Compost and a curmugeonly cat

I’m typing on the sofa (prone) with the delicious scent of cosmos wafting across the room. The sun has just set on a glorious day.

Nothing beats a sunny autumn day outdoors with great garden projects to take ones mind off a sore back.

I nipped up to the market first thing to buy supplies and down a few hot chocolates and catch up on the gossip with the market stall holders.

Back home and as I climbed into my work shoes at the front door, I was yowled at by a rather cross cat. I am sure that there was a plaintive ‘where have you been?’ somewhere in the curmugeonly behaviour but I couldn’t be sure. I was permitted to pat him briefly before he flounced out.   And then kept an eye on me for the rest of the day.

By almost 5pm he finally gave in and came onto my lap for a cuddle.   It wasn’t a brilliant moment as I was digging at the time. But I downed fork and obliged by showering him with affection.

I watered the garden and ate my way through the cherry tomatoes as I worked.   And then decided to to find a kneeling project.

I have a lovely full bin of compost just raring to go.   So with buckets instead of a heavy wheelbarrow, I dug it out, riddled it to get rid of the small stones and sticks, and then had two good places to put it.

First up was to emtpy the planters in the courtyard that held the nasturtiums over the summer.

I was actually going to plant up the pots with pansies I had bought earlier in the month. But I really need to get some bulbs in first.   The annual monster supply of bulbs have arrived at Andrew’s; but I won’t get down to see him and collect them from another ten days or so.

So for once, I’m well prepared.   I dug out the old compost and chucked it on a thin part of the calabert garden which needs building up.

Then added a mix of good potting compost and the gorgeous home made compost.   It looks dull right now, but should be great next month.

Next up was a proper new project.   A hedge.

This is to screen the pool from the upper road.   And the plants were the little holm oaks which we dug up in the spring from the top of the mountain.

They have been lurking in pots all summer.

There are two areas that need hedging: along the road that looks down on the courtyard, and further along near the walnut path.

I only have sixteen small plants so can’t do a huge long area for now.   The courtyard hedge will have to wait.

Instead I started on the five metres of hedging area near the walnut tree.

I dug the bed and had to laugh at the quality of the soil. Sandy loam? Just sand.

Dry as can be and you wouldn’t plant anything in this soil without lots of feeding.

So that’s where endless buckets of compost came in.

Carefully suprvised by Artur, I plodded and plodded but filled this long bed with lovely rich muck.

I am probably going to have to add as much again in spring; but it’s a start.

I ran out of daylight to plant the oaks.   That will have to wait for the morrow.

But it looks positive and productive.

I left the cat dozing lightly on a warm rock nearby and came in for a good lie down. Cracking day.