due time.
11th Jul, 2015 08:08 (UTC)
It sounds delightful!

I sometimes miss my previous small garden: it's a great privilege to have space for multiple trees and so on, but I do sometimes feel like I'm fighting it rather than enjoying it...

I'd never heard of goto-kola, looking it up it looks like what I might call a pennywort. I do like pennyworts! Does it need a very warm environment?
13th Jul, 2015 13:29 (UTC)
One of its names is Indian pennywort. It grows in tropical and subtropical environments so it might be ok as a summer plant in the UK. Be warned it is rather rampant. I eat it but can't really keep up. A good groundcover.
12th Jul, 2015 06:14 (UTC)
I can recommend hens as a means of keeping plant growth down. All plant growth. Like grass. And strawberries. And raspberries. And blueberries. And currants. And pears. And ... but you get the picture.
12th Jul, 2015 09:18 (UTC)
I have a friend who has hens who has made a vertical garden in pots up a trellis, for just that reason!

Don't think you could grow raspberries or currants in a pot tho.
12th Jul, 2015 10:56 (UTC)
They would need to be pretty big tubs, at the least.

We will be getting a new fence (and lawn) in the autumn, which should help, but we are not kidding ourselves that it will prove completely hen-proof.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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