Sandals and shorts

first dahliasIt seemed like a good idea at the time.  A hot day ahead, what could be better than wearing sandals and shorts? The nice brown linen shorts that haven’t been worn yet this year?

Well, it would have been were I lounging in the hammock in the shade reading a book.

But no. I wanted to make some progress on the top vegetable bed where the raspberries are.

So. A jungle of weeds, random brambles, spiky rasberry canes and a cat.  I can’t tell which lacerations are worse; rapberry cane scratches or welts from Artur’s ecstatic kneading on bare legs. raspberry jungle

The poor cat couldn’t even find me at first.  When you are small cat sized, the foot high clover plants and leeks and grasses look an insurmountable barrier.  But not much gets between Artur and a lap.

He yowled and pushed  is way through and had a happy ten minutes watching me shriek in agony and try and get my hands under his sharp claws.

The things we do for love.

By 10am I’d quite given up.  I can now see the raspberries, but they are parched and dry and need some water and some feed.  A huge barrel of compost would be ideal right now.

raspberry detailThe whole area is so depleted of nutrients as the overflow water from the spring came through here all winter and leached most of the goodness away.

That’s my theory.  And I didn’t mulch enough this spring.

So black marks for me.  I ducked down to the lower vegetable garden where things are a whole  lot rosier.  And I have my first ever Dahliia flowers.  That’s fun.  But I haven’t picked them. cosmos bunch

Instead, I just picked a small vase of my new cosmos varieties instead. I want the plants to branch out by taking out the tall leaders in each plant, so I now have some fetching but oddly shaped flowers for the house.  The scent is still lovely which is a relief.

I had thought that in breeding double flowers I would lose the gorgeous scent, but at least one variety keeps the smell.

And fear not bee loves: I have zillions of other plants the bees can collect pollen from.

I must hammer in my labels for these cosmos (and consult my planting chart) so I can remember which is which.

I also made a bit of time to plant out some future flowers.  I grew two dozen agastache from seed this spring. They are called (I think) Korean mint flowers, and the leaves are quite minty and scented.  But it’s the flowers I’m after. Pinkish I believe.  I have some Liquorice Blue in the garden already and they don’t thrive (they’d prefer it cooler and damper) but still manage to put out flowers.

planting agastacheI have found they do quite well in the shaded side of the terrace bank so I have planted them out (with Artur’s help with the hose) and just have to hope that this mad hot weather doesn’t fell them too soon.