The other garden

Damp shade. Now that’s a concept. And that wet stuff that falls out of the sky. A lot. I tell you, it’s so fun to have a break from the heatwave and droughty garden to come and work in the London gardens for a bit.

Actually, I’d much rather be stalking down to the orchard on the farm and eating the nectarines which are perfectly ripe right now. Curse the fact I have been forced to come back to Blighty for a ten day trip. The wasps will win this year’s crop.

How good? Because I’m sure you think I’m exaggerating the bounty in the orchard….

Okay. Now you can officially feel sorry for me.

Still. Farm’s loss is the London garden gain. And boy have I been busy.

Front garden… I’m hacking back and transplanting lots of woodland lower storey green plants (iris foetidissima) here.

Cutting back the spent flowers of the wonderful Eryssium Bowles Mauve.

And working hard in the main garden.

Paving with gaps, it’s never a winning formula. But they scrub up well when you have a sharp wire brush and time to listen to the cricket on the wireless and dig out the weeds.

And sweep and sweep and prune back so you can actually see the path. And some interventions have been timely.

Box caterpillar moth!

Oh yes. London gardens do not escape. I went out last night to put out the bins (such a thrilling activity – weekly kerbside collections: who knew?) and there were the moths, fluttering merrily around the only box plant we have here.

What a shame that is was / is an enormous feature of the front garden. Abutting the two storey glass wall.

Which means you can see it from every angle. I have had to hard prune the poor thing. And now I’m treating it with my brought from France biological bacillus control. The only tricky bit is it keeps raining here. So I hope some of the good stuff will cling to the leaves before the next downpour.

This is a very shady garden.

And what really gets up my nose is the fact that it’s shady because gardens on all sides encroach with unpruned and neglected trees. From a distance this looks marvellous. But you are battling against the light.

And shrubs start to grow towards the available sunlight and throwing out the shape and look of the once nicely planted garden.

At least I get the thrill of the push mower for this lawn. Now that’s an evocative sound. And it sure beats the din of the neighbours leaf blowers and loud petrol mowers. It’s wonderfully ruminative.

Does that look right? I guess so.

At least this west facing wall gets a wonderful blast of late afternoon sun. I’m pleased the star jasmine (please don’t make me try and spell trachelospermum jasminoides) is doing well. I’m even going to need to add another horizontal wire for the next bit of growth.

Maybe a rainy maritime climate has its plus points after all.