Wednesday 22nd February 2006 - Weather: FFRREEZZING!
I really am getting fed up with this cold weather. I don't want to wish my life away, but roll on summer I say! Anyhows, back to business. Yesterday I visited one of my gardens and the plan of attack was laurel trimming. He has lots in the garden, inherited from the previous owners, and they have been allowed to grow out of all proportions. I offered to start giving them a hair cut, and as the owners were away for a long weekend, I was really able to get stuck in. I didn't scalp them, the laurels provide a lot of privacy from the neighbours, but they garden beneath them is absolutely dust bowl dry, even after the rain we had earlier in the week, and the plants are begining to die. I did what I could reach on my mini steps using my super extendable clippers, and even if I do say so myself, I did a neat job. I took them all back by at least 18 inches, and to be honest, I could have gone further, but I wanted to do some weeding, and there is an ivy that has become a shrub and begining to smother a lovely old apple tree, so I needed to give that some attention. Filled their green wheely bin to overflowing, tidied up, and came home. I was cold through. Up that ladder, in amongst the trees, I really did get blown about and very very cold indeed! Thank goodness for fleece gloves and wooly hats! One thing I must remember get a pair of safetly glasses! I don't have any, and as I was cutting the branches back, several fell onto my face and twice I ended up with something in my eye. Not ideal as I had no access to the house or water if I needed to wash my eye.
Then today, at one of my other gardens. Shrub planting was the order of the day - and deal with some workmen that were visiting for various reasons. Six berberis bushes in the front gravel area, which was okay, but I had to scrape away the gravel first to expose the soil, and when I did find the soil, it was pretty useless! However, I have asked and asked if I should get any soil conditioner or compost, but they are willing to take a chance that the shrubs would take. I am sure they will be fine - tough as old boots Berberis! Next Photinia 'Red Robins' to plant. A couple along the huge conifer hedge as for some reason, some of the conifers never filled out, so it is patchy, and some in a new bed I am slowely creating as they get more and more plants, along the edge of the upper patio in the raised part of the garden. Finally a bed of berberis to eventually hide the compost heap. They are hoping to get a large batch of Willows to plant along the back fence as although their garden backs onto farm land, there is a public footpath which is regularly used, running immediately behind their fence, and they feel there is a lack of security and privacy. The willow they have chosen is very quick growing, and as with all willows, can be copiced to create a nice thick multi stemmed screen. Again, very cold, and the soil there is very very wet indeed.
Back at home, I really must get on with sowing some more seeds, and listing here what I already have sown and what is germinated already. With the kids help, there is a lot in and a lot starting to sprout. Very exciting. Am hoping to get to the allotment this week, weather permitting!