I was all in the mood for writing a right good blog entry today, but I've been struck down, *raises hand to brow in dramatic gesture of woebegone-ness*. I'll try to make it still good, but please be aware that I can't hear properly, feel like I've got cotton wool stuffed in my ears, and said ears are starting to ache a lot. Think I might possibly have an ear infection. But I shall persevere - it's only a piddly little thing, and I shall be thankful I haven't got anything worse :) (Good excuse not to go for planned run!! Will go tomorrow instead if Sudafed works on the ears...)
So. Had a productive few days, particularly in the garden :) On Friday afternoon my dad came round for a cuppa, and we sat in the garden. I don't know what my dad was thinking, but I was thinking that it wasn't really all that pleasant to be sitting out in our garden, because it was such a state. The grass was starting to get noticeably overgrown, and there were masses of weeds in the borders, and the whole place was just strewned with toys. So I sat and made a list of jobs to be done outside. Well, yesterday I finished half of the jobs on the list! Yes, me! I did! Usually I am very lazy when it comes to getting jobs done that don't involve sitting down and doing some reading or writing. Essentially, all the hobbies and occupations that I indulge in require very little in the way of physical exertion, other than lifting a pen - though the very act of lifting a pen many times over can be quite dangerous, and I do suffer from repetitive strain injury in my wrist at times (but please, don't worry about me, I have glucosamine gel, and it's very effective).
So, I grafted yesterday afternoon: I mowed the lawn, after I'd strimmed its edges; I played with my new hoe, and tilled the soil in the borders (James, Matthew and Thomas were very helpful indeed, and took out all of the big stones for me - you'll see what they did with them later); I mulched, three big bags of compost all spread out over my old and sad looking top soil, now looking very neat; I watered everything, with much more water than was necessary, because nothing has been watered at all this year, and I have a terrible tendency to forget to do it; I fed-and-weeded the lawn, and then watered in the little granules, bless them. There is still much to do, but it was a good start. The rest of the jobs will take rather longer, because they're bigger jobs. We thought of a plan for our new fence panels - we're going to mural them, and I've had a wicked idea. Some may think that it's rather tasteless, but we think it will be well cool! I'll not say anything more about it until we've begun to implement the plan, except to say that it's going to take a lot of planning.
So here is the garden, as it looks right now (whether it will stay looking so neat is another thing!):
This is the border on the left, the less well-stocked border, the one that needs some more plants.
This is the border on the right, the one that is a bit more established, on account of it being a year older than the other one. The tree closest to us is a ceanothus. The shrub furthest away is a spiraea, and it's also called a Bridal Wreath (I showed a picture of it in flower a couple of weeks ago, flowers all gone now :( )
The lawn, and the shed :) The lawn often has stripes on it, going in different directions, depending on what kind of shape the boys have been making out of decking boards on it.
The view from the shed. We built the patio, when Thomas was an only child. The patio is usually a mess, and could do with a good pressure-wash.
This is a little pine tree that we have in the left border. It's going to take many, many years to reach its full height, as it grows approximately 1cm a year! We've had it two years, and I only know that it's grown because I've seen its new growth appear in the spring, like in this photo.
A rhododendron that my grandma bought me last year. It's a dwarf rhododendron, and it's apparently lucky to have survived in our rubbish soil! And, best of all, I spelled rhododendron all by myself just now, without having to ask anyone, or look in a dictionary!
This is a pieris. We have three varieties of pieris in the garden, and they're all this variegated leaf, that begins life in this gorgeous ruby red colour. I love them, and I think the leaves at this stage look delicious.
This is the miraculous new growth on the broom that I thought I'd killed! I 'pruned' the broom a few months ago, and by pruned I mean that I looked at the bush that was almost as tall as me, and almost as wide as I am tall, and I thought that it could do with a trim, so I took my secateurs and I cut everything off it and left three or four naked woody branches at a new height of roughly twelve inches! I thought it had died. My dad looked at it and advised me to peel back a little bark, because it did look completely dead. I peeled back the bark, and there was green underneath, but I really thought that it was going to die. But lo! It has risen again, like a phoenix from the ashes, and a miracle has come to pass, in my very own back garden! Never again shall I doubt the power of the mighty broom :)
This is the weeny little greenhouse that I bought the other day. It's all nicely steamed up, and the plants that were dying of thirst on my kitchen windowsill may yet survive. It's a bit late for seeds now, but I've got a few more that I'd like to try (I'll just plant a few of them, and save the rest for next year, just incase it really is too late), and the heat in this little hot house is incredible so they may still work. It's not the prettiest thing in the garden, but it's practical.
Some pots. Hmm, you can see what we're trying to do here, on the patio, but I think we need more. You can never have enough potted plants on your patio. And probably a chimenea as well.
And this is where the stones from the borders went; along with the weeds, and some grass cuttings, and some bits of wood. And you can see, quite clearly, that the boys have created a veritable haven for the local wildlife, and I'm sure that in no time at all we will have a little family of newts, and maybe we might even attract some passing koi!
Here we have one of the messy areas of the garden, this is the sand pit, apparently ...
it's on the list, don't worry!
So, there you have it, our garden. Very, very pleasant to spend time in. And when we've finished making it completely beautiful we will be working on the front garden, which is rubbish. We wish that we could move to a new house, but take our garden with us.
The productive mood continued today, incidentally: I wrote another thousand words of my book :) Very pleased with myself this week. Now, if I can just drag my lazy butt out for a run tomorrow evening, I will consider myself worthy of canonisation after my death (I don't mean that I should be fired from a canon, of course).
Ooh, I'm right in the mood for a couple of episodes of The Waltons now ...