When aphids alight

Ah the first aphid squish of spring: too much fun all round. As it was still light until just before 9pm, I was loathe to come indoors so I stayed out admiring all the nascent rose buds, and ended up on full Inspect and Destroy mission of bugs. Green fingers and thumbs, lovely.

Since our last visit we have been blessed with helpers. Walls have been finished, steps built and messes cleared away. What, no more cement mixer cluttering up the Calabert? Indeed.

Here are the new steps down from the swimming pool to the old stables. Refreshingly rustic and charming I think. And I now have steps that link the little terrace behind the potting shed and the lower path. It was one of those needs must affairs.

I have been scrambling inelegantly up this little slope for two years now, and finally it has been designated an official path. We had originally planned to finish the wall along this part of the garden. But stone walls are laborious, expensive and slow. At long last the tiny bit of the top of one set of steps down to the pool has been finished up by Bernard and JB. So instead we are going to be creative with grasses and think of plants as our barriers.

All the stones have been cleared away and now it’s time to think about just what grasses will hold up the slope. Luckily I still have plenty of miscanthus sinensis left over from the Plantagenet order. They will do nicely here.

And it is so lovely to have some eyesores sorted. No more clutter down at the chestnut log wall. No more huge sheets of roofing material in the woodshed. All is just refreshingly sorted.

And lush. You really do earn this burst of colour at this time of year. The lilac is out at last and not looking tattered but rather crisp. The tulips are in a perfect spot for colour. This part of the courtyard gets little direct sunlight so the chances are I will be able to keep these tulips going for a good bit more. There is mint to go in the same planter, but it can lurk up at the potting shed for a few more weeks. It’s a long trek for mint with the potatoes, but I’d rather the aesthetics of tulips over mint any day.

And speaking of potting sheds. It is bursting. I had to haul out crates of seedlings for hardening off – there’s just no more room for all my new plants. That will be a job for the morrow. One last look around – the lawn is so lush you need to shield your eyes I’m (exaggerating of course, but we are all so thrilled this miraculous grass came through its tough winter unscathed) time for planning a week of gardening tasks.