Upside Down, Boy You Turn Me

Yesterday a parcel of plants was left, according to the email I received whilst I was out working, “In a safe place”.   This oh so secure and nurturing place was outside my front door in the rain.  To add insult to injury it was upside down, in a box with clear arrows to prevent such mistakes.   I sighed.  I did my best to rescue the fallen.  I complained.  New plants are on the way.

Today at Button Moon the morning began damp and drizzly.  Last night we suffered supposedly heavy rain but as it passed in my dreams I can’t confirm this.   Perhaps this allegedly severe weather was the reason that some of the heuchera leaves had turned upside down.  Whatever the reason, the vibrant violet, raindropped undersides were quite beautiful.

Toil

It seemed like a brilliant idea.

“Let’s make a flower bed in the middle of the lawn.  More colour, less mowing.  There will be plenty left if you ever fancy a game of crochet.”   A perfect plan, not just perfect, inspired.

“We’ll pile the sods in corner a few meters away and when it has rotted down in 18 months time it will have transformed into a lovely loamy top soil that we can use around the garden where necessary.  Sorry?  What did you say?  A change of plan?  You want the turf transported up the steep and slippery gravel path, past two encroaching and especially prickly holly bushes, across more gravel at the front of The Hall, through the gate and beyond to reclothe the tatty lawn by the herb beds? ”  Admittedly this would involve more work, but still it was a great idea, two jobs completed in one foul swoop, can’t argue with that.  Let’s get going.

“The wheel barrow has a flat tyre?”  Fine, we’ll fill the trug, attach it to the sack truck and pull it up the slope.

“The sack truck has two flat tyres”.  Silence.

“But we have another sack truck”.  Result!

Fast forward through 7 hours of turf removal, turf transporting, turf laying, carrying bags of compost and sand down the slippery slope, digging, ball throwing, extraction of two full barrows of buried broken bricks and concrete that had to be pushed on the flat tyred barrow to their resting place, edge laying and, phew, the job was complete.  We were broken.  But we did it.  We created an elliptical bed, much larger than it appears in the photo below but I didn’t have the energy to walk the 10m required for a better view-point.  They said it couldn’t be done.  We showed them.

Now for the planting.  The good bit.

Holes

Osteospermum

Today at Button Moon was a day of digging holes.  Big holes, little holes, medium sized holes.   Some awkward roots and slates, some easy passages.  Luckily I was armed with a golden spade, it made life much easier.  Everyone should have a golden spade, even if you haven’t got golden boots.  Into these holes I planted a pot bound camellia, three Heuchera ‘Marmalade’, a Viburnum tinus and Rhododendron ‘Horizon Monarch’.  Grow, grow, grow!

This osteospermum needs no encouragement.  Some might say it needs to calm down a little.  Not me.  I say “grow, grow, grow!”

The Future

Poppy Seed Head

Last week, on my first day back on Button Moon, we prepared the annual wildflower beds for the coming year.  It seemed a fitting way to mark the occasion of my return to the fold.   The border was weeded, the bones of last year’s blooms were pulling up and any remaining seed broadcast.   Looking forward to the future.  It is the only way to go.

This is the carcass of a particularly frou frou, bruise purple poppy that infiltrated the native mix.   It might not be true to the standard meadow form, but it was welcomed with open arms.  The contents of the pepper pot seed head will be scattered with the rest.  We do love a bit of frou frou.

Another

hydrangea

Another hydrangea, and why not?  It has made the effort to flower, and so beautifully.  Today on Button Moon, glowing in the low and most welcome sunlight, it was hard to believe that it wasn’t blooming just for our delectation.  Of course it doesn’t care a fig what we think.

Demarcation

After very enjoyable, but rather hectic, weekend it was a treat to spend the day on Button Moon.  Even better I was joined by my friend Pickle.   First we surveyed the garden.  I was looking for progression and regression in order to make an accurate assessment of horticultural jobs and their relative urgency.  Pickle was compling an inventory of sticks, balls and miscellaneous toys including Pink Piggie.  Later I picked pears and apples, collected seed, weeded re-emerging ground elder and dead-headed herbaceous plants. Pickle rolled in badger poo.   So pleased we didn’t get our jobs mixed up.

Bright Side

poppy

There are some advantages to persistent mizzle, even when you are out in it all day, stewing like an old turnip in head to toe waterproofs, the only ventilation provided by a leaking boot.  They are as follows:

  1. Good company, both human and canine, although a degree of encouragement was dispensed from the dry side of a window (yes Pickle I am talking about you, fair weather friend).
  2. Excused the chore of lugging watering cans up and down steps (lucky as a strategic tennis ball was positioned at the very top) (anyone else think this is a bit suspect?) (and what was that piece of paper I was asked to sign the other day?)
  3. Rapid weight loss, although unfortunately only temporary, it went straight back on when I partook of my early evening quart of Merrydown and black.
  4. Photogenic raindrops on refreshed flowers.