Welcome to my garden journal for the last week in May.
It’s funny when you become aware that the default topic of conversation between people is often the weather. I suppose that whether we like it or not, weather affects most everything we do – and especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors. So, whilst I never want to admit it, it is often what I drop into my journal each week, not as a detailed record but as a general comment on how it has guided or impacted my week.
This week is therefore no different, and here’s my weather remark for the week at the end of May: Strewth it’s been bloody hot this week!
It was a slightly shorter week due to the Bank Holiday, but it was a tough one to get through simply because of the heat, of which I’m not altogether fond. I won’t dwell on it, as I have far more interesting things to record in the post, but I only hope the weather offers a bit more balance, and maybe some rain, and soon!
A summary of my gardening week both at work and home reads like so: Monday – Various potting on of veg plants at home. Trimming box topiary. Tuesday – Watering (Lots). Received large delivery of topsoil. Compost heap working. Mowing. Wednesday – Scything and grass clearing. Strung-up wigwams. Weeded through tulips beds. Thursday – Watering. Mowing. Began brewing compost tea. Potting up. Touch of topiary training. Friday – Watering, including auriculas. Cleared dell area to access pond pump. Cleared tulip bed & prepared for planting.
The stunning flower above I took for a common spotted-orchid, (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) though on further investigation I’m now more inclined to see it as an early purple orchid. (As such I’ve focussed again on it in my journal entry for 6.6.20) It was a real treat to find a little collection growing alongside the pond at Broadwell. I didn’t pause for too long as I was midway through a mowing session, but they had a rich colouring to the flowers that really shone out from amongst the flag iris foliage where they were hiding, and as always, it was a real thrill to discover them somewhere new. My awareness is now heightened for sightings elsewhere!
The next image shows an age old favourite called Ragged Robin (Silene flos-cuculi). Another beautiful flower but it doesn’t matter how hard I try, all I can see is a ring of pink suited little people…. Please tell me you can see it too!
Anyway, on with another moment, the first strawberry to ripen at home! It’s basically an old galvanised bucket, drilled for drainage, and planted with three strawberry ‘Honeoye’ plants that are apparently good in patio containers. The first one is now ripe, and is reserved for my youngest son who loves strawberries, in fact they were planted largely for him, although for some reason he’s not yet ready to try the first fruit… I can but try!
The next image picks up on one of my favourite occupations, that of scything. I’ve cherished my Austrian scythe for a few years now, although I’m the first to admit the correct technique still alludes me. I remember my tutor making the scything action look so effortless…
The task was the clearance of some undergrowth in order to access a water pump, but once this was finished I moved on to a brief session removing flowering stems, and a few thousand future seeds, from a good few docks growing amongst a grassy sward. “One years seed is seven years seed” as people say..
The scythe is excellent for both of the tasks mentioned, especially when used with the shorter ‘ditching’ blade, and where the docks are concerned it’s simply a task of swishing (none technical term!) the blade above the grass to take out the flowering dock stems. It may not be the complete answer, but it’s fuel and chemical free & it’ll stop them spreading ever further – a little bit of natural selection if you like.
My last image above of sun setting behind the trees is an image of mine taken for use, along with some text, on the Silent Space website. The new web page added this week will grow as more articles are added, and is intended to offer views of how, during lockdown, some people have found calm and solace through nature.
If you haven’t discovered the Silent Space initiative as yet, you might like to explore the link at the end of this post. Essentially though, a most basic explanation is that Silent Space exists to help people find a space, usually in a park or garden, where they can properly relax and enjoy a few peaceful moments of peace. During lockdown however, most ‘arranged’ Silent Spaces in gardens have been closed to visitors.
I’m glad to say that Silent Space in general is set to go from strength to strength, and its need is more important than ever before now that many more people are discovering the restorative power of gardens and green spaces. Do please check the link below and see the incredible number of places that will soon be open again to offer their Silent Spaces.
Well that has to be it for this week, but needless to say I have another busy gardening week ahead, and will be back with more luscious images and text next week.