Nutty as squirrel poo

I have been chuckling in the potager this morning: thinking of the brilliant description of Bathilda Bagshot in the last Harry Potter novel. She’s as nutty as squirrel poo.

I have been finding lots of little poo deposits. Entirely made of cherry pits. Left by a squirrel? I’m just not sure. It could be the pine marten supplementing his usual diet of unsuspecting small baby birds with some very fast acting cherries.

I have found three little deposits just near the new wall near the lawn. Would I have noticed were I not there planting a hedge? Probably not.   But it is fascinating to see all the wildlife droppings (and google imaging the words were enough to put me off my evening whisky. Nothing matches the rich cherry diet of mountain beasts).

So hedging. That’s the mot du jour. I have planted 20 sunflowers in a long neat row parallel to the new wall.   This might not make it to hedging size; particularly considering the animal life around right now.   But it’s an attempt to add a bit of flower colour to the veg.

The other hedge is right at the top of the property: an extension to the hedge. I now have 22 metres of mixed hedging parallel to the road.

Today’s contribution was gaura in vast numbers (all grown from seed), some more sunflowers and one red currant shrub.   That’s the beauty of this huge country garden. dig the soil and plant a brand new hedge? No problem. Well, I couldn’t have done it if the soil weren’t so soft after two days of rain.

It wasn’t the plan this morning; but I have so many gaura plants just lurking about.   And they are tremendously airy and drought tolerant creatures. I may be lulled into a false sense of moisture after a month of rain, but it’s fun to get things in the ground and believe they will make it through our usually dry summers.

There were a few left over gauras so I dotted them further up the hedge for a spot of continuity.   And came up on a trove of litte oak seedlings.

Duh, it was under an oak tree. I know, but the soil is so soft and mulched and well worked under the tree that the seedlings came up easily. That means I now have 15 more little  oaks to add to the stock in the potting shed.   I need about thirty to have the effect I’m planning. You guessed it, another damn hedge. What is it with that word?

Just for a change of scene I staked the lilies in the courtyard, they tend to lean a bit away from the shade of the house.   And then decided it was time for some serious landscape work.

You may recall I took off all the weeds from the calabert rocks.   Now I needed to take off more soil. I only want a small discreet path along the top of the rocks. So that meant about half a tonne of soil had to go somewhere else. So with a rake and two buckets and a little spade I set to work.

Best of all my usual dozy companion finally woke up.   For three days now he has been nursing his tick bite (identified as a possilble deer tick by Dad) by sleeping.   Usually in the top box which is warmer but for the past day he has been alternating with the middle box. Goodness knows what the difference is, but he hasn’t shown much interest in much else.

But finally, when I was working the soil onto a nice neat bare patch of earth, Sir Sleep Alot came and rolled in the dirt.

He did his wonderful cuddling and purring and head butting routine, and generally followed me about all afternoon.   This raking and soil moving project took just under two hours. From this shot it looks like a nice little piece of soil. And I’m pleased with the results.

But just to give you an idea of the size of this newly landscaped area, let me give you a small elderly cat as a scale ruler.

There is way too much soil now. I need to try and sculpt it into a shape that will take a lot of plants and not slip down the mountain at the first sign of rain.

By early evening I had roughed out a plan. And I even put some plants in as a sort of mini guide. I had wanted to get some beautifully created dry stone walls here. Mini walls of perfect proportion.   But I’m going rustic. Just placing the stones in the bank and hope they hold off the slide.  

Tomorrow, all being well, I shall try and get it planted and rocked. But I need to strim.

And deal with the beginning of the hayfever season at the same time. Sneezing and strimming? Not a pretty mix.