Gardener's Diary Post

May 2020

A serene summer ahead…


Spring days extend themselves. As the daffodils go over the gorse comes into bloom, its coconutty scent an almost exotic fragrant surprise.
Forget-me-nots, cowslips and wild garlic form the colour palette, bluebells bring a hazy glimpse of the sea to the woodland undergrowth. Falling cherry blossom everywhere confettis the grass.
The Temple pool is given a clean out of all the accumulated blanket weed – the other ponds and pools still need attention, in each there is some form of leak recurring which needs patched up. There is a lot of silt too from the spring source which needs to be kept clear and running freely. The Top pond is the most troublesome – the drains installed to take away excess water are working but there remains an underlying problem of underground seepage from the pond which makes its way to a lower level by the Middle pond stepping stones and resurfaces there.
The Cube form and the Claudi bridge have each been given a fresh coat of paint – the bridge is deteriorating, year on year, especially at the end sections where perhaps water has seeped in – then the concrete becomes crumbly and unstable and falls away – repairs are made. It is not yet hazardous, but one day for certain a larger section is going to give way and the whole piece will need to be recast anew.
All of the inscribed wooden benches are given a fresh layer of linseed oil to keep them preserved and waterproof.
Both grass cutting and germination begin to dominate  it grows where we don’t need it, and struggles where we do – particularly with the prolonged almost drought like conditions for most of the month. Bright days for a brief time give way to grey skies and cold blustery winds, but for now we will require more rain – a pleasant shower to two would help with the juvenile spears of grass poking through – then we can move on to the wished for warmer days of summer…
More oxeye daisies are planted out in the car park area where they were damaged with flooding or heavy traffic earlier in the year – this whole area is tidied up.
From the greenhouses sweet pea, feverfew, marsh mallow, meadow rue have been planted out, leaving space for potting on other seedlings and sowing a few more herbs and vegetables. It is surely a central rule of thumb that you can never have too much parsley.
Those seedlings which have come out of the greenhouses are planted up in the Kailyard (including kale, of course) and the Allotment, both of which are now tidy and ready for the season ahead.
The Hortus walled garden is tidied out – the pool cleaned and the formal beds weeded out.
All the container plants need watered as they are putting on rapid new growth – which is happening everywhere both planned for and unwanted –  nettles and ground elder are relishing the conditions and so another regular task of intervention to control them commences.
The snowberry is cut back around Roman garden and by the Henry Vaughan – Solitary Devotions walk where the artwork had all but disappeared into the surrounding bushes.
All of this activity – strimming and grass cutting – does not seem to have much disturbed new our arrivals to the garden. A family group of three swans took up temporary residence for a couple of weeks on Lochan Eck – they feast away up-ended on the pond weed so are both a useful presence and a delightful sight. By the end of the month they have flown off again, though they may yet return – signifiers, perhaps, of a serene summer ahead…