I have been in The U.K. all this week at our English house. I haven’t got as much gardening done as I would like because Cruella (my wife) has tasked me with lots of things to do; none as important as gardening, but I have had to do them. Before I left she took cuttings from my toenails and a sample of my blood and threatened terrible spells if I didn’t do as I was told.
8th June: Things I have been doing lately
✂️ Deadheading Hydrangeas. As you all know you should always leave the flower heads of last years Hydrangeas on the plant as they provide frost protection to the new growth coming through. Well, their time is over, their job is done, off with their heads. Just hold the dead flower in one hand whilst lowering your secateurs down the stem till you come to fresh new buds, cut here. If you cut behind the dead flower then you leave an ugly brown stem to sit there all summer – not a good look. The photo below shows the Hydrangeas waiting stoically for the cut.
🔥 Clearing Ivy from close to a gas vent. Those of you who read this blog regularly will know that Ivy is not my favourite plant, especially when it gets into the ground. I can just about take it when it is on walls, especially the variegated type. Anyway, Ivy can grow and cling everywhere and you have to be very careful near the eaves of houses; otherwise it becomes a house plant before you know it. The other dangerous place is near gas vents. Left to itself the ivy will grow in to the vent and you will be dead, all this because you didn’t garden properly.
The first photo below shows the ivy cut back as it attempted to head into our garage eaves. The second photo shows the ivy cutback and away from the gas vent on our terrace. Check your Ivy now; it could be a matter of life or death.
🙈 Tidying up our back garden. We have a narrow but long back garden in England which overlooks the river Medway. The garden is paved, walled and mainly consists of climbers such as Clematis etc up the walls. This requires a big cut back in January each year, but at this time of year it needs a tidy up. The top two photo shows the garden before the tidy up. The second two shows it afterwards. To be honest I can’t see much difference but I cut lots out, honest!
🌿 Cutting back the plants on the river side of the wall. Just as I have to cut back the plants on the walls of the garden there is of course another side to the wall. The riverside of the wall faces on to a walkway along the river. If I didn’t cut them on this side they would gradually get long, drag on the ground, get infected and die and how would I explain that to Cruella – I don’t want to be turned into a Toad!
The photos below show the wall before trimming back and afterwards – good eh. Who said gardening is not enthralling?
👬 Old gardeners never die, they just go to seed. Whilst in the U.K. I visited my old friend Steve. Steve is a very knowledgeable gardener, and his West London garden is a small but perfectly formed jewel of planting. He and his wife Pam grow everything from seed or cuttings (as all real gardeners do). Steve is such a good gardener that if he stuck a bare cane in the ground it would sprout.
Anyway the photo below shows Steve and me standing in part of his garden. In case you didn’t know I am the old skinny baggy faced one whilst Steve is the exact opposite,but just as old. Cruella said we look like a before and after photo, I asked her after what? she said feast and famine! You be the judge, we think we have both worn well!