Mowing in spring

duckpoindMay day, may day. I’m sending up a mayday.  Don’t you love those ‘what to do in the garden this week’ lists?  I can never resist them. They are always full of plant out your potatoes, cut back geraniums, weed the asparagus bed. Sort of useful but never really related to my particular garden.

And what they are missing are the real things we gardeners get up to each week.

I was thinking that as I was carefully sifting through the compost bin looking for my secateurs. I feared I had lobbed them in the bin accidentally when I was hauling armfuls of weeds from the soft fruit orchard.compostbin

I eventually found them on the ground close to where I was weeding; but not until I had invested in a lot of sifting and scrabbling.

Losing one’s favourite pair of secateurs somewhere in the garden has to be a firstterracecurvemonthly task at the moment. Especially with this massive weed growth taking place right now.  A damp cool spring means that one is just ten days between control and utter chaos.

And for me that is the difference between mowing the grass, and having to use a heavy strimmer.

I’d much rather mow.

But for some dumb reason I forgot to mow the duck pond area when I was doing my monster mow a few weeks back.

And now it’s a jungle.firstterracemown

It took off in the most luxurious growth. The horses in Jean Daniel’s paddock just a few stone walls away were looking on with I suspect envy. Or perhaps they were just following my movements. They do get apples when they see me.

I can’t put the horses in this part of the garden as there are too mmulchedhedgeany lovely trees – including an ash which is rare on our farm.  And I don’t want to lose any of the bark to their playful teeth.  So it’s human power behind the horsepower mower and strimmer.

And it took hours. And yielded bags and bags of grass I could have given the horses.  My natural instinct is to pile it up behind and around the soft fruit orchard. It’s something I’ve done for years. But with the new attempt – red clover sown around the bark chip mulched bushes, I have to find somewhere else for my spoil.

I will be mulching Jean Daniel’s asparagus bed next mowing. This time it was on with a thick mulch on the oak bank between the hornbeam trees and American oaks. And my grasses and gaura rows.oakbankmulched

The other spot is around the hornbeams on the lower hedge in front of the house. These hornbeams are doing very well indeed. They have almost reached the height I need to hide the stone bank behind them.

I’ve almost stopped mourning the lovely stone wall that used to be here.  And in a few years time the branches of the hornbeams will have thickened out and the effect will be complete.

I did manage to remember the walnut path up from the courtyard. It always looks tidier after a mow.  walnutpathmownAll the iris buds are poised to explode into colour along this path.

And the hornbeam up here are also doing well.  Their roots are obviously unpalatable to underground rodents. So I may just get my wish for more informal screening of the garden from now on.

Anything I can do to add vistas and changes in the topography of this mountain slope with vegetation is fun.  And hornbeams are my star plant. I don’t dare think of the number I have planted on this farm.  I must be over 60 by now. Egads.  It’s almost an obsession.  And I can see two or three more I need to put into the hedge where the eleagnus once were.  A few gaps to fill and I’m done. For now.