List ticking

shade garden springFor once my arms aren’t stinging from bramble attacks – it’s sunburn.   I had competely forgotten about that when I set out today with my long list.   I just didn’t remind myself to put on the suncream first thing.

But there was so much on my mind as I planned a full on day of work.   And now that I’m in front of the fire with it all behind me, I’m happy. watering and clovering

I started out with work on the top vegetable garden.   The plan for the day was veg first, and then flowers.   There was another row of potatoes to put in for a start; I ran out of time last trip to get them in.   And luckily they had sat safely in the potting shed putting on little bits of growth.

But I had to do a quick hoe of the newly arrived weeds first.   I’m hoping it won’t be bare earth for long up here. I’ve sown red clover as a green manure / mulch in all the bare spaces in between the rows. artur testing carrots

carrots sownAnd when you have just sown a long neat row of carrot seeds what do you expect? Why, a visit from Artur of course. I had to be quick to throw down a few long lengths of pink string to deter the cat from rolling exactly where the seeds have been so carefully sown.

And I didn’t give him much time to enjoy the dry dirt for long: I unrolled the long hose and watered each of the rows.   Then down went the clover.   He was baffled.

watering asparagusAnd I couldn’t pass up the chance to give Jean Daniel’s asparagus a good watering too. clovering between rows

I have enough room to put in half a row of parsnips in the top part of the garden between the raspberries and the future cabbage area.   I couldn’t barely contemplate more parsnips after the huge crop I am still working through, but it looks as though the free draining soil is parsnip heaven.

By now it was late morning and the day was warming up. Off came the fleeces, on went the sunhat.   I popped into the potting shed to search out the secateurs and had a surprise. A suppine cat lounging on a box.   Boy did he look happy. artur snoozing shed

artur snoozingIt reminded me that I need to open all the windows to save the plants. It’s warm in here.   Perfect for germinations and growing on. Out came the mister spray, and I happily whiled away the time gawping at Artur and drenching the seedlings.   He does have a great life.   And so do I.

After lunch it was flower work. I wanted to cut back all the dead growth on the perennials which are coming through. This really is a miracle to see this lush green growth after such a cold winter.

lilac bed beforeI started off in the east part of the garden – in the lilac bed.   Here the asters and the sedums were busting out.   And there are plenty of tulips coming through here as well. I found a few exciting stray brambles in among the plants (good thing I had a gauntlet glove on) and no real surprise to find a dead hebe at the back of the border.

I saw this New Zealand plant in our hotel garden when we last visited the north east of England; and Had Hopes.   But it has turned up its toes in the cold. lilac after

I cut it back hard and will have to wait and see if anything appears, but I’m not holding out much hope.   Plants that huddle below ground in winter are going to have to be the future.

terrace bank beforeGoodness, this is a long tedious list of achievements today; or maybe that’s just because I’m dying for a whisky and bed.   I headed up to the large terrace bank to cut back all the valerian and other weedy things that are looking an eyesore.

I don’t know what’s alive up here – valerian definitely, verbena bonariensis maybe.   And half the agastache seem alive.   I thought the plants on the very top terrace were Andrew’s lilies, but I realise they are day lilies from Leslie instead.   Lilies don’t turn up this early in the season.

Ulysse the stallion turned up of course. A daily apple is a reward we both look forward to. He’s eaten the grass thoroughly around this part of the paddock so it’s only the promise of an apple that brings him all the way over to this part of the mountain. Well, he loves company too. terrace bank long veiw

after terraceAnd after a good hour and a half of hacking back and plodding to the compost bin with the dead stuff I almost have a decent looking bed.   Well beds. There are seven of them here. I think. I never count them. And mostly I don’t plan them. But I do want to add some more echinaceas here, on the first terrace that I see outside the windows from the potting shed.

But the soil needs a lot of work first.   And I didn’t have time for that today.   Daylight savings is so baffling when it first kicks in; I had to keep going in to check the time as I had no idea where I was.

And suddenly it was 7pm and I wanted to get a few things ready for the morrow. I have a lot of compost in the car which I haven’t unpacked. And I made a bit of a discovery. I’ve been buying this rather poor quality compost for ages and feeling no compunction to use it as a mulch as it was so dusty and cheap.   But Castorama have changed the brand.   It’s still cheap as can be; but it’s rather good.   I discovered that when I sowed more clover in between the potato rows down on the lower potager and wanted to cover the seeds.

mulch potatoesSo much for the plan to wet newspaper sheets and place those between the spuds.   This stuff is gorgeous. I have no idea how it will go. But for now it looks a rather glam solution to the usual weedy problem.

Right, I’m done. Knackered and off to bed.