Sometimes I still can’t get over just how much work it is to get a plant in the ground. It sounds bizarre but let’s take the example of the wisteria that I bought earlier this year to grow against the house. It’s still waiting in its pot, months later; it won’t be planted this year. As much as I want to, I can’t simply take the spade, dig a hole and drop it in because there’s several jobs that need to be done first:
- The border where it will go needs to be dug over and compost, manure and fertiliser need to be incorporated. The area is already covered in black landscape fabric to kill off the weeds (that was another job)
- I can’t dig the border yet because I need access to this particular area to:
- Cut the non-working aerial wire and remove all defunct AV wires from outside the house that run around the back of this border, removing all those annoying wire clips nailed in to the mortar
- Take down and kill off the ivy here that was attacking the windows, tiles and eaves
- Take down the old guttering, restore the eaves and put new guttering back
- Brush the reachable excess moss off the corner section of the roof that looks down on this border
- Put vine eyes into the wall and string together with wire
- Deep-clean the UPVC window frames to remove the grime and paint I splashed onto it from replacing the guttering
Even though most of this is done, there are still a few major jobs that I should do before I plant the wisteria:
- Take down the non-functional TV aerial
- Have the chimney rebuilt and the flue recommissioned
- Repair or replace the house alarm siren, which is on the wall above the border
- Put up a new satellite dish and run new AV cables along the wall the border backs on to
It may seem odd that planting a wisteria depends on faffing with the TV aerial, but it’s getting access that’s the key. Once the wisteria is planted, I want to leave it alone to get on with its thing, occasionally going in to twist new stems around the wire. I don’t want to have a building site around it while the chimney is sorted out. Working in this area will only disturb the roots of the establishing plant and cause soil compaction, undoing all the work to dig it over.
As it is, my patience has almost run out. I’ve been desperate to plant the wisteria and get it established as soon as possible and I don’t think I can wait much longer. Once the first set of jobs is done, it’s going in the ground. Just recently I finished stringing the vine eyes with wire and now we have a wire run for the wisteria that should do for the first few years. I’m looking forward to finishing off the remaining jobs so I can finally start working on preparing soil. A soon as the planting area is dug over, the wisteria will be in the ground and tied into the wire run before you can say “Macrobotrys”.
I can live with a non-functional aerial (as we have satellite), but I can’t live without the wisteria growing against the house.