After removing the rocks from the rockery the Golfer kept well out of the reconstruction of the Great Rock Wall of wherever-it-is, but was nevertheless gainfully occupied in another task – two obelisks for the shrub border. Usually he works to his own specification based on the idea I have asked him to pursue but because I showed him ‘Geoff Hamilton’s Cottage Gardens’ book, pointing out Geoff’s obelisk and saying “I’d like two like this please”, he followed Geoff’s design instead, hastily remaking the first one when we (the royal We, that is) decided it was too big for the proposed spot and would look out of proportion. Geoff used a plastic float from a toilet cistern to top his obelisks but we were able to recycle the finials from a neighbour’s redundant fence posts instead. Both are now complete (but I still need to paint the second one in my usual ‘Wild Thyme’ shade) and they get a definite thumbs up from me and perhaps a few Brownie points even! No doubt they will be in situ tomorrow where they will await a climbing rose and probably a clematis each, once the plant buying option is available again.
Meanwhile, after placing the pots of plants taken out of the rockery on what is now essentially a raised bed I realised I quite liked the effect of them draping over the edge – albeit draping their partially shrivelled leaves after a week in pots during a very dry spell – and have decided to go down the line of carpeting and trailing plants here. In the short term I have just popped the old plants back, for ease of keeping them watered, but over winter I shall be planning what interesting alternatives to have instead. Similarly, in the curved bed in front of the stream source I have replaced a tiny rhododendron and an equally tiny Alchemilla alpina adjacent to a dwarf conifer (its label currently buried underneath some fresh topsoil!) that stood its ground when others were being removed. The astilbe is replanted at the other side and will be joined by some new Iris ensata next year, leaving a central patch for other as yet unknown bedfellows. The additional topsoil has not only topped up this bed, but graded out the streamside area behind it which now requires a few pieces of turf to finish it off, and the leftover rocks have been utilised either in the bed or adjacent to the stream, meaning The Rockery is now well and truly a thing of the past – hurrah!