Tuesday was one of those days that was neither too cold nor too warm. Neither was it sunny for long but the wind was low and it was dry, just right for working in or rather working outside which was where you would find me. I had no electrical work so it was an ideal opportunity to carry on with what has turned out to be a long project, digging out the bluebells and montbretia. I was at last working in the corner plot and got this far….
Compare to previous recent posts. You will notice that the small-leaved holly tree has been removed where it stood between the tree with the two trunks and the large sycamore trunk at the top of the picture. The holly is of a variety which tends to grow all over the place unless constantly pruned-back. I dug it out as I said I might. It was just as well for there were bluebells growing beneath it and behind it and they would have been difficult to get at with the tree in the way. The area in the picture at the top right and beyond the brick markers is mostly covered with montbretia. Fortunately most are growing near the surface and come out with a rake though I am using the fork to dig deep just to make sure. I use the kneeling stool and then dig out the loosened soil with a hand fork. That is why it is taking so long. I have to filter out the soil a small section at a time. You will notice a small shrub at the left-hand side of the picture. We had that growing in a large pot with the view of planting it out in the garden later. Before I planted it I dug deep in and around the spot to ensure no further bluebells were still lingering about. It was just as well I did for there were still a few in there which I had missed.
I will have to leave populating the flowerbed too densely if at all for a while so that I can dig out any others I have missed. Speaking of which, I finally stopped work for the day at four o’clock and put the gardening tools away but when I took the photographs a little later I noticed four places in the bed to the left of the area in the bottom picture where more bluebells are beginning to show. Grrrrrr….! Using some plastic sticks I marked their positions so I would be able to see them for digging out later.
Patience (George Michael album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I like to get things done. If there are things to do I want to get on with them, it is in my nature. Any projects I may have often try my patience if I cannot work on them for whatever reason. Once I take on board any work I am eager to see it finished but sometimes things get in the way, other pressing tasks, ill-health, tiredness for instance. Thankfully I am blessed with good health but the occasional cold or maybe ‘flu will dampen my enthusiasm and I have to rest up. Other tasks such as my electrical work will take priority because while I am able to earn some extra money I do it. The beauty about having a project at home is the fact that there is never any real pressure with deadlines, I can take my time. At the present time my main project, if I can call it that, is the work I have been doing in the garden, mainly removing the thousands of bluebell bulbs and plants together with some montbretia plants that had overtaken one or two of the flowerbeds. The major part of that work is complete though there will be maintenance to follow throughout the year to ensure all plants have been eradicated. It may turn out to be an ongoing task for quite longer than that. At the time of writing this on Saturday there is still much to do in the corner near to the large greenhouse but as it is such a cold and windy day I have taken time out once again until it gets a little warmer. That should be in the week ahead but of course it might also rain and that will prevent progress. I guess I have been fortunate thus far as the weather for the beginning of the year has been reasonably fair for working out-of-doors as long of course I was wearing warm clothing! I want to get on with the work but common sense tell me I have to wait now and then. I went to the pub yesterday and stayed there for three hours. I had lunch and was served by the landlord’s brother who works there only on a Friday. I couldn’t remember having seem him there before but have to admit I haven’t been to the pub much during the last twelve months or so, about the same period of time he has been working there. He asked me what I had planned for the weekend. I told him I hadn’t any plans, which for me is usually the case unless I have a project to work on. Old habits die-hard I suppose. I can think of many reasons to go to the pub and many reasons to stay at home and they often conflict in my thoughts. I am not sure which will win the day today……
On Wednesday I didn’t plan on working in the garden because I wanted a rest from it. At the same time I had no electrical job offers for the day either. The whole day would be spent doing well practically nothing. However, around three o’clock I couldn’t resist putting on a coat and taking the garden fork and some smaller tools and going over to where I had left-off a few days ago in digging out some bulbs. I decided to spend at least an hour seeing what progress I could make in removing what remains in the corner section of the long flowerbed. I got as far as this…..
Only a small area really from the angle in the stone edging up to the bright stone marker a metre to the right and roughly as far back as the tree with the two trunks. The other tree to its right is a small-leaved holly of some type which is in need of some radical pruning or complete removal. I might just remove it and replace it with something else. To the right of where I had reached the ground is mainly populated with montbretia plants though there are some bluebells in there too. I will be glad when I finally reach the end…just behind the wheelie bin!
The soil in the area is riddled with tree roots which have made removing the bluebell bulbs more difficult. I am hoping though that the montbretia bulbs will not be so deep beneath the surface but I will have to wait and see. Once I have finished digging everything out I will still have to be vigilant throughout the year to dig out any I have missed. Take my advice, if you don’t want plants that take over your garden don’t plant montbretia and especially don’t plant bluebells!
I am glad I entered into the electrical trade/business all those years ago. For someone who has an inquisitive mind it is the ideal occupation. People often ask why I took up electrical work and the answer I give is that I wanted to know how things work. It is still the reason even now and it doesn’t stop at electrical things, I am interested in many things and how they work, how they are made and the history behind them too. It is a passion I guess but it helped when I first embarked in my career that I enjoy working with my hands and to be truthful it was essential. There are no such things as poor electricians providing they are prepared to work.
Power to the people!
I am not super rich and never could be unless I had a large business employing many people but that was never an option for me, I simply wasn’t that way inclined. Being self-employed is in itself a driving force though less so for myself these days because I am fortunate to have a two-pension income. My self employment allows me to enjoy that little bit extra without the worry that I would have to struggle on my pensions alone. I could manage on just my pensions and I could even still save something at the end of the month. It isn’t that extra cash that motivates me though, it is the fact that I am still capable of working and I enjoy the work and in meeting people. Of course I no longer work full-time, I have no wish to and probably couldn’t maintain full-time working for very long, even one day doing that is tiring at my age. On Monday morning I changed the bedclothes and washed the soiled sheets in the washing machine before breakfast then an hour later hung them in the boiler room to dry. It is such an advantage having cellars in a house. As I had nothing else planned I was wondering what I could do for the rest of the morning in the garden whilst the weather was dry. I didn’t wish to continue with digging out bluebells in the remaining section of flowerbed that as yet I haven’t touched. I thought there might be one or two popping up in places where I had been clearing them out so I went into the garden to check. I didn’t need to look far and soon found some beginning to show themselves in a couple of places. I spent an hour digging them out before returning indoors. It was now approaching lunchtime so I thought I would prepare a vegetable stew. Using onions, bell peppers, garlic cloves, carrots, sweetcorn, lentils, barley, green beans, pre-cooked diced chicken and seasoning I made enough for three meals.
Washing peppers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By now it was 12.15 so I decided to have some for lunch but my phone rang and it was a job offer in the next town. I drove there and did the work which has now led to more work in the weeks ahead. It pays being an electrician if you are prepared to work………
I had a lousy night’s sleep on Thursday to Friday morning, tossing and turning throughout the eight hours I had. I had gone to bed at eight-thirty but didn’t actually nod off until just after nine. I was up and out of bed several times during the night until I decided I’d had enough and rose for the day at five-thirty. I remained in a sleepy state all day long and it was all I could do to stop my eyes closing. I had to go to that job I mentioned in yesterday’s post, no power to the downstairs lighting circuit. It was in the next town over seven miles away and I arrived there before nine o’clock as arranged. It transpired that the problem was a blown fuse and it had supposedly blown because one of the light bulbs on the circuit had blown. The lady’s son had previously rewired the fuse but it blew again. I could not find a fault so had to assume the fuse hadn’t been rewired properly. It can happen that if the fuse wire is too taut or has an indentation or even a loose connection causing an arc that the fuse gives up and blows under any load, especially if a light bulb has short-circuited. I repaired the fuse and all was in order. I was back at home just over an hour later. As the weather forecast was for rain early in the afternoon I decided not to do any work in the garden. I had been thinking of going to the pub for lunch yet again but thought the better of it as there was food in the refrigerator that needed to be used. E would be doing the weekly shopping and restocking the larder so to speak. She had been out all day on Thursday so switched to Friday to do the shopping. She even went out before noon which is a first as she usually goes out after two o’clock, even three o’clock sometimes. I digress. I prepared myself an early lunch because I’d had an early breakfast. When I had eaten I was looking out of the window at the rear garden, just pondering at first but then I went out and trimmed back the dead stalks on some plants so that the already sprouting new foliage could grow. Whilst doing that I noticed three or four bluebell plants growing in the flowerbed that runs in the front of the greenhouses..
…..the one I had worked in late last year where I had fitted the stone edging and repopulated it. I knew there would be some popping up as is the case elsewhere. They were all located in the right-hand half of the bed where there had been a number of bluebells growing before I removed them. Just as I was finishing that small job I was shaken by the sudden loud bang of a large firework being let off followed by three or four more. They were exploding rockets being set off by workmen working at a house two doors away. The new owners have employed builders to renovate the property before they themselves move in, probably in a month or so. The noise was unbearable and I was showered with the debris which floated down over my house and garden and my neighbour’s garden too. I went upstairs and shouted as best as a woman can for them to refrain from setting the fireworks off whilst also telling them that they should be working. The noise abated, they must have heard me. I went to one of the front bedrooms and looked out of the window. I saw a couple of the men chatting and one of them walked past my house on the opposite side of the road towards his vehicle. I drew his attention regarding the fireworks telling him that there are folk in the area who work at night and they would be finding it difficult to sleep because of the noise. At first he tried to deny any knowledge of fireworks. I couldn’t believe his impudence. He apologised after I had told him I would be taking action if their inconsiderate behaviour lasted. It was only a few days ago I had to walk to the house to complain about the very thick smoke from a fire that was affecting several neighbours as well as myself. They had actually poured diesel on the fire to help it burn! Just then my next-door neighbour phoned and was wondering where the noise had been coming from. I went round to see her and explained what I had been obliged to do. She was answering a call from yet another neighbour who wanted to know the source of the noise too. Workmen can be so inconsiderate when there is no-one there supervising operations. Anyway it was around two o’clock and still there was no rain. As I walked up the path alongside this flowerbed I saw something that infuriated me…..
…bluebells! Now this was the second of the two front flowerbeds I had revamped last year and I had thoroughly sifted the soil from one end to the other. I was confident that there wouldn’t be any bluebells left as there are in the other bed where I hadn’t been as fussy. If you magnify the picture you will see a shrub at the far right end of the flowerbed, a Fuchsia which I didn’t disturb when working the bed but did remove some bluebells from beneath it at the time. Now there were bluebells growing deep inside and among the stalks, impossible to remove unless the Fuchsia was taken out too. I was so annoyed but made it my business to remove it there and then. It took some time but eventually I got it out and then it was time to get at those bluebells too. I removed a bucket load of them! I didn’t really wish to lose the Fuchsia but on reflection it is a plant that grows vigorously, producing more and more stalks which get out of hand. For the time being therefore I am going to concentrate on the two front flowerbeds, especially the right-hand one which has many bluebells needing removal…
This is a picture (above) from last year. The rose has since been pruned right down and is going to look far better this year I think. Does it never end?
The Off Hours (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I had been rather busy last week with little opportunity to get out into the garden though I wasn’t that eager to get into the garden anyway. I knew I had to break that reluctance so on Monday morning and having nothing else to do I decided to do some more digging out of bluebell bulbs. I had reached that point in the flowerbed where the amounts of bulbs remaining are less in number though some would be difficult to remove because of the greater number of tree roots. It has been a long and laborious task and it isn’t finished yet. I managed to put in two more hours by which time I’d had enough. Most of that time was spent on my knees bent over and digging deep and I must have removed a couple of hundred bulbs yet again together with many fine roots. I also dug out the little small-leaved holly I had intended to remove as it was surplus to requirements for I plan to fill the flowerbed’s empty spaces with shrubs at some point in the near future. Although I have spent many hours digging out bulbs I knew there would always be some that I had missed. When I looked over those areas I had already worked in removing bulbs I noticed more had shown themselves through the soil, about six of them. They will be removed the next time I am in the garden, probably Tuesday as I write this on Monday afternoon or maybe in a day or so. I spent a few minutes walking around the garden later on to take note where there are other bulbs requiring removal, and there are quite a few. This is why it is best to allow the bulbs to sprout above the soil level so they are easy to spot. One of the flowerbeds in the front garden had a few bluebell bulbs needing removal a few weeks ago and I duly removed them but now I see there are more popping up in a couple of places! It would appear I am going to have a lot more work to do yet before we are rid of them.
It has been a few days since I did any more work in removing the bluebell bulbs and now growing plants in the rear garden. I had reached a spot just up to the little oak tree and there remained the area to its right and beyond though thankfully there seem to be only a few there. I have dug out around a dozen bulbs in the front right-hand flowerbed that had escaped filtering last year when I renovated the bed but as I write this I notice a few more beginning to show themselves. I am letting them grow just a little more so that I can locate them more easily when I dig them out within the next couple of days or weeks. Back to the rear garden though and here is the oak tree and the area beneath it and up to the stone markers I have placed in the soil which is now filtered. No doubt I will have missed some, hopefully few,
I am thinking of moving or removing altogether the little small-leaved holly at the rear by the wall and just to the right of those markers. There is another one further along and to its right beyond the edge of the picture. I spent three hours on Sunday morning to reach this point. I have raised the supporting bamboo pole that supports the variegated holly shown in the next picture and it is now standing upright when once it lay at 45 degrees. It had been struggling to reach daylight because of the trees that were there surrounding it. I removed those trees last year as a prelude to the current work of clearing out the flowerbed. Toward the other end of the bed in this picture is another variegated holly which had been suffering a similar fate until I cleared around it and gave it the support it needed. As you can see it is thriving and it is upright.
It may be a day or two before I can resume working in the garden but at least much has been done and the majority of the bulbs have been removed through hard work and perseverance. As always,click on the pictures to magnify.
Bluebell wood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I had a free day on Tuesday and as the weather report looked promising I was determined to get into the garden and attempt to remove more of those pesky bluebell bulbs, Bluebells are nice to be sure but they spread like wild-fire and eventually will take over the whole garden if left. I am at the end of the main flowerbed but there are still hundreds of plants to dig out yet. As soon as I had finished breakfast and checked my email box I donned my overalls and boots and began the work. It wasn’t long before the weather changed from being dry to being misty with a very fine rain sporadically. I managed to dig out the area to the left of the little oak tree (see previous posts) but it was hard-going for many of the bulbs were beneath the tree roots and I had to dig deep. Using the fork helped but it snagged on the roots so most of the work had to be done with just the trowel. I lifted out around two hundred bulbs of various sizes many in clumps. My plan was to cease working before twelve o’clock and then go shopping in town for some new underwear, bras and pants. I wanted black ones as I had but few in that colour. Anyway I received a call asking if I would repair a couple of ceiling light fixtures in a little flat a couple of miles away. I had worked there before for the couple neither of whom shall we say are very bright and I have a little difficulty in explaining things to them. Don’t misunderstand me here, it is simply how they are. It is a medical condition. They are lovely people and I was only too happy to fix their lights. I would have to delay my shopping for a while. After packing away the garden tools I removed my overalls and boots and drove to their flat. I was there for an hour, though the work hadn’t taken me that long. Soon I was on my way back toward town to do my shopping. That means I find a parking place out of the meter zone and walk the rest of the way but it is only a half-mile or so. I went into the department store and found my way to the lingerie floor. I was spoilt for choice when I saw the bras on display, there seemed to be much more there than at my last visit a few weeks ago. I had difficulty in finding my size and colour among the racks but fortunately a member of staff was close-by to help. After explaining my requirements she found them in seconds and I took three different pairs (of bras) into the changing rooms to try them on. The first one was tight so I called the lady assistant who changed them for the next size up. The next three fitted perfectly so together we went to the check-out desk to carry out the purchase. Thinking I was purchasing only one the assistant asked which one to which I replied ‘all of them’. I purchased two packs of pants and briefs, that is five of each. They come in packs of five. I had been enjoying some cheerful banter with the assistant and during the conversation she complimented me on my complexion and when I mentioned my age she couldn’t believe it. Her friend had thought I was about fifty. How nice. I got back home mid-afternoon and didn’t bother with lunch and my evening meal was small. I seem to be eating far less these last few days and I feel better for it. Better still though I am losing pounds where it matters!
‘I’ve had to book my appointment two weeks in advance, so we’ll both sit here until I feel unwell.’
I had a lousy weekend, especially on Saturday. I was suffering with aches and pains and although I had been sweating a lot I felt cold most of the time. I was well-wrapped up but that didn’t seem to make much difference. I went to bed around ten and a boyfriend called me in response to a text message I had sent him. I had to tell him I was in bed and about to go to sleep so the conversation didn’t last long. The following morning I was as right as rain (odd expression that one) and rearing to start my day. I felt so much better so I guess the warmth of the bedclothes and my seeming strength and ability to shake everyday illnesses off did the trick. Anyway the point was I felt great. I had an electrical job to do for the guy in whose house I had worked the previous week but didn’t have the time nor the inclination to do it on the same day. It would have meant working all day and I was tired after I had finished the job I had been doing. I went along at nine o’clock did the work and finished around noon. I had received another call while I was there. It was from an old guy living in the next town who had a problem with his kitchen light and switch. I did the work and drove back to my own town to do some shopping, nothing special, just toiletries which I buy in bulk so that I don’t have to shop for them often. I drove home but left again immediately without getting out of the vehicle. I had forgotten to get diesel fuel for my van. I arrived back home fifteen minutes later and during that time E went out somewhere for the afternoon. When I got indoors there was the package containing the new shoes I had ordered late on Sunday! Now that’s what I call service. Strange thing about this is the fact that I had been experiencing problems with the company’s signing in pages when ordering. See yesterday’s post. More nice high-heeled stilettos. I opened the box and put them on to walk around in them to check they were the correct fit. They were perfect, so much so I didn’t want to take them off because they were so comfortable to walk in. Now these are high heels and yes they are over five inches but they really are comfortable. I have to add though that I am used to heels. Just a couple of pairs of my shoes are higher and they are hard to walk in but I will soon correct that with practice. Over the years I have tended to wear heels at four and a half inches so was never happy wearing anything higher but that is slowly changing. I used to think I would never wear high heels as I got older and most people my age wouldn’t think of it but I don’t look my age or feel my age either. After I had put everything away and sorted out my business paperwork I went outside to dispose of the cardboard and plastic waste and noticed some more bluebell shoots poking out of the flowerbed. I went inside to collect the keys for the garage then came out with tools and kneeling stool to begin digging out the bulbs. There were more than just a few but I persevered and dug them out, well all the ones that I could see. There will be more I’m sure of it but if there are they will show up soon enough. I returned indoors for something to eat as I had missed lunch. I’d had a very light breakfast too. It was only four o’clock so too early for my evening meal. I decided to have a bowl of fruit but gave up on it after only two mouthfuls. It seemed I wasn’t hungry so I put the bowl in the fridge to eat it later. Even now at six o’clock as I write this I am still not that hungry but I will eat. A text message had arrived but I hadn’t noticed. It was from the boyfriend asking if I was feeling better. Ah, that’s nice.
Bulbs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I wasn’t really feeling up to doing much on Monday and having gone into the garden to rake-off some soil to make access to the buried plant bulbs I am in the process of removing just that little bit easier I gave up after only twenty minutes! Later that evening I receive a request for my electrical services for the first time in the year. I had withdrawn my advertisement the week before Christmas and the next time it was to be posted again would be on Wednesday just passed. The call was from one of my regular customers who wanted a few small jobs doing. I agreed to call there the next day, Tuesday, but at the time of his call I wasn’t quite sure I would be feeling up to it. I need not have been concerned because I woke up on Tuesday morning feeling much better. On my arrival at his house I was shown the work he wanted me to do and it was more than he had indicated over the phone. I was a little annoyed at that especially as he knew I only take on small jobs these days. Having said that we agreed I should call again the following week to do the less important tasks he had asked me to do. Even so I was at the house for five hours doing the work. I was paid for the work I’d done and would do the rest the following Monday, the next day he or someone else would be available to let me in. As it was there were four people in the house on Tuesday. I made a detour to the electrical supplier on my way back home to purchase the extra materials I would need for the other work. E was out when I arrived home at two o’clock. I only knew that because the gate to her garage (the one she uses) had been left open. Meanwhile I parked the van in the other garage and was about to go into the house when I noticed or was reminded that there were a couple of bluebells emerging from one of the flowerbeds. This flowerbed was the first of two in the front garden I had stripped bare of its original plants last Spring and started over with new ones whilst at the same time filtering out bulbs and weeds. I hadn’t succeeded in removing all the bluebell bulbs as I thought I might have done but now I could see where they were. I returned to the garage and collected the kneeling stool and trowel and began digging out the bulbs. It didn’t take too long and then I was able to finally go indoors for my belated lunch. I am hoping there will be no further bulbs to remove from the front flowerbeds. Time will tell.
I think I worked pretty hard on Saturday in working in the garden and was glad for the rest on Sunday. Sunday was an ideal day for working outdoors too but it is a rest day for me. Wanting to resume work on Monday the forecast wasn’t promising in the least for it would be raining throughout the day. I am actually writing this on Monday morning and true to the forecast it is raining. We are told there might be a break for an hour or so around midday but I doubt I’ll be able to do much if I decide to make the attempt. What I might do is rake off as much top soil as I can so that there will be less of it to dig out to get to the bluebell bulbs I want removing. To give you an idea of how many there are here is a picture taken last year when they were in flower…
As you can see they are numerous. Fortunately about half of them are now removed. Those which remain as I write occupy the area approximately to the right of a projected line from the right-hand side of the path that runs from the bottom of the picture to the top. There might be a few to remove on the extreme right (in the corner plot) though E may have already done that last year. If not I will probably wait for them to appear above the soil to make it easier for myself. You will be able to see more clearly by clicking on the image to magnify. As I write this the forecast for tomorrow (Tuesday) is slightly better, though it will rain. Wednesday and Friday will supposedly be dry. By the end of the week we will be almost one-third of the way through winter but the next two months are usually the worst! I may find the time to get things done or I may not. I am at the mercy of the English weather. I will be available for electrical work once more from Wednesday onward so that may limit my spare time too.
After the rain on Friday i was expecting a dry day on Saturday but it was foggy throughout the day and very damp as a result. It wasn’t going to stop me from working in the garden continuing to remove bulbs from deep beneath the soil in the border. For four days, aside from Friday, I had spent quite some hours on my knees doing that work. All that remained was the last section up to and around the little oak tree that marks the end of the flowerbed as far as it is a flowerbed that is. Beyond that point there is still a border of sorts as it turns toward the large greenhouse. The part I will call the ‘Corner bed‘ and I may do some work there later in the year. It is populated with four small trees and one giant sycamore that is probably fifty years old or more. The holly tree hides three of the small trees in this picture. The bed also has numerous plants in it which I think are iris’ or something similar. They might take some digging out but at the very least the small trees will get pruned. It will be the only part of the garden to be tidied up. A few years ago I laid the large sandstone slabs there to make an edging for the pathway which leads to the greenhouse door. You can see the arrangement in this picture taken just before the large greenhouse was erected at that time. (Click on image to magnify)
The small oak tree now stands roughly at the point where the two pathways meet though in the rear bed of course. You can see the corner bed more clearly in this picture. Unfortunately I didn’t quite finish digging out the bulbs as I decided to finish for the day after four hours on my knees for the most part. There remains a half-metre or so of bed each side of the oak tree between the pathway and the rear wall to filter out yet, as of Saturday that is. Hopefully I shall finish removing the bulbs on Monday weather permitting.
Two days ago my post was about starting work in the garden and carrying out some maintenance work. That maintenance referred to the removal of two plant varieties, that is their bulbs some of which had begun to sprout. As I mentioned in my previous post those bulbs were bluebell and montbretia neither of which we want in the garden because they grow profusely and take over any flowerbed they are in. I made a good start on Monday and now as I write this on Tuesday I have been able to do more work removing those bulbs. However, Tuesday had been much colder because of the wind so I spent far less time out there but still covered about the same amount of area. Here are two pictures showing a closer view than the one I posted yesterday. Click on images to magnify.
Yesterday I filtered out the soil to the right of the holly tree and around the supporting cane of bamboo. Today I completed the area to the left of the holly tree.The two areas contained both bluebell and montbretia bulbs. There are now two main areas left to do. In the top picture to the right of the small rhododendron (right of centre) to just beyond the now leafless oak tree has the highest concentration of bluebell bulbs and I imagine will be the most difficult to filter. The second area shown in the bottom picture on the left between the two bushes has the highest concentration of montbretia bulbs some of which have already grown above the soil level. I imagine that area will be a little easier to filter. If the weather is fair I hope I will be able to get most of the work done during the remainder of the week. We shall see. If all goes well I propose to fit edging stone slabs at some point as I have done elsewhere in the garden.
Changing her mind of course! Following on from yesterday's post where I talked about buying plants for the flowerbed I have been working on I had a change of heart regarding their purchase. It was such a lovely morning on Saturday, full sunshine all the way, a time for being outdoors. I was going to put off purchasing the plants for a few days until I had more funds but with £150 in my purse I decided to drive to the garden centre and make the purchase. I spent only £113 and bought fourteen plants. They only filled part of the bed and I will need at least the same quantity, though not all of the same variety, to fill out the front half of the bed. I hope you can see the new plants clearly enough in this picture..
The tallest shrub and that which will be the tallest once it reaches its maximum height I planted at the end of the bed next to the now bare rhubarb patch on the right. It is an ‘Osmanthus‘ that flowers in mid-late Spring with small white blooms. It can grow to three metres in height. There are two Coral Bells, one at each end of the bed at the front, the other eleven plants are all planted along the rear of the bed. They are five different Azaleas, four ‘Leucothoe Axillaris’ (two Red lips and two Zeblid varieties) and two ‘Golden Arbur-vitae’ or small conifers. Much of the front of the bed still needs to be filled but I have yet to purchase those plants. The two flowering ‘Mums’ in the centre may be moved later once they die back. The bed is a little over twenty-four feet (eight metres) long from the rhubarb patch to the large stones at the other end. Each of the paving slabs is two foot wide. That is a lot of space to fill with plants. I will probably fill it within the next few days if the weather permits.
October’s first couple of weeks have been really nice, sunshine with little wind and hardly a drop of rain. I had therefore to get the hose pipe out a few times so that the garden plants didn’t wilt. You can always tell if you are not watering them frequently enough during dry spells, their leaves begin to droop. Some plants can withstand a bout of dry weather more so than others. I notice especially that the plants we have in the ‘Mound’ dry out more quickly than those on more level ground. This is the Mound for those new to my blog
There are three Rhododendron shrubs in it now and the one you can see near the top centre gives a good indication when the soil is getting too dry. By the way the potted plants you see along the front were mostly planted in the Mound the day after this picture was taken earlier in the year. On Sunday morning I drove to the local garden centre to purchase three more small shrubs which I subsequently planted in the flowerbed on the left which is out of sight in the picture. It is the flowerbed which is adjacent to the Patio on its right-hand-side. The picture below shows it when I was still in the process of redesigning it. More plants have been put there since. The intention is to fill in some of the open spaces with shrubs which in turn will offer more protection to the more sensitive of the plants during the colder months, basically acting as wind-breaks. We have some semi-tropical plants in the flowerbed which although can withstand a degree of cold they suffer in biting cold winds. So after lunch on Sunday I took advantage of the still bright and sunny day and sat a while on the patio. As there was little wind the patio was a sun trap and it was remarkably warm and pleasant to sit there. At this time of year we have to wait until around twelve-thirty before the sun shines again on the left of the house and for the area alongside the house on that side it is the first time in the day the sun can shine there. During the Summer the sun’s rays can reach the area from the rear of the house early in the day though for a brief spell around lunch time the area is in the shadow of the house. The house faces south south-west.Anyway clouds began to drift across the sky and after an hour it was too cool to sit outside in what I was wearing as the sun now was hidden. I decided to give in and go indoors. I also put on some warmer clothing which will be the norm now for a few months. During the warmer months I go bare-legged but last week saw me wearing my stockings for the first time since Spring. On Saturday I took a look at the lawn and it was completely covered in fallen leaves. E has a mains-powered leaf vacuum cleaner/shredder and I decided to get it out of its box and try it out. However, I noticed another vacuum cleaner in an open box above it so that is the one I used. I am not sure whether the two machines belong to E or if one belongs to my son. She has all sorts of equipment I know nothing about unless she tells me. I remember struggling to cut some timber for a picture rail in the bedroom we refurbished a few months ago when she finally let me know she had a power-driven saw for the job! The problem with the leaf vacuum is that it is powerful (1500 watts) and it tends to pull its suction tube to the ground when in use. I think a small wheel on either side of the large tube would be an excellent way to hold the tube just enough from the ground to allow the leaves in without it trying to suck in the ground too! It would make using the tool far easier too as it could be pulled along without effort. I don’t know why the designers haven’t thought of it, though in this picture of another model they have them on its transporter truck.
I think I was wasting my time for by Sunday the leaf clutter was back and there was more of them. I shall put off doing a complete clean-up until there are no more leaves left to drop. I usually wait until the wind has blown most of them away but that won’t be until late November.