Gardener's Diary Post

April 2024

Changeable weeks in the garden…




IHF – Spring Verses’


Groups of ox-eye daisies are planted into the long grass on the hillside at the far end of the lochan just across the path from Picturesque – extending the season after the daffodils which are in full bloom there now have passed.

Garlic and potatoes are planted out in the Kailyard, wigwams of bamboo canes put up ready for peas and beans. Everything is being left until much more mature before being transferred out, after last years total decimation of the crop by rabbits. If only they nibbled away at ground elder instead then they would be very much more welcome visitors…

A batch of replacement raspberry canes are planted to fill out gaps, and the beds mulched up. More annual herb and vegetable seeds are sown in the greenhouses: it is surely one of life’s great axioms that there can never be too much parsley or too many forget-me-nots. So a few of last years perennials which had been left indoors are now transferred out to make space and hopefully settle in to their new positions. An abundance of wild garlic shines greenly in the woodlands.

The compost bins are cleared out and their hodgepodge structures reinforced as they have long since passed usability. Space is thus freed up for the coming seasons clippings and cuttings, though this whole area needs to be reconsidered. The old compost is transferred to the Little Wood by the entrance, extending the wildflower mound in front of the beehives.

Inscribed wooden benches are oiled ready for placing outside again soon. Some are now more weather worn than others. A couple of the small benches from Huff Lane in particular are aging badly A Lane Cannot Be Measured in Metres is rotted through and split along the grain. So these are moving up the list of things to be attended to in the near future.

The carved stone Fructidor and lemon baskets Silence After Chatter are also repainted to refresh them for the season, as is the Claudi bridge and the Neoplatonic Cube form in front of the house.

Cupid’s Arrow which pierces the trunk of a tree in the Woodland garden has suffered some damage and its bronze feather flight is temporarily lost in the undergrowth – after a bit of a search it is found and just needs to be straightened out, cleaned up and reinstalled.

The bees are out and about into more springlike days though sad to report one colony does not seem to have survived. Perhaps we will try splitting the strong colony later on and re-home them in the empty hive.

Jet washing has just about finished and unwrapping of all the artworks begun, many of the uncovered individual pieces will also require a clean or polish. The more fragile pieces in storage are still waiting to come out so that they suffer less from conditions. Some other small repairs become evident  – a large chip off the edge of the ceramic panpipes When the Winds Blow Venerate the Sound needs to be glued back together. 

The heron has been feasting on frogspawn and tadpoles from his sentry point at the end of the lochan. A family of mallards has also taken up residence here, nesting in among the flag iris. There are quite a few well camouflaged pheasant nests hidden in amongst the woody undergrowth.

The first sequence of strimming around all the grass edging and pathways has been completed so that there is clear passage to and between different areas and objects.

A new flag is ordered to replace the last one which was badly frayed. They do not seem to last long being whipped about by Little Spartan winds. Once this is hoisted up we will be set ready for the season again