Weeds and weather.
A major occupation this month again, a round of seasonal selective weeding out – just about everywhere in amongst the undergrowth has been blanketed with Galium aperine – more commonly known as sticky willy or robin-run-the-hedge. It has been removed in great quantities from the Parkland, along the edges of the waterways and more generally wherever appears in amongst beds and borders.
Taking out nettles also allows reclamation of further areas, and general tidiness resumes – as they tend to appear and proliferate most just where they are not wanted. There are plenty of areas still where they are left unchecked, but it is satisfying to reintroduce an air of formality in some surroundings.
The Roman Garden has been given a seasonal spruce up – little seedlings which grow in amongst the cracks in the patio are taken out and as many as possible saved and reused – foxgloves, campanula, forget-me-nots, leaving this area as formal and distinct as possible. The hosta pots have also been renovated here – especially those which have been nibbled at, though in general we do not seem to suffer too much slug and snail damage.
It is possible now to see where things have become overcrowded – especially in the planting of the Front Garden. Sweet Cicely is removed or thinned out where it has become dominant – by the Siegfried Line and in other areas where we can assume it was self seeded rather than planned – and replaced with other plantings.
Along the front pathway astrantia is removed and repositioned in other places, clearing some spaces and filling gaps in others. Here also the stone pavers of fishing and sailing boats have been edged, the grass tucked neatly in around them.
In front of the house the stone pathway has been cleared around artworks, and wild strawberries removed from here replanted along the cobble edge of the Pompeian garden beneath the little colonnade.
Hydrangea petiolaris by the gable end of the Temple of Apollo is cut back for encroaching into roof tiles and guttering, while on the opposite gable end saplings growing into the guttering and under the roof tiles have been removed.
The hedging of Huff Lane has been clipped to keep it in check, a misshapen cotonester has been removed from behind the altar II 1O19 in the front allowing more light and space for a juvenile walnut tree – and an overhanging willow by the top pond which caught the unsuspecting heads of passersby one too many times has been removed.
The Virgil groves in the Parkland have been neatly edged and cobbles weeded out, so that they remain very formal interventions in the landscape. The Ile de Peupliers island in the lower pond has also been tidied out – it too had become infested with sticky willy.
The wild flower pots of the Femmes de la Revolution have been replanted afresh, alongside them in front of the house, containers of pink flowering dandelions are a great success. Corinithian planters in the wood and Temple garden have been given a clean and tidy, and capital planters in the front garden by the raspberry canes planted up.with oregano.
Much of the rhubarb has now passed its best – around the Claudi pool and the large crown in the Kailyard – old leaves and growth are removed and added to the compost heap.
Both the Top pond and the Artemis / Diana pool have been repaired with mud packing around the edges where they have been found to be leaking – water always manages to find a new way out.
It has been a very unsettled month as far as the weather goes – the atmosphere is very close – the air warm and claggy with yet more rain – a disappointment as a season.
Finally, Cupid’s arrow has been replaced in the woodland garden – the original too out of scale and damaged – a new missile now pierces the mossy bark of the tree where it landed.