Hacking back the jungle

Oh my. I am pleased with this. And I bet that after all the moaning and promising and endless ‘going on’ about the orchard bank you are too… it’s done.

I’m crouched over this teensy screen of a computer squinting at a zillion photos of my work and wondering if any of you have an appetite for seeing more than one.

That’s the problem with days and days of weeding. You get a bit excited by what is basically a very long bank with similar plants.

My chances of photographic delights are not going to be high, I fear.

There is the jungle of eragrostis curvula grasses.

Grown a bit too tall and shading out the lovely ballota pseudodictamnus plants beside them. And a few phlomis that I’m thrilled have survived. Remember, everything on this bank I either grew from seed or propagated. Investment in funds, zilch.

Time. Well we never count that.

Hacking back.

Then gently pruning the spent flower stalks of the ballota so I can have a larger more handsome shot for the photos.

The weeding.

Los and lots of weeding.

Poor trees. Their guards (against deer) were a delightful climbing frame for the endless bindweed that covers this bank.

But in terms of maintenance, I think I got away lightly. Two big days here at the end of the season. Early season work to cut back the grasses. And mulching.

I didn’t mulch thickly enough.

The lusty growth down the far end near the stables (with an underground spring no less at the base of the wall) meant I never had a chance of enjoying the lovely vista of shrubs among the fruit trees.

Oh yes, the dreaded ‘M’ word has reared already. I don’t stand a chance of getting ahead on this bank in future if I don’t mulch very very thickly.

So it will be the illicit forays up to the depot in the near year for me.

And I think I will have to work hard around July and stop the eragrostis grasses from flowering.  Keeping them smaller might do the trick.

Remind me next summer.