I have been weeding the herb bed, or rather, I have been chiselling the clump forming grasses up by the roots while resorting to simply pulling off the top growth of the running grasses and the bindweed. It was one of those jobs that got three quarters done in the spring, but never finished in the miasma of colds, and as the climbing rose at the back of the bed is out now it seemed a waste to view it through a haze of grass. It's amazing how quickly weed grasses shoot up at this time of the year. A friend who is opening her garden for a village event in the third weekend of July, and didn't manage to do much gardening last year, has been going around her borders digging out waist high grass, so I'm not alone.
A well conducted bed would not have running grass in it, or bindweed, but they simply turned up, and I am not going to dig out all the mint and oregano and lemon balm so that I can fallow the bed for a year or two, while pulling every fresh sliver of grass out from the roots of the climbing rose, the clematis on tripods and the sage bush. And I don't have the time or the inclination to stick a bamboo cane next to every piece of bindweed, wait for it to grow to the top and then treat it with glyphosate while being careful not to drip on the rightful occupants of the bed. I could, but I'm not going to.
The rose is 'Meg', a 1950s climbing hybrid tea, with large, semi double flowers in a very lovely shade of pink with a tinge of apricot. She barely produces any repeat flowers after the main glorious flush, but has fine hips, large as conkers and a warm coral pink. I grew 'Meg' in my previous garden and liked her so much that when we moved house I bought another. The shrub has been moved once, since she was originally planted against the end of another shed until we built the pot store over the spot. She hasn't made much new growth in the past couple of years, and I gave her a generous dose of fish, blood and bone this afternoon and ran the hose on her for a long time, something I should have done back in March.
The Systems Administrator does not entirely believe in the herb bed. Sprigs of rosemary from the bush in the turning circle turn up regularly in cooking, but we have at least two and possibly three jars of dried sage sitting in the kitchen cupboard, even though I have pointed out several times that the big, grey leaved shrub in the middle of the herb bed is culinary sage, Salvia officinalis. We have two jars of ready made mint sauce as well, even though there is lots of lovely fresh mint at this time of the year. In all fairness it does get rather tough and hairy later in the year.