We have now had sunny weather and clear skies for a week and boy, the garden shows the difference; ahem – so do we humans. I am a little browner than I was and I am dressed in a singlet and shorts. Freedom!!
But not for the weeds. I am on the warpath. I have discovered ground elder
and have made a mortal enemy. Here it is on the surface. The underground life is criss-crossed with a labyrinth of roots that mat their way through soft turned soil and also bury themselves in deep, dark subsoil that makes for a difficult battle! I will win, I can assure you! Here is a photo of my sworn enemy!
On a more colourful note, I took some photos of the bush peony that has finally opened its face to the world.
The rhododendrons have also broken through their flower bracts and are showing their regal purple to us. The dwarf azaleas I planted last year in place of the dreaded roses that I had removed have rewarded my eyes with their glorious burst of colour.
I know this magnificent poppy is considered a weed, but its exuberant colour and outlandish size makes me smile. And it brings the bees. I understand that bees don’t see colour in the same fashion as do we (thanks to the hunter gatherer who put me right) but the brightness is enough to attract them in their greyish world. All my vegetables benefit from having the poppies on the vege bed border.
The bachelor’s button is a hardy plant and likes to proliferate in close harmony thus compounding its generation and protection.
So all in all, I am quite pleased with the way the tired old garden we inherited is being given a new lease of life and learning to breathe again after having been choked by the ubiquitous ground elder.
In the vege garden, the peas are looking healthy and the compost I inherited that looked in poor nick has actually turned out to be fine. I sieved it and have packed some around the peas to keep the moisture at constant levels.
The strawberries have all set fruit. Now to keep them growing on weed mat which I have yet to put down around the plants and between the three rows. I was going to use straw which I would have done in Mullumbimby. Trot off to the local rural co-op and buy a couple of bales for a tenner.
But no – not here in Fife. I could buy a small bag of barley straw – less than a twentieth of the amount in an Aussie bale and pay over a fiver for it. No thank you. So weed mat it will be. Next year I will grow strawberries in tiers or source some straw from a farm.
The weather should hold for another short week so I will get more cleaning and seeding done. Gosh, it feels good!! Gardening gives me time to think about all manner of things, time to plan what I want to achieve in a set time and most of all, I feel at peace.
Hard to beat, really.