The oak bank

This is not pretty.

This is.


But life isn’t all blooms and colour and fun. Sometimes you just have to sit down and pull out black oat grass weeds and sort your garden beds.

oakequipmentI promised myself I would ‘sort’ this oak bank by the end of the day. It might take me until dark to get it done.

First up I needed to don the special protective measures. My Australian grass protectors (thank you Kookootonga friends for the very timely gift).

Because, believe me, this was going to be a grass seed fest of horrendous proportions.

But it was a sitting down job so that was a blessing.

I planted the rows of eragrostis grasses interspersed with gaura flowers a few years back.  Three long thin rows with a gap in between that needed to be heavily mulched to keep the errant black oat grass and blue festuca grasses emerging.

And seven American oak trees. Four of which remain.

And this has to be the most inhospitable place to put anything.

In fact I was starting to think I would be shopped to the Royal Society for the Protection of Plants for even thinking of putting anything up here.

A thin scrape of soil over granite rock. Parched. No water. And any chance of goodness sapped by the giant oak tree just beside the bank.

But hey ho, anything for a bit of fun.

You only ever see the bank from the vantage of the courtyard, so you are looking up 10 feet.

oakgrassesSo I started by pulling out the tall unwanted weeds in front.  I really need to strim the rest of the small weeds but it is such a dangerous sloping area that you have to go so carefully – lest you plummet into the lily pond below.

So it’s not perfect. And the grasses look decidedly scruffy compared with their cousins in the banks above the lawn and the pool. Most of the gaura died.

The view from the bank is rather marvellous and distracting from all the weeding.

oakworkBut at least it looks like I made a teensy effort. And the American oak trees (growing at a rate of about 5cms a year) haven’t died of thirst. Yet.

So naturally I dragged the hose up around 930pm last night and gave everything a good long drink. Their first in about a year. I’m looking forward to seeing how they all fare over the hot summer.

We are in a heatwave at the moment. Or if you are being relaxed about these temperatures, it’s just summer.  30C most days and not much chance of rain.

In fact there was the thrilling prospect of a storm predicted for Saturday.

But now the chances of that are diminishing and we are back to ‘Meh, a bit of rain. If you are lucky’. Which is what they really mean when you see the fast disappearing rain turning into ‘rares averses’.

Hey ho. Time to hide. Too hot now to even admire the sort of successful weeding work. Note how I am doing the ‘borrowed landscape’ trick. Making it look like my carefully selected ornamental grass bank doesn’t look that different from the top terrace above.  Shame they both look so scruffy.

oak weeded