I decided against featuring a photograph of The Tail, as it was attached to a bedraggled and very dead creature that I retrieved from the grid that stops detritus being washed from the stream into the ‘reservoir’. The stream had been topped up only a couple of days ago but I could hear the pump gurgling and could see the flow was reduced, so I scooped out handfuls of leaves and suchlike along its length but scooping by the grid I found a long ‘thing’ that I could see was not vegetative and could feel was attached to something else; my rat knowledge ensured I knew exactly what it was. I had to move a couple of the bigger rocks to extract him, and we won’t know if he was alive or dead when he first entered the water but perhaps the stream will run more efficiently now!
Instead of The Tail I have featured a picture of the pretty pink helianthemum above, a plug plant I had potted on and then planted in the blue & white border, assuming (wrongly) that because it was called ‘The Bride’ that she would be in white. Alas no, she was the blushing variety (and perhaps white weddings are old hat anyway) so she was rescued and replanted in an empty corner of the main herbaceous borders. On a mission, I also finished hacking at the concrete by the step into the ‘bus shelter’ so that it can be remortared into its new position soonish, gently moving a toad that was snoozing beneath it to prevent earache or damaged limbs.
Whilst seeking out unfinished business (and perhaps avoiding more weeding) I decided to rescue Cécile Brunner who has survived neglected in a large pot near the shed. I recollect that she tolerates shade, but the shoots she has sent skywards are hidden in the variegated holly so even if she flowered we wouldn’t see them. Repeating what had been done with ‘Rose-Marie Viaud’ last year we cut the bottom off the plastic (but realistic) pot and I moved another of our chimney pots away from the front of the shed and slotted Cécile in there instead. She has two or three shoots that are about 10-12 feet long so it may be wise to cut those back now and feed her up for next year. Rose-Marie has expressed gratitude for her rescue as she has rewarded us with a cluster of buds that I am watching over eagerly.