Sunday, 19 January 2014

Signs of life

Things are growing!
It may be soggy, but the first signs that things are still living in the cold, damp world outdoors are now visible in the garden.  A relief to the prowling gardener, desperate for seasons to turn and for the next year of plants to begin.

I suppose an enforced hiatus in the gardening calendar affords opportunities to do other things.

Lots of cake stands have been made, and teacups drilled in readiness for spring bulbs and violas.  Also lots of fellow flower folk were met in Devon, and tips and experiences exchanged.  It also gave me the perfect excuse to visit a friend whose path, it transpires, I haven't crossed for 5 years.  Indeed, her once-child has now morphed into a very large adult since he was last sighted as a 12 year old….  Which just goes to show how quickly time flies. And soon it will be spring again, so I shouldn't wish time away.

But perhaps the most important outcome of the British Flowers meet was that I was bossed into writing a letter enquiring about the abandoned walled garden which still dominates my gardening imagination.
Those who told me that if I didn't follow up on it, I'd regret it or always wonder "what if…" were right, I think.  So on my return, google was searched and a letter was sent.  What next? Hmmm.

However, without taking on any further land, I've still managed to increase my growing space, having spent the last few dry days digging over the viburnum-vacated patch and grubbing out the ground elder.  I was moaning in a previous post that the black plastic had failed to make an impact on this pernicious weed, but now have to revise my opinion.  Once a fork is jabbed into the snaky rooted mass to dislodge it,  the ground elder can be teased out of the beautifully friable compost layer that has accumulated on top of the plastic. And when the elder is removed, the plastic can be dragged back to reveal dry, diggable soil (a contrast to the adjoining soggy mass) and this can then be stripped of the somewhat desiccated roots which snake across its surface in their quest for light and moisture. Sadly, I've learned through bitter experience, that without a chemical blitz, ground elder is for life, not just for Christmas, but at least this way I get to remove a lot of it in one big purge.  Enough to have a new 10 foot square growing space at any rate.

Newly vacated
Death to the dominators...

I can tell, just by my quest for a photo of this spot in its previous state, that it was a fairly nondescript, unproductive area, as there is barely any record of it for the last couple of years.  Look forward to planting it up in a few months time and letting my seedlings get their roots into this fantastically compost enriched soil.

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