Tuesday, 28 March 2017

the wild garden

Mr Fidget liked his painkiller and lapped it happily from the syringe, which made life easier than if we'd had to squirt it in between his clenched teeth before he spat most of it out over the kitchen table.  He is not a very good invalid and keeps prancing about the garden, but I suppose that means his feet don't feel too bad.  The vets sent me a text to remind me that they looked forward to seeing us tomorrow.

Meanwhile the Systems Administrator's back, which had held up to all the hedge cutting remarkably well, finally revolted when asked to pick up the small debris from the grass in the meadow and do one more session with the electric pole saw.  I offered to pick up the last twigs and rubbish out of the grass in the meadow, since the grass is now growing and we don't want it mixed up with a load of prunings, and the SA had worked so hard on the great hedge reduction project that it would be nice to be able to look at it and say it was finished.  What seemed like not all that many twigs and trimmings still managed to fill up a lot of trailer loads, but I am now done with tidying up the grass barring moving the final three bags of chippings and scooping up the pile of brambles that I cut from behind the beehives.

Once I'd dragged myself away from applying Strulch to have a go in the meadow I thought I'd better get on with cutting down the brambles that were invading the roses by the wildlife pond and clambering into a lilac, a rose, and my circle of yews.  The birds will be starting to build nests any day now, but these brambles were fairly low and not yet very dense and I hoped for the best and that there wouldn't be any birds building in there.  I kept a keen eye out and didn't find any signs of fresh or partly built nests.  In an ideal world I'd have done the job a month ago.  Actually, in a really ideal world the brambles wouldn't have got out of control in the first place.

Nettles are springing up at a tremendous rate where the SA cut down the brambles earlier in the spring.  The conservation charity Plantlife recently warned that atmospheric pollution was damaging the country's wild flora by supplying excessive nitrogen which encouraged nettles and other nitrogen loving plants to dominate the landscape.  Certainly I have never known the nettles advance as quickly as they are this spring.  It will be a race against time if we have a dry spring to see how many roots I can dig out before the ground becomes too hard.  Some of the more sensible medium range forecasters are warning that the odds are that April will be drier than average.

What's good for nettles is good for primroses too.  The clumps in the meadow beyond the wildlife pond have grown massively, and once they have finished flowering I should be able to split them and use them to cover more of the ground.  As we get rid of the brambles, and the nettles, the newly cleared space offers a whole new exciting area to plant, but the weeds will find it equally inviting and I can't afford to Strulch it.

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