Wading into the orchard

Reward, punishment, reward, punishment.

Spot which is which.

Every time I wander down to the cherry trees near the orchard I am confronted with a spot of work not quite done.

Cleavers. Grab grass. Goose grass. I don’t even know the Latin name for this invasive little weed. Mostly it’s a more anglo-saxon one that escapes me when they snag my trousers.

I have been using that ‘it’s hay fever season’ excuse for a while now. And the old ‘this bank is 30 metres long, it will take forever to weed’ one.

But the thought of all those cleavers reproducing (do they set seed? I’ve never seen flowers) not to mention the bindweed factory gearing up for major production meant I had to act.

Every few metres weeded equals a handful of cherries.


Look you can even see the rock wall properly now. And the two gorgeous Noir de Meched cherries have emerged from their blanket of strangling weeds at the base.

The good news is the eragrostis grasses on the bank did not suffer from being cut back in December rather than their more prescribed spring prune. I’ll be doing that again this year and not waiting for March when the new growth bursts forth.

And my favourite grey ballota are all fine. Not too strangled.

It’s so fun to gaze upon a huge expanse of garden knowing it’s all from cuttings and divisions. What a shame the bindweed and cleavers came along for the ride.

And best of all the phlomis are flowering.

They sulked last year and I have been stalking past them willing them into their gorgeous yellow stiff spikes for weeks.

Why, you might ask am I embracing yellow flowers? I never was a fan. But rural life and fresh air will do strange things to one’s tastes.

I do like a tall statuesque flowering spike…

Bung in some alliums, some little yellow achillea, leaves from the acanthus mollis that likes the shade of the walnut tree, plus their spikes and you have an almost hay fever-free bouquet of flowers.

And I can now twinkle over to the cherry trees in the orchard without the slightest twinge of guilt. The weeding took a full day (one of those finish at 9pm ones) and a half. With cherry breaks.

Lots of cherry breaks.