That’s better!

Taming the jungle!

Paul made a good start on the patio bed on Friday.  He’s built a tee-pee to hold the perennial sweet pea, dug up the bamboo shoots that were escaping from their beds and weeded out a lot of rubbish.  Here’s a general view of the bit that’s done.  I reckon he’ll need at least another visit to get the whole bed in shape, and it may take two!

We had a little fence around the bed to keep the weeds from tumbling all over the lawn.  Now we can take that down.  I don’t really like cutesy fences, first because they look naff, second because they trip you up and third because you can’t get close to the edge with the mower or the strimmer.

Rakings from the meadow along with windfall apples and our lovely blue lace-cap hydrangea which has been spectacular this year.

Meanwhile, John has been working on our mini-meadow.  That’s the patch you can see around the cairn of stones.  During the summer it was an impenetrable tangle of knapweed, daisies and other smaller plants, but now it has been cut down and raked up.  We leave the rakings on the meadow for a few days.  This is to allow them to dry and drop their seeds. Sometimes the badgers take  the dried vegetation for their bedding, so John leaves it in a pile for them.  This time they ignored it, but carried on digging up the lawn looking for worms in the damp earth.

You can see a lot of apples on the ground.  If they’re bruised or rotting we leave them for the animals.  The blackbirds seem to like it when they’re brown and mushy – I suppose they get a bit drunk!  The crows only want to eat the apples on the trees.  They keep stabbing them with their beaks, but ultimately the fruit fall off and then the crows move on to the next apple – wasteful devils!  The squirrels run up and down collecting apples.  I don’t know if they try to bury them – I hope not.  However, I do find half-chewed fruit all over the garden.  I just wish they’d finish one before they start on another!

There’s a lot of fruit about this year.  We’ve had amazing, huge juicy blackberries, the rose hips, haws and eldeberries are plentiful and there are plenty of berries on cotoneasters and viburnums.  Some say it means we’re in for a bad winter, but I think we’ve just had a good summer for fruit!