Gardener's Diary Post

July 2020

Lost in greenness…

The full flush of summer brings with it, almost inevitably, a change to grey skies and downpours – the narrow edges of tall rain drenched grass pathways collapse in on themselves – every passage is a soaking. There is much strimming and mowing to get all back into shape.

Work on the other main aspect of water in the garden – the pools – continues. Repairs are made to the Lower pond, the Top pond is weeded out and the little islands here are refreshed by cutting back straggly growth and redefining their shapes. The aqueduct is running freely again – yet another weak point found and plugged.

The Middle pond too is weeded and tidied – the wooden aqueduct here is repaired and kept running – as this structure ages it is gradually rotting and weakening, and the water regularly finds new inventive ways of bypassing its intended course.

There is weeding required in the Lochan also – especially floating patches of the lily like leaves of potamogeton, which form dense clumps on the surface of the water – interrupting the idea or impression of an inland sea,. It seems the swans we had earlier in the year did a good job of suppressing regrowth of our other invasive pondweed – elodea, which is now not so much in evidence. The trout though is still in residence here and rises breaking the surface to feast on flies – not quite enough to control the clouds of midges which are revelling in the conditions and on unsuspecting areas of exposed flesh.

More foxgloves are planted out on the bank beneath the Nuclear Sail – further nettles are also removed from here and the area will soon become fully reclaimed and harmonious. 

Overhanging growth and branches are cut back by the Line Light Lade watercourse and the Gates / Stiles marker stones in the Parkland,  along with overhanging roses on the Claudi bridge.

Our old enemy rose bay willow herb has been decapitated of its flower heads before they come into bloom – so at the very least its gaudy presence on the hillside is subdued. Further willow herb intervention involves pulling it out along by the Camouflaged Flowers plinths, and stopping its spread into the Wild garden.

The first veg is harvested from the Kailyard. There is an ample sufficiency of salads. 

All of the yew hedges have been trimmed – including the large dividing hedge at the top of the Parkland and Kailyard, and around the Roman garden.

Nettles are pulled out around the tree column base Pantheon and the Top pond areas – also around the Parkland watercourses and along the boundary of the garden where it joins the fields and moorland beyond.

In between overcast days there are days of strong sun and shadow – fresh flowering and new growth rushes ahead. The beds fill out in front of the cottage and temples.

The Hortus is tidied out – the formal Cloud pool kept clear, its gravelly surrounding raked over and weeded out. The roses seem to be coming on well here this year, clearly enjoying conditions.

The sunken garden in the front is maintained to keep its Persian carpet effect Рgrasses and oversized self-seeded plants removed. The same work is done in Julie’s garden, removing creeping buttercup and grasses where they are not wanted, splitting clumps of lily of the valley and moving it around to fill in the spaces Рthe whole area kept in check and made more formal again.


Now scabious and knapweed are flowering in the long grass. Meadowsweet dominates around the perimeter of the lochan, its foamy flowers define the waters edge.


These are days when it is lovely to walk over clover in bloom. To be lost in the greenness. When the garden gives back its pleasures.