Saturday 7 July 2018

Brenda restores son’s garden

Brenda sorts out a garden in France
The bee's knees
As far as I was concerned I would be watching the ‘footie’. It might be our last visit and the house to be possibly sold. No incentive to yet again do the garden.
Never a gardener Peter had been too busy to apply tender attention. It was severely overgrown. In fact it was completely out of control.
Brenda foolishly volunteered to tidy a couple of borders and finished up doing the whole of the near garden dragging me in and shaming Peter into heavy lifting

A right mess
Some gardeners tell me they get immense satisfaction from transforming an overgrown piece of garden. Such an approach is anathema to me. Whilst giving a small plot micro attention the rest of the garden is going to pot. Weeds grow luxuriantly and plants outgrow their place. By the time you get round to it massive weeds take over and need removing starting that sad cycle of denuding the soil by carting to the compost heap (on a good day, otherwise the tip) and in due course after much hard work composting (and again on a good day if you remember) returning your compost back to the garden.

I preach that the approach to garden maintenance should be little and often. A soft touch regularly made. Weeds recycled in situ and soft prunings returned direct to the ground. 
I prefer when I carry out maintenance that nobody notices. You can imagine the scathing retorts I get from Brenda. I have developed a very thick skin.

Probably unworn since our last visit two years ago we slipped on our boots with some intrepidation
This report gives you a few snapshots of a (fairly) busy week in France 

Talk about a mosaic hedge!
This is the good bit of the hedge! Off camera there are long stretches of dead box. I have previously reported the deadly invasion of box caterpillar. These small box plants were killed by a single infection. Larger box were finished off elsewhere by their second advance 

Peter had a good wheeze to extract the dead box 
Compared to pulling the horse box this was a day off for the car

It worked really well
Setting about the border
Do those gloves match?

Oh la la action lady dances on the wisteria
The wisteria had been running at a mile a minute, horizontal over the ground

Vertically challenged
The botany books when listing the functions of leaves usually omit to mention leaves are a weapon to compete with neighbouring plants. The gardener acts as adjudicator with light touches on the tiller. Here the canna if left to its own devices would completely swamp the day lily (and Brenda).
Both the canna and the hemerocallis are residents of the original, even then overgrown garden. I have replanted divisions all over since they moved in.

Job well done and path can now be navigated
Those bamboo shoots which were too thick for the loppers were cut with a saw.

Peter is starting to worry that the black bamboo I had previously propagated from an already resident plant is going to take over
A lovely smoke bush - round at the neighbours

Links to my earlier posts about Peter's box caterpillar
The plague originally descended in 2015. Considering continued reports of it appearing in UK gardens the post has proved to be quite popular

I have now had to update my post about the hedge's recovery considering today's report of its demise. I have changed my opinion as to whether to remove it


  1. Box caterpillar has really destroyed so much, also around here. One of my clients has a big "modern landscaped" garden in front of their main office building, complete with box topiary in the the shape of spheres. They are such a sad sight these days, and every time I come to work for this particular client, I wonder why they do not order their gardener to remove the obviously completely dead ones.
    Your son's house is very picturesque from the bit I can see, and I am sure with Brenda, you and your son all working together, the garden will look great soon.

    1. Yes it's a fantastic house - very old and pre revolution.It has all the now defunct trappings of former minor aristocracy - canal, fish store stream,pigeoneir etc. Although the house is in adequate condition it might be described as shabby sheik'
      It's not my son's house, they are even inferior gardeners to Peter

  2. Well done, Brenda for showing the blokes the way.

    1. Yes Sue she is a absolute star..
      Pity she only gardens at home when it is not cold, too hot, wet or windy

    2. Oh.. I love that punch line! Not too cold, wet or windy! Perish the thought but ould Brenda possibly be described as a 'fair weather gardener', I doubt it as she appeared from the photos to be taking on a 'monster of neglect', brave woman, who knows what could have been lurking amongst that lot! My mother used that expression to describe people who never bothered to find out what type of soil they had and always wondered why their (poor) plants died.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...