Knackered and spattered

curves long viewI can barely see out of my glasses; they are covered in fast drying green goo. I hadn’t planned to get the strimmer out today, but things are growing so fast I feared seeing thistles flower and spread as I was watching.

A great afternoon. Out came the mower and the strimmer.   I have gone back to more of my wonky curves in the orchard and the track and even in the small strip of lawn below the house.   The plum trees are throwing a good deep shade, but the grass continues to thrive.   Wasn’t it only a week ago that I mowed? orchard and track curves

I didn’t bag up the lawn clippings this time; instead I put them around the fruit trees in the orchard and have started using it as a mulch in between the rows in the lower potager. It saves a lot of walking of heavy loads up to the top of the property, and makes me think of more places that could do with a mulch.

orchard from cherryI have taken such a different approach to strimming that it has almost become enjoyable.   If I limit myself to just one tankful rather than thinking I’m not allowed in until I’ve strimmed an acre, then I dread it less.   So once I had made up a batch of oil and petrol mix, I felt like giving it a run.

Mainly I wanted to strim the slope of land on the opposite side of the track from the shade garden.   And then it was but a few steps to the pool steps and off I went.   Madwoman with a strimmer.   The duck pond area was fast becoming a wildflower garden. That’s not something I mind when it’s cow parsley and other harmless plants, but thistles, nascent chestnut trees, brambles? Not fun. main lawn

duck pond beforeSo I whacked and thwacked my way through and tomorrow I will finish off with a mow on a high setting just to get things at the right height.   If you squint, you could almost see it as a continuation of the lovely lawn that we sowed near the pool. But you have to squint.   Right now it’s still a knee high mass of barely tamed jungle.   I did avoid chopping the lovely ferns, hellebores and honesty plants I found at the far end of the duck pond area.   The hellebores look a lot more healthier than the ones in my shade garden: something is munching them to near extinction.   Lily beetles? I didn’t see any, but it’s annoying as they are quite destructive. I need to be more attentive in future.mown road

opposite shade gardenI then ventured with the mower down the road to the start of the wilder part of the path to the house.   The mower doesn’t venture into dangerous territory any more. I’m trying not to wear the poor machine out.

I stuck to the one tank of petrol rule for both machines, but was relieved to down tools and do less noisy and painful chores for the rest of the day: I planted out the euphorbia marginata plants that I grew from seed. They are in the edge of the potager and will hopefully self sow about.   euphorbia planting out

I even popped in a few of the yard long beans that Mei gave me from her stock of Chinese seeds. I ran out of room in the bean poles, so they have gone against all the supports in the pea area.   Cramming ’em in.

sunflower rowsI also planted out a row of sunflowers, 15 cucumbers which had put on a lot of growth and I have decided to risk putting them into the ground.   They are in between two cloches in the front quadrant.   I think that means they will be deer protected.   But I seem to recall slugs had a bit of a cucumber party last year.   I will keep an eye on them.

Oh yes, and a few more cabbage to plug the gaps.   There’s more to go. Of course, but it was a day well spent. quinces

quince 2I came up the track and gasped at the sight of the quinces on the bank above the east garden. Surely they weren’t as blooming as this yesterday when I gazed at this part of the farm? There are so many flowering trees I can’t fit them in the shot.