Whims-ical

Whilst on top of the sowing and planting side of the garden, work continues apace on the titivating side of gardening while time is still on our side (two  months till the openings…). Not satisfied with basic maintenance tasks, new ones have been created on a whim which, by experience, we have found often turn out to be the best ideas. One of these was replacing the guttering on the sitooterie which will not be especially obvious on the above photo but which somehow improves its appearance, possibly changing the proportion a little because the standard square black guttering recedes into the roof profile, whereas the original lined wooden guttering the Golfer created stood out more because of its Wild Thyme paintwork.

It was barely a month ago that I showed a picture of the pots of herbs that had been lifted from the bed they had been sunk into; they may well have looked attractive grouped together but My Goodness! didn’t they dry out quickly?! On a whim, the Golfer was asked to build a raised bed; no sooner said than done and the herbs (some replaced as the originals had dried out beyond redemption) are settling into their new home which also allows space for cut and come again salad crops.

The two features made recently from tile off cuts were both created on a whim, and tidying up the excess soil and slate chippings gave rise to another this last week – replacing the slate chippings path beyond them with paviors. It was a bizarre experience walking on the path afterwards as I felt 2″ taller (the depth of the paviors), my height relative to that of the adjacent fence creating the illusion 🙂 Mind you, the path needs a little bit of dirt rubbed in to match the older and well trodden on paviors at the far end!

Still in progress is rescuing the mature ivy, covered with its wonderful and idiosyncratic flowers and subsequent berries all winter, which had collapsed due to the rotting of the original hedge tree (probably hawthorn)  supporting it. The rotting stump has been mostly removed and the ivy is going to be draped around a cheap metal arch that will frame the statue and create a kind of leafy bower – that’s the idea, anyhow. Although I read the dimensions of the arch before it was bought, in practice it is  rather larger than envisaged but hopefully will work if some of the height is reduced – and if the main ivy stems have not been broken during its extrication.

No more whims in the offing as yet, so it’s back to routine tasks, like sweeping and weeding the paths.  Attention given to the paths before last year’s informal opening made a noticeable difference to the whole garden (well, noticeable to us), so keeping them as tidy as possible is one of our ongoing tasks; hopefully it won’t be like painting the Forth Rail Bridge!

ps the crab apple has been forgiven for shedding petals on the pristine path…

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25 Responses to Whims-ical

  1. Heyjude says:

    A gardener’s work is never done! Looking good though 🙂
    One question: Is your hard paving cemented in? I am reducing my lawn and creating pathways using gravel/pebbles, but wonder if I could use some sort of granite paving setts to create an edge. Not sure how difficult that would be and my OH is not a DIYer.

    • Cathy says:

      Who needs an OH for DIY when you can DIY?! 😀 Seriously, the Golfer is brilliant for certain tasks but I do my share too and most of the hard landscaping and certainly all the brickwork is mine 😊 The paving is all laid on sand to allow free drainage, but for edges you might need to lay them on some mortar, depending on the stability of what’s on either side of them. Real granite setts are very irregular in size so it may be better looking at man made alternatives. If Bradstone still do carpet stones they would work well – they literally come as a carpet on a plastic mesh and you could cut them into strips for edges. We have used them a lot for paths and infills between slabs on bigger areas. Do ask if you want any more info Jude

      • Heyjude says:

        Haha… true words indeed, it’s just my back and knees complain a lot these days! Thanks for the info, I shall look into your suggestions. Meanwhile cardboard is down on the lawn which I hope will kill it off to help avoid too much more digging!

        • Cathy says:

          Oh sorry about the back and knees Jude – I do try not to take my health for granted and certainly know that it would have been much harder work building the extension now than it was 18 years ago!

  2. Goodness, it’s all looking fantastic Cathy. Good job on the paving. I do wish I could come down and see it in person!

  3. Anna says:

    Oh you are certainly on a roll Cathy! I’m really looking forward to seeing your garden in what’s now the not too distant future. I’ve noticed at the allotment that when the central path is swept and weed free that it makes everything look more shipshape. It’s a job still on this spring’s to do list 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      It’s the determination to keep on top of it here that helps, Anna, as there will be plenty of last minute jobs bearer the time. I have also topped up all the bark paths, including in the fruit cage which looks infinitely tidier since it was done

  4. Christina says:

    Your garden seems like the Tardis Cathy; you are always showing views I don’t remember seeing before! It is all looking great, and will be fantastic when you open – people will envy you the Golfer, someone who is so good at inventing and building will have many admirers!!!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christina – the house has been described as a Tardis too as it looks like a small terraced cottaged from the front 😉 The Golfer and I make a good team and are unlikely to have achieved our potential with previous partners -we are very fulfilled in our lives now

  5. nancytol says:

    Like the clay pots in raided bed – given how dry it is so far this year it may well prove to be inspired

  6. Brian Skeys says:

    I think opening the garden encourages the maintenance of the hard landscaping, which is good long time for the garden. I am always impressed by the amount of work you both do, it is all looking very good.

  7. croftgarden says:

    I am always so impressed by your gardening ingenuity and endeavour. If you have a spare five minutes I could do hand with mixing some concrete – I can supply a box for you to stand on to make it easier to get the hardcore into the mixer! Sorry couldn’t resist a tease!

    • Cathy says:

      Hmm, I didn’t need a box for the cement mixer when we were building the extension nearly 20 years ago – but as we supposedly shrink 1cm every 10 years past the age of 30 I just might need one now. So, if you can arrange the teleport facility (and as long as it doesn’t induce seasickness), I can spare you that 5 minutes. For your new project…?

  8. Beautiful blossom and I love your summerhouse. Your garden is beautiful. Your hard work pays off!

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