Planting up

What else do you need for this little plant? Armed guards and a moat? I’m tempted, believe me.  This is my treasured Vitex agnus-castus ‘Latifolia’ plant. One I have yearned to grow for years and years.  I will be crushed if I find it ripped out now.

IMG_0652I have planted it in the lower part of the barn garden and just hope the creatures won’t get at it.

Badger burrowing is reaching epic proportions here.  I have this mad feeling that whenever I plant a bulb, then it will be dug up the next day. Bulb flung aside as the creatures go in search of worms I may have disturbed with my digging.

I’m almost there with the bulbs. Over 2000. But this is just one Vitex plant. So the anxious checking becomes a daily task.


Here is the lower terrace where there is an outlet for waste water from the house.  I’ve never seen it so excavated before.


There is even a beautiful wall hidden here. Exposed for the first time thanks to hungry animals.

Now the gardeners among you will have the same response as me. Ooh, good rich soil. It’s a bit like a food mad person observing the discarded carcass of roast chicken and thinking ‘there’s still some good eating there.’

That’s me. So fear not, I was down there with a wheelbarrow and bucket the very next day.  The soil went to repair holes in the barn garden created by You Know Who.

I have decided not to try and repair this particular spot. I’ll wait until this drought and crisis is over. The badgers will just dig it up again.


I do try and fix other places they have ripped to bits. And I am taking a big risk here.

I have put up a temporary fence at the top of this steep garden bed. But Nicholas can’t come and install the proper serious fence until the middle of the month.  (And take away the eyesore of a temporary fence on the north side of the garden.)

But these verbena bonariensis plants were languishing. And suffering. So I’m having another go.


And I wanted to get this guesthouse garden repaired and planted up before the maybe rain comes next week.

Maybe Rain. That’s the usual forecast.

At least the sedums I took as cuttings are all happy in their new pots in the potager. I usually  plant these pots with bulbs. But the other enemy The Mole Rat. Digs them up. So I am just giving in and planting the perfect sedum instead.

And a big discovery. I usually only take sedum cuttings (yanking down on an emerging outer stalk with a bit of root attached) in spring.  But you can actually take them any time of year.

I found this out when I trod on one during the guesthouse garden work and didn’t want to compost the poor plant. I potted it up instead. Middle of a hot summer. And it rooted in no time.

I never have enough sedums. So I’ll be repeating the process all throughout the year in future.

And one sure way to try and urge the rain out of the sky – I did a deep watering of all the plants in the dry garden.


Now excuse me while I go and do a rain dance. There is rain 70km south of here. Fingers crossed it comes our way.