I can be a bit thick sometimes….

Over the last couple of weeks I have been noticing the bedding plants in my pots were gradually dying. I had put it down to the fact that we’ve not had the greatest of summers over here in the UK and that all the rain had perhaps made things not grow ‘quite right’ and start to die off a bit earlier than normal.

But today I did a ‘compare and contrast’ between plants in pots and plants in beds and the plants in the beds were noticably much, much happier. “Hmmm…” I thought to myself “it’s almost as if the ones in the beds are doing better because real ground retains water for longer”. That in turn suddenly made me wonder if the plants in the pots were not getting as much water for some reason.

Now my pots are connected to my automatic drip watering system, so a water shortage situation could happen for one of two reasons: fault/blockage in a pipe, or (maybe – just maybe) dead battery. Well… no obvious breaks/leaks etc, so I popped over to have a look at the battery.

Dead as an extremely deceased dodo.

So naturally I am very cross with myself. The poor things have prematurely wilted and withered away for no reason other than I didn’t notice the battery had keeled over and was lying with its legs in the air and tounge hanging out. Some of the geraniums are still okay and will probably revive happily for a while longer, but my previously lovely trailing lobelia has well and truly snuffed it. I am of course watering manually until I can get to the battery shop, but I’m kicking myself that it never occured to me that they were just thirsty.

Anyway – that’s by the by I suppose. We had a gorgeous warm and sunny September day today…

Blog pic

…so as I had more energy than last week, I took advantage of it and vetured back out to wage war on the far end of the garden. It was bloomin’ hard work I can tell you. As expected the ground was jammed full of stones and roots.

The roots were mainly from 2007’s “weed of the year” (see below). Each year I seem to have a particular weed that takes over – it’s a different one each time. This year’s weed has particularly strong roots (seemingly made from a combination of teflon and velcro)and this patch was the worst afflicted. I’ve done my best at getting them out, but they had an annoying tendancy to snap at the wrong moment so hopefully they’re not the sort that spring up new shoots from tiny remnants. Fingers crossed anyway.

Blog pic - Weed of the Year

And the stones. Well…you should see the size of the stone pile now (except you can’t since I neglected to take a photo of it) but trust me it’s large. It’s probably visible from space. Okay….so it’s not quite that large, but it’s big enough all the same. The following photo is intended to give an idea of how awful, dry and compacted the soil is before it’s dug over painstakingly by moi. The biggest lump of ‘something’ I heaved out of the ground today was as big as loaf of bread (but about a million times as heavy). I think it may have been coal again. (I’m not kidding!) I also dug up half a bone. (I’m presuming it’s not humanoid…)

Blog pic

The next photo shows how far as I got today. I’m disappointed I didn’t get as far as the Rhubarb because that means there are still more stones lurking beneath the surface. *has short temper tantrum because thought of more of the same is very depressing*

Blog pic

Please keep your fingers crossed that next Saturday is as nice and sunny! I do have a few new plants waiting to go in, so I might put some/all of them in tomorrow if I have time.


4 Responses to “I can be a bit thick sometimes….”

  1. 1 hedgewizard September 16, 2007 at 10:15 am

    I’ve had to be philosophical about stones, since I live on top of a Victorian rubbish dump. I take them out of the veg beds, but otherwise just dig planting holes and fill them with good soil and compost. Seems to work OK really – I think gardening books tend to be writted by people with too much time on their hands!

  2. 2 Katie September 16, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    The ground does look rather stony. I’m impressed you got as far as you did! (I would have persisted for about 5 minutes before deciding I’d earned a refreshing beverage).

  3. 3 nezza September 16, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    Now you tell me Mr Wizard! I am winning with my stones. It’s become somewhat of a personal mission now – de-stoning out of principle as much as anything. 🙂 The worst bits are right next to my pathways – loads of stray hardcore and bits of concrete etc from when they did the slabbing.

    Thank you Katie! Once I’ve started I tend to just try and keep going because if I sit down half way through chances are I won’t get up again! I did about 6 hours yesterday which was plenty – especially as it was just the boring digging stuff.

  4. 4 jackiesgarden September 17, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    Nez, you work too hard! But you’re young and it’s good for you! 🙂 I tend to garden more like ‘hedgewizard’ – I am far too lazy to turn over that much soil by hand. I admire your ‘sticktoitness’! And you should be rewarded with weed free beds.

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