John pointed out that my last post still has sewage pouring from the drains. I need to let you know that after two weeks they finally got it sorted out – draining the sewers along Shrewsbury Road and hence allowing the Longhills Road muck to drain away.
The depth of solids in front of the house was about 3 to 6 inches. They did cart a lot of it away, but there was still a lot left under the plants so we just put up with it for a month or so as it disintegrated and leached into the soil. None of us touched the contaminated beds for several weeks, just in case of infection. Needless to say, that allowed the tomato plants (grown from seed which has passed through humans) to proliferate, and we had a forest of them.
All that is over now, but there’s a legacy from all that fertilizer: Sedums as big as your head, the greenest vegetation you’ve ever seen and a very large mystery plant which we are waiting to identify (it might be Okra, but I really don’t know).
Apart from the above, we have Virginia creeper obscuring the windows on my upstairs office, Jasmine climbing the walls and trying to get in the windows in John’s ground floor study and the healthiest looking climbing Hydrangea this side of the black stump!
In other garden news, we are now the proud owners of a new potting shed. I’m hoping it will be dryer than the old one, so the tools won’t get so mouldy! Also, the big window should allow us to get a head start on sowing seed for the spring.
And there are two rather nice success stories to report – both due to Paul’s good work. First, there’s the hibiscus. This was in the garden when we first arrived 13 years ago. However it was in the shade and not doing well. We moved it, but it did even worse in the new position as trees and shrubs grew up around it. This year, we had to move it to make room for the new shed. Paul potted it up in new compost and we put it on the drive where it could get some sun for at least a few hours each day. We did have to water it a lot as we had a very warm dry summer, but it has put on lots of foliage and last week it finally flowered. And the flowers are very pretty indeed!
Secondly, one of our shrubs has been very loath to flower or produce berries, but Paul pruned it properly this year and it, too has become really productive. Many thanks to Paul for all his willing and hard work. John, in particular loves the purple berries and they stay on the bush long after the leaves have dropped.