Bank holiday bliss

Before I go too far, I should point out it doesn’t take much for me to consider myself in bliss. ūüôā Just a warm, sunny day and nothing in particular to do. The fact that it fell on a bank holiday – it is British tradition that they are usually cold, wet and manky – was an extra added bonus.

It started off well because I actually got a decent night’s sleep for once. Recently, I haven’t managed more than about 5 hours tops without waking up for various reasons. Last night I slept about 8 hours straight through and felt so much better for it this morning. I got up at a leisurely pace, finished a “Samauri” Sudoku (5 interlocking puzzles), had a couple of cups of tea, did a bit of reading (nothing weighty – a bit of chick lit by Louise Bagshaw).¬†

After that I went and had a prowl around the garden to see if I felt like doing anything out there – after all I had the rest of the day stretching out in front of me to do as I pleased. I walked around rubbing my chin a bit in deep, contemplative, herbaceous thought. There’s a few things I’ve been wanting to move to different places for a while now, but didn’t have the time, inclination or weather to manage it. “Mmmm,” I thunked to myself, “yes I do fancy a nice little bit of pottering.”

Just to remind everyone -here’s a picture of what it looked like back in February:

Operation returf

I think it’s fair to say that it was pretty ‘bare’ back then. Minus half a lawn in anticipation of “Operation Returf”, and all the perennials are either so small you can hardly pick them out against the ground or have lost their leaves for the winter. Here’s a ‘before shot’ from today (I know¬†a bit of blue sky always does wonders, but¬†I think the contrast is quite nice.¬†You don’t notice changes when they creep up gradually over the year):

In the garden

On with the “gardening”. I started by picking all the decent sweet peas and plonking them in a¬†vase before ripping out the plants themselves.¬†As per usual, I’ve ended up neglecting them. Most of them had just gone to seed. (Note to self – plant sweet peas where you can actually reach the blinking things.)

Then I bumbled round getting rid of rain bashed geranium heads. It hasn’t been quite as wet as last year although it’s fair to say summer has been¬†another wash-out really.¬†(Northern Ireland has had the eye opening floods this year – yikes.) We’ve had more rain than you can shake a stick at with d several predicted ‘light showers’ turning out to be torrential downpours. I think we had a reasonable forecast for this week though, so hopefully the geraniums will¬†perk up a little.

After this I realised I was feeling an unfamiliar sensation. It rang vague bells, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Suddenly it came to me Hot. I was HOT! Too hot for jeans even. So for the first – and probably only – time this year I went and got changed into shorts (nearly blinding myself with my pasty white legs in the process).

In the garden

This is the bit that had most done to it. You probably can’t tell, but I promise I’ve moved a couple of things to the right, brought down a choisya from nearer the house, moved two heucheras from somewhere else. Blah, blah. I think it¬†looks better now anyway. I’m just hoping these things won’t protest too much about being moved. *crosses fingers* There’s still a couple of things I want to pop in here from somewhere else, but I’m saving that for another time.

In the garden

I made a start with this bit, but it still very much a work in progress. It might be a good place for some penstamons as it has the sun for most of the day. I think I’m going to move my agapanthus there too. Their current home seems to be too shady – they’re just bending over in a vain attempt to reach the¬†sun. Poor things. They’re my reminder of California! They deserve a bit of sunshine. Still, gardening is all about learning. That pinky thing In the middle is a new Wigelia (I think that’s right) and I’ve moved the three heucheras that used to be there into more shady places where they’ll hopefully be happier.

In the garden

I’m saving this bit for another time too. You can’t really tell from that picture, but the lavendar got bashed when the conifer hedge behind got trimmed earlier this year. I was a bit annoyed about it. I’d asked my next door neighbours if we could join together to get both sides of the hedge done as it seemed the sensible thing. (It’s their hedge really anyway – they have it instead of fencing.) The guy took 5 weeks to eventually get both sides done and when I saw my lavendar afterwards my face fell. Perhaps it wasn’t as good an idea as I thought. Ho hum. You live and learn.

I’ve been thinking about my L shaped beds too. My original idea was to keep them for summer bedding, but I’m not so sure now. It just looks too messy to me- largely because I ended up with too many different colours. I probably should have given a colour scheme more thought. The other thing is I either have to splash out for winter bedding too, or live with it looking bare for quite a few months. So I have a new idea now. Yes – you guessed it. Lavendar! I love my lavendar hedge in the front garden, and I think these beds might be a good home for it in the back. They’ll also be out of the way of any future hedge-chopping. I’ll give it a whirl next spring.

And to close, here’s a picture looking down the garden from the patio. I like how it’s looking, but I flipping¬†wish I’d put those Penstamons back against the fence.I didn’t realise how tall they’d get. There’s smaller things behind them you just can’t see. (That need moving…!) I’ve also put in a new Sambuca just to their left. It’s smaller than they are at the moment, but it should get quite big all being well.

 In the garden

Anyway – Yet another rambling post. Well done if you get this far! (I never mean to waffle on quite as much as I do!


4 Responses to “Bank holiday bliss”

  1. 1 sal August 27, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    You can do Samuri sudoku??? I bow before your sudoku-geniusness!

    Oh, and watch out for penstemons – not only do they grow tall, but they also root where the stems touch the ground, so what you end up with after a couple of years if you’re not careful is a penstemon that is about five feet in diameter, but in fact the middle has gone very old and woody, and you have about a dozen little baby rooted penstemons surrounding it! Mine are now the grandchildren of the orginal cutting. Lovely plant though, and very useful in terms of getting some colour and structure quickly into od spaces.

    Your garden looks lovely, btw. And your weekend sounds v similar to mine!

  2. 2 nezza August 27, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    Yikes – thanks for the penstemon warning! I was looking at the batch I planted last year and I can hardly make out the individual plants any more. They’re pretty but they still need to know who’s boss!

    I could hardly believe we actually had a nice weekend. The weather has been rotten again this summer.

    I’ve seen my cousin’s honeymoon photos and found myself rather envious. They did the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and San Fran. We really must do that!!

  3. 3 Katie August 28, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    Sounds like a lovely way to spend a bank holiday – I jealous!

  4. 4 Jenny August 30, 2008 at 1:51 am

    Your garden’s a real credit to you, Nezza. You put so much thought into the choosing and planting.

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