On the whole it was a gloomy, wet and windy week here but a little milder than of late. It was with some trepidation that I ventured out into the garden to collect this week’s six but gardens have a great way of taking care of themselves and providing a few surprises.
One of the major projects of this year was the laying of the garden path. It was laid on top of the old path which worked well in most places but as the path rounded the corner to meet up with the lawn the height differential came into play. The weather was so hot and dry that plans to build up the lawn height were put on hold until about a month ago. Part of the lawn was stripped off and the soil level was built up. My lawn is a patchwork quilt of grass, creeping buttercups, wild yarrow, clover, daisies and much more. The stripped off turves did not hold together and when re-laid there were several scrappy patches which needed seeding. I had given up hope of the new seed germinating but I really was very excited to see that the first new shoots have appeared.
This new growth reminded me of one or two other things in the garden that had sorted themselves out. Last winter I lost a French lavender plant given to me as a house warming present. It had done so well over its first summer but winter was just too much for it. Or so I thought. A few weeks ago I noticed new shoots of lavender appearing alongside the English lavender I had planted in its place. This is the strongest of the bunch and I’m hoping that sheltered by the English lavender it might make it through this winter. There are a couple of smaller seedlings that I am going to lift and overwinter in the greenhouse. I would love to report back to the giver that I do still have the French lavender.
This young yew tree was given to me by the birds! I can’t bring myself to pull it out and would love to find a corner of the garden where I can nurture it along into something significant. Maybe I can start up my own wild hedgerow along the back fence. I’ve got a few wild blackberries that need to be taken in hand. Throw in a dog rose and some years of patient waiting and I could be onto something.
The back fence is already home to Iris foetidissima and these have helpfully self seeded very successfully. The orange berries glow brightly through the gloom and a good colony of these in the dark corner will provide a much welcomed lift to the spirits through winter.
I collected some Hollyhock seeds to bring with me to the new garden and now the seeds from those plants are starting to colonise well. I have had to take a few in hand as they managed to get themselves going some distance from the main site. I never know what colours are going to appear which is part of the fun.
Another great self seeder is the foxglove. I did not have any in the garden so I bought a packet of seeds and did some sowing around the end of August. There was a good success rate and I have moved some out into the garden and left some to overwinter in the unheated potting shed. I’m hoping this belt and braces approach will give me a reward.
The fireside keeps calling me but the garden won’t let go just yet! Have a look at what everyone else is up to by visiting The Propagator’s blog – there’s no way Mr P will be putting his feet up just yet!