Death by a thousand paper cuts

I have come in for tea and tweezers. My hands are covered in tiny cuts from pulling up thistles and weeds with my bare hands.   And lots of little splinters remain.

Will I never learn? I castigate Artur for eating green lizards each year and getting sick; but I forget every year to wear gauntlets of gloves when clearing away dead plants.

I hadn’t planned on weeding the terrace bank just yet; I was watering.

Well, we were watering. Artur thought it a great lark to pretend that it was a snake not a hose. But after the hose refused to fight back and make a good sport of it he got bored. And went up to snooze under the asparagus.

I meanwhile, was trying to get parts of the garden watered that I neglect. We have some 31C days coming up with no sign of rain.

So I did the courtyard planters, moved up the walnut path to the top road and watered the mini hedge beside the oak.   And then I thought I’d just put the hose on the terrace bank and see if the teasels were alive.

They are, but not thriving in the way that Andrew’s mighty statues do. His teasels are easily six feet high and thick as can be. Mine are choked with dying cornflowers and spindly.

So I started in. And pulled up the lot. I don’t dare show how sickly the top three flower beds look like. You only get a lofty view from below.   The first two terraces are fine. Crammed with flowers and plants and interest.

I must redistribute the sedums, marjoram, valerian, cosmos, lychnis and white agastache this autumn. Or really give in and plant a whole bank of rosa rugosa shrubs.

All this thistle and bramble slicing was a long way from the start of my day. I harvested lavender. Perfect and genteel and ladylike activity. And now my office is beautifully scented.

And I even made time to make a new stake to hold back the billowing asters. What a difference a wet start makes. I was fretting about these asters last year.   All the books recommend that you divide to make new plants. But mine were only single stalks and very thinly clumped indeed.

And this year they are competing with the lavenders and winning. I can see another thing for my autumn list. Move these asters about.

Why the terrace bank would be a perfect place. It’s starting to plump out in my mind already. And speaking of minds. And mindlessless, I must go out and move the hose. Otherwise my mother will think I am turning into her mother, Grandy. She was forever forgetting to move hoses around her massive garden on the farm.