To be honest I am a bit too upset to talk about the terrible crime that has been committed in my garden, well ok, if you insist, but not now, at the end of this post as I don’t want you upset as well.
25th June. Things I have been doing lately:
✂️ Cutting back Dame de Noche. Those of you who have Dame de Noche (night scenting Jasmine) will know all about the fantastic and intoxicating perfume this plant give off at night. Thought it is quite an ugly plant it makes up for its lack of looks with its lovely night scent. If you have a Dame de Noche, and it has flowered you should now cut it back by one third to ensure you get another flush of flowers in late July/August.
If you haven’t yet got a Dame de Noche, then rush out and get one. If possible plant it close to where you normally eat out in the garden during summer evenings. The photos below show my Dame de Noche perfectly placed for sitting out in the evening; before and after its cut-back. Click on each photo for a larger view.
🧹 Tidying up Sago Palm. I have two Sago Palms, one a very large one that is planted directly into the ground and the other planted in a large pot. The one that is in the ground gives me no trouble, but the one in the pot is the plant equivalent of a juvenile delinquent. The main problem is that occasionally it gets a yellow tinge in its leaves which can look unsightly. Now the big question you have to ask yourself is am I under watering or overwatering and that is what is causing this. I have tried both; it has had the plant equivalent of “waterboarding” and also at other times been subjected to severe drought on a biblical scale. The end result is the same – a yellow tinge. I have tried feeding it some Iron, which normally works, but to no avail.
I have now decided to trim it up by removing layers of its fronds, I then fed it a weak general purpose feed and I have applied a new top coating of my best compost from my best compost bin (doesn’t everybody have a favourite compost bin?). The photos below show it before and after. I will let you know what happens.
🍈 Thinning out Figs. Regular readers of this blog will know that I have been espaliering a fig tree for a few years now. And slowly but surely I am getting it up the wall. One of the problems with espalier is that because you are against a wall there is a problem with air circulation which can lead to mildew. Fortunately Figs are not known for mildew. But this year the crop of Figs is very large and there is a danger of overcrowding. When this happens you have to be bold and thin out the fruit. This can be heartbreaking as you are in effect cutting off roughly half your fruit. But this is a case of being cruel to be kind. Left overcrowded the plant will probably get mildew or some other horrible thing. Left to itself the plant will probably drop most of the fruit so by acting now you will save your crop.
Move through the plant cutting out where there is overcrowding, try to leave space between each fruit to allow air to circulate. The photos below show my Fig in all its glory and some of the fruit overcrowding. The final photo shows the discarded Figs; as a lover of Figs this breaks my heart, but it must be done. Click on each photo for a larger view.
🔪 Crime of the century. I don’t know how to tell you this, but someone has sabotaged my hammock. Let me set the (crime) scene for you. After a hard day gardening I like nothing better than to go and lie in my hammock whilst my new Pot Water Feature burbles away. Well the other day, after gardening under a scorching Sun I proceeded to my hammock with a good book and gratefully sank into its enfolding embrace. I only got as far as one swing, before I was thrown violently to the ground (verbatim from my Polices statement). Thankfully I wasn’t injured, apart from my dignity; I pride myself in being able to get in and out of a hammock with dignity. Anyway on inspection of the crime scene I believe I have detected cut marks on the various ropes holding my hammock together.
You know, and I know, who is at the heart of this. Who is the one person in my house who has access to a wide range of knives, axes machetes, spears, swords and other sharp implements and is constantly prowling around at night. Yes, your right Cruella (my wife). She had both the motive and the means. My quandry is this, there is no point confronting her as she will only deny it; and she perfected the trick of beating lie detector tests years ago. The local Police are useless as they don’t believe me when I tell them she hangs upside down to sleep at night. The only way forward is to trap her. I have ordered a new hammock and intend to set up a security camera with lights. My only worry is that sometimes she doesn’t show up on cameras.
The photo below shows the crime scene with my poor hammock lacerated and destroyed by the dark arts.