We’ve had a milder week, with temperatures not going below about 5 centigrade at night. But the mild weather brought heavy skies and rain full of the most disgusting sand, presumably picked up from the Sahara and dumped here? My old white Peugot now not only has multiple dents in the side of it (I inadvertently drove too close to one of the rampart walls in the village just before Christmas), but is also so filthy that I can hardly see out of the windscreen in daylight. The bonus? It’s the first week I’ve enjoyed driving in the dark for a long time!
So – here are my six again!
One. Eremurus robustus ‘Cleopatra’ in the orchard borders. Last year was the first year of growth for the orchard border on the left of the steps as you walk down from the house (below), while the other (shadier) border had been planted up about 2 years before that. They need tidying now and I’m quite anxiously waiting to see what pokes its head above ground.
Since it’s normally so dry here in the summer, I’m nervous that our wet 2021 season, followed by a wet winter will have rotted some herbaceous and grasses – I was seized by the idea that what I had was a steppe-type habitat, summer-dry grassland and planted accordingly. But the Eremurus are poking through …
Two. Fritillaria acmopetala & F. meleagris. You can see by the slug damage how wet everything’s been.
But still, they are there.
And in bud too!
I tried to grow F. meleagris higher up in the garden in my mini-woodland when we arrived about 10 years ago. Too hot and dry, although two bulbs struggle on. Here, in the better conditions of the orchard borders, there are new plantings and I’m much more hopeful for them.
Three. Anemone blanda in the Hornbeam Gardens and orchard borders.
Blue’s always a joy. I need to start trying to naturalise more Anemone coronaria here and there, but the increasingly wet seasons are putting me off.
Four. Mini-woodland. Almost as good as it gets now, under its canopy of hazel and Cornus mas
… although the snowdrops have gone over.
I need to get that Epimedium (carefully) clipped, because I noticed the flower shoots coming through the other day. I just hang on to the warm colour of the leaves too long.
Five. Pruning the two vines on Vine Terrace. I seem to get later with this every year. When I pruned it at the beginning of the week the sap was starting to drip. And, yes Nick – I do think it’s time for a blue re-paint job next winter (that’ll get me pruning the vines early!)
Six. Hazel tripods. I seem to find this job more exhausting every time I do it. It ‘frets’ me and I’m always worried I’m not doing it very well.
But, four days later, I realise that it’s just as good (or bad!) as it was the last time. I love them in winter when there’s no clematis growth. They seem to last for about 3 years.
Number 6 was supposed to be planting asparagus – but I never quite got around to it, so that’s a job for this weekend. Also getting the sand off the white car – everywhere I see people washing their cars. Even saw a friend washing his at the village fountain – we are all on metred water, so presumably he’s saving his teacher’s pension for better things!
Have a wonderful week and don’t forget to go over to The Propagator’s blog and see the other sixes!