A week later I have returned. And at last I can admire the wall in its finished state. What a beauty. It sits so comfortably in the landscape. And I have decided to leave it be. No planting in front of it. And only minimally on top.
I’m still leaning towards the hornbeam hedge. And I may even go down to the pepinieres on Monday or Tuesday and inquire about the price of 50 bare root trees.
Nicolas has warned me that the wall is not robust enough to have thick roots growing near it. But I think I can get away with something.
I must find some grass seeds to sow in the small bed that now exists in front of the wall. And I must sort out the path behind it. It is amazing how crooked my vegetable garden was. I never knew that it leaned so dramatically inwards.
But enough of remedial planting.
The best thing I have done today on my first day back was to get as many tulips and daffodils into the ground as I could.
Half of the daffs are already pledged to the village. So that leaves me with 100. And all of them were quickly swallowed up in the bank below the plum trees. I have planted them in the steep narrow strip between the two levels. And I couldn’t believe how quickly this long garden swallowed up 100 bulbs. I had just enough.
And for the tulips I had to plan my way around a landscaping feature. I want to plant thyme balls here in this bed. Well, I don’t want to, but it’s a good solution to the part time planting and weeding regime I now enjoy/endure.
I would love to try out all sorts of mediterranean shrubs here, with kniphofias, summer bulbs, grasses. But the thought of having to drive up each visit and see the weeds defeating any sense of style is too much.
For the forseeable future I’m going to be safe. Plant uniform shrubs, mulch mightily, underplant with bulbs and leave it at that. If I was a real chicken, I’d just plant box balls. But they are dull. And with thyme balls I get the added bonus of flowers in spring. And I can dry all the prunings.
The fun bit is that I have pre dug the holes. And I need 56 plants. Ouch. At around 3.50 a plant plus tax that’s going to be a lot of smackeroos to do the whole terrace; but I’ll get it done. Eventually.
And in the meantime I can have fun with all the holes. It looks like a mole has gone mad. And I’ve planted the beautiful Mt Tacoma white peony tulip in between. That took one hundred bulbs as well. It’s the perfect bed to plant up as I can stand and just reach all parts of the soil. No back ache required.
Artur came down to inspect my work. He stalked past a few times and then leapt onto the wall and came almost within patting distance. That lasted for about ten minutes until he came up just as I had a handful of tulip bulbs and a trowell in my hand. And demanded a brief pat, then he scratched me. So no change there. He will forgive me by Sunday.