The soil is incredibly soft after the good dousing on the weekend, so I decided to plant out the ten oak seedlings I have nurtured all summer.
They are to be planted in among the other oak trees up on the terrace above the courtyard. It is a bit of a lottery as to whether they will survive. But luckily the seedlings are just some of the plants I prize out of the ground when I’m weeding the terrace bank above the potting shed. They have been in the special long narrow planting pots all summer to try and get their roots to fill out and down and not get caught up in the usual spiral that can happen in round pots.
But actually none of them put on enough growth throughout the summer to have that problem. But it did feel as though I gave them a good start.
I have put little wire tree guards around each plant; not to stop deer eating them. But to spot them in the long grass when I get round to strimming this sloping bank. That’s just one more hurdle in the life cycle of any seedling on this farm.
Artur was the perfect works supervisor today. He is enjoying the sunshine and the peace and quiet as much as I am. The only shot I have of my gardening without a small grey furry form is when I had to trudge up into the forest to drag down logs.
He is behind the oak seedlings, snoozing in among the lavenders where I have been transplanting stachys, watching my every move of mulching in the shade garden.
And at one playful moment he decided to treat my leg as a scratching post. Ouch.
The shade garden was my major project this afternoon. I moved about two dozen shrubs that really weren’t in the right place and either transplanted them to the barn garden, or just dug them into a deep trench I have behind the potting shed and will move them on again later next month.
Right now the mulch looks rather pale and green, but once the chestnut leaves – well chopped into bits – starts to break down it will take on a more brownish and natural hue.
I have managed to cover three quarters of this huge area of garden. And feel irked that I didn’t have enough to cover the entire bed and gleefully come indoors to tick this project off my list.
To finish I will need to venture back to the forest to choose suitable branches for chipping and then spend an afternoon with the chipper to get my soil covered and weed free for autumn.