A gardener’s life is a constant battle with weeds or should I say wild flowers or wild plants. I’m good at laying out gardens placing plants in them and then looking after them but I get a little frustrated when each time I go into the garden I end up picking out weeds. They grow absolutely everywhere don’t they? Short of plucking them out or maybe spraying them if they are not close to wanted plants there is little else that can be done. Some weeds behave themselves and are easily controlled whilst others can be very difficult if not impossible to eradicate. I’m no gardener in a professional sense and probably only an average amateur but I do know how much hard work is necessary for the upkeep of a garden especially if the garden is larger than the average. We have two gardens at home, one front and one in the rear and both are reasonably large in area though the front garden has less planting area and is also the smaller of the two. Although it is smaller it has the greater weed problem both by variety and volume. However I have to admit that a large part of the front garden namely what I call the front mound where the flag pole stands has been deliberately left to grow a little wild. It is covered in rocks with a few bushes in it so it looks natural and wild. There are some weeds I pluck out and some I leave but the problem is the ones I leave like spreading themselves all over the place and indeed that is how they grow by blanketing the ground. During the summer one of them has tiny pink/purple flowers which attract bees and other pollinators…see above. Below is the same plant as it was on Saturday now with less flowers.
It is I admit quite attractive but it does grow anywhere it finds a foothold, on the walls, in cracks in the concrete, and just about anywhere else. We call it Southport Weed for it is prolific here. On Saturday (25 th) I lifted so much of it that I had left growing on top of the raised white gravel area behind the plants in the front garden it half-filled the wheelie bin. it had almost covered the gravel completely.
Despite the amount there it was fairly easy to lift as it puts roots down in one spot and spreads from there though there were a few spots where it had done so. I sprayed the area afterward with a herbicide. Unfortunately the herbicide has a limited effect and I know the weed will return, it always does. In the flower borders other small weeds constantly appear and if left they too pop up all over the place. There must be thousands of invisible seeds waiting to germinate just to annoy me! Who said gardening was easy?
E is probably worse than I am when it comes to working in the garden. She starts off doing one particular thing, maybe weeding and doesn’t know when to stop. She can spend hours on her knees on her kneeling frame digging out the weeds and tidying up the borders and I have to say makes a good job of it. When I do anything in the garden I have to admit that sometimes I don’t know when to stop either. On Sunday morning I got up late at around ten o’clock after a good night’s sleep and skipped breakfast again, taking only a fruit juice. I placed some clothes in the washing machine and spent a little time on the computer and by then it was time for lunch. Our neighbour was out finishing off mowing his lawn after starting the job the day before. I suppose he had something else to do and had to leave it. I looked at out lawn and wondered if I should mow it or leave it for a day or two but made the decision to do it after my lunch. E came out to join me after I had hung out the washing. I started mowing the lawn and she had it in mind to clear the weeds from the corner of the garden we propose to change when we’ve the time. After mowing the lawn I used the lawn ‘sweeper‘ as I call it to brush up the grass cuttings. The ‘sweeper’ is basically a brush about a metre wide which revolves when the unit is pushed and as it goes along it sweeps up the cuttings into the large canvas container behind it. I then transfer the cuttings into the ‘green’ waste bin by hand. I only have to do that twice but as the sweeper gets filled it gets heavier to push! Next job was to sweep the cuttings that had been deposited on the path surrounding the lawn and the leaves which collect regularly on the little path to the large greenhouse. For some time now there have been plant pots, or rather large containers with plants in them parked on one section of the path and the trees and shrubs have slowly encroached over it too making it almost impossible to stay on the path when walking around the garden. I’d had enough of seeing it like that so the remaining containers were moved and the trees and shrubs cut back. E joined in to help me at that point and as she did we noticed some brambles growing in three places and spreading themselves through the foliage. There is nothing worse than trying to remove unwanted growth such as this. We located, with some difficulty, the roots and dug them out. I have the scratches on my arms to prove it! By now it was five o’clock and I took my washing, now dry, back into the house and brought E a cold drink on my return to the garden and asked her when she was going to finish doing her weeding. She was as usual reluctant to stop but it was getting late in the afternoon and we had been out there working for over four hours non-stop and it was hot in the sunshine. Telling her that the weeds would still be there the next day for her to dig out she called it a day and we came back indoors.
I got up rather early yesterday because the guy erecting the greenhouse asked if he could start at 0630. He lives around 40 miles away from us so he had to get up early too! I was up and about at 0500 and had just finished breakfast when he arrived at 0620. He reckoned that the job would take until four in the afternoon before it would be finished. He was right about that. After preliminary conversation I went indoors and made him a cup of tea and he got started straight away. It was still a little misty and chilly and the ground was covered in dew. He was wearing a warm jacket over another coat, a pair of jeans and a woolen hat. As the morning progressed it got warmer and he began to peel off his excess clothing. First of all the hat, next, the top coat and then the jeans. He was wearing track suit leggings beneath his jeans. Later he removed his second coat. Around midday he finally took off his shirt and spent the afternoon with nothing on top. It was quite warm in the garden and as he began to glaze the greenhouse it got much warmer inside! E didn’t get up until 0800 but after breakfast, her breakfast, she and I went into the garden ourselves to begin weeding out unwanted plants, roots and weeds from the border adjacent to the patio base wall where we had earlier in the month removed some trees. I ‘replanted’ the washing-line pole and made two brackets to fix it to the garden wall which I then fitted in place. We can now hang our washing outside instead of in the cellar boiler room where we usually hang it in winter or when it is too wet outside. The greenhouse was completed by 4.30. We tidied up around the garden and went indoors. Today though I shall again be back to the weeds!