Sunday, 6 May 2012

A Sunny Afternoon

During this last week, amongst grey skies, wind and rain, rain, and yet more rain, we had a sunny afternoon. It was a window of joy and opportunity, to be taken advantage of.

 It was possible to mow dry grass, tidy up storm damage without yet more rubbish coming down from the skies as the blower was wielded. We managed to get through four places in the same amount of hours, mostly by pretty much running everywhere. Why running and panicking? Well, not just because of the rain, but because of the number of completely rained off days, bank holidays, and our holiday to Istanbul in two weeks, meaning that as much as possible HAS to be taken care of beforehand, in case we find yet more rain on our return. Two of the afternoons places we got through are in the piccies top and below, and another was the re-landscape job in Sandbanks. The owners had just returned from abroad, and were delighted with the results in the back garden so far, and we are now in discussion about replacing the turf, which will never really grow well because of tree cover etc,with artificial grass, several samples of which they are now perusing.

 Friday came and went, and yesterday, which should have been a day off again, was put over to another unscheduled garden tidy up. A rented house, the owner needed to get the garden up together for the landlords six monthly inspection.

 The garden was of a modern design, and looked to have been left to itself for a few years. A deep breath was taken, a start point picked by each of us, and the work began.

 Various types of bamboo were either thinned out or trimmed down to a formal flatness. Dead plants removed, overgrown Genista pruned to about twelve inches, and bay trees trimmed.

Any weeds in the hard standing areas were strimmed off, and systemic weedkiller applied.

 And things started to look much more sorted.

 An overgrown corner where a rather nice little summer house was nestled, had its honeysuckle and passion flower cut back or cleared.

 Leaving things more ordered, if now a little bare for the time being.

 The front 'garden' only really consisted of a raised border flanking the electronic gates. Trachycarpus simply needed legging up a little, Phormiums cleaned and the Chamaerops cleared of dead and ugly leaves. It had been very cold and windy, and come 1pm we were finally finished, and so rewarded ourselves with a stop off at The Porterhouse before returning home for a quick bite to eat.

Once fed and watered, we were off to the allotment, as there were runner and broad beans now growing in pots at home, that needed planting out. Before we started, we had a walk around the other plots, to see where everyone else was in terms of what they were growing.

 There were cute sheds.........and beds prepared for planting.

 Cheerful scarecrows.

 And finally, now, our runner beans, two to a cane.

 The broad beans are also in, just behind Amanda, who at this point was freshening up the soil that had been panned down by all of the rain.

 A very long day, but still a smile for the camera!

 Finally, before we left for home at about 7pm, I cut some rhubarb stems. The rhubarb had bolted, but this really isn't a problem. The flowers were chopped off and put into the compost heap.....

 .......and a very respectable pile of rhubarb was cleaned, stewed and frozen. Some we are having tonight with ice cream yum yum!

Thanks for visiting.


  1. Your allotment looks nice!
    So cute to see the other allotments too. What a great way to learn and share with other gardeners.

    1. Hi Sherlock,
      It can be really useful to have that experience around, and we never shy away from asking for help.

  2. Busy, busy!! I am SOO excited to be able to harvest my first crop of rhubarb this year!! It will not be soon enough. .can't wait for that first bite of pie!

    1. Hi Melanie,
      Rhubarb is just the best isn't it? And in a pie or crumble with some custard is simply irresistable!