And… Relax

Adjusting the nets

I’ve had a really busy couple of weeks (and weekends) with work, so it was wonderful to get home early yesterday and wander the garden. While much of the country had torrential rain and lightning storms, we had a warm, sunny day. Some plug plants of winter vegetables had arrived in the post, and I spent a luxurious hour deciding where to put them and tucking them in. Bliss.

The colours in the garden seem to have been intensified by these early autumn heat waves. They seem bigger, brighter, bolder. I’m particularly fond of the saturated colour of the Japanese anemones. I must get a few more…

Lavender landing

The lavender has gone on and on and on… I harvested some in July and those plants are just coming into bud again. The lavender spot, outside the front door, has been alive with non-stop bees all summer and is still providing. I give up trying to get a good photograph of them and just sit in the porch watching, with a cup of tea… Magical.

Butterflies have had a second wind, and there are lots in the garden again. I’m hopeful my wild corner has something to do with that, although I think the farmer removing the sheep from the next door orchard, and allowing it to grow wild, might be the real answer. I hope he leaves it that way.

Wasps are about too… with their purposeful, steady drone as they patrol the beds like low-flying helicopters. I think their target is the caterpillars on the cabbages, which I’m quite happy about. They seem to be expert trackers. This one was studying the droppings of the caterpillar above it. Or perhaps he was eating it? Each to their own.

I spotted this ladybird last week and suddenly realised it was the first I’d seen all summer. It’s not been a good year for ladybirds… Not around here, anyway. We had them in spring and then there were some really cold nights in early July… Either that, or could something be eating their larvae?

I’ve been really pleased with the terraced area I constructed on the steep slope down to the stream. But the planting hasn’t really done it justice. It hasn’t been the ‘cut flower garden’ I was imagining. I planted most seeds direct and I need to think about staggering plants better so that they all get some light. It’s not been bad though, and certainly better than what was there before. Something to think about over winter…

…along with the gravelled area at the back of the cottage, which tends to get overlooked. I use it as somewhere to keep the wormeries, pile up empty flowerpots, dump bags of compost, and stash the wood pile. Despite being the north side, it gets quite a bit of sun over the roof in the summer, and from the west, making it a heat trap in the afternoon. At the end of the day, it’s the place to watch the sun set. The chillies and basil have thrived here in their pots, and a west-facing bed of tomatoes, up against the warmth of the shed, have been the only ones to escape the dreaded blight.

But I’m not really making the most of it for me. It’s a restful, private space and, because it overlooks the orchard field at the back, takes your mind off all the things that need doing in the rest of the garden. And in the rest of life.

It’s important to have a spot where you can do that.



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