There’s only one rose left that I need to prune. All the others are done for the season. I’m left with the last and most difficult one to contend with, then it’s all done for another year.
I manage to prune it the year before and it’s now really overgrown.
It’s also inaccessible as it’s surrounded by the interweaving and interlacing branches of other shrubs around it.
It’s thorny too.
I’m currently ignoring the problem and working on another item on the list of jobs I mentioned a few posts ago and that’s the hedge pruning. We recently finished pruning the long beech hedge, narrowing it by a fair amount. It looks much neater now, but viewed from above (upstairs) there is a section which is still a little wide and needs “tucking in”. That will be a job for the next scheduled prune, however.
After cutting the hedge comes the tidying-up part and I decided to bring into a scope a few more jobs that I wanted to see the back of as they were bugging me.
One of them was sorting out a small strip of ground between the hedge and the back patio steps. Ordinarily, this is fine and is filled by barely-contained loosestrife. However, the uneven slope and even more uneven steps meant I was always pushing the soil back.
It was a safety hazard and an OCD hazard.
I took the chance to bring out the lawn edger to cut a trench between the steps and border, I laid a few layers of weed-control fabric and weighed it down with a bucket’s worth of stones picked up from doing the garden borders. On top of this I sat a line of rockery stone, wedged in against the steps and border soil. These are the final pieces of stone left over from making the retaining walls that form two sides of the corner border. I had around seven pieces left and I’m glad I kept them as I knew they would come in handy one day.
The trench of soil that I cut out was full of loosestrife and so I just replanted those pieces further back underneath the hedge. Finally, I put down my patented rocket-fuel fertiliser mix, a wheelbarrow of manure/compost mix over the top to make it look even and a gave the lot a good watering-in to get those loosestrife pieces settled and growing again.
It looks much better now, even if I do say so myself. I am partial to a nice set of steps and these are now a nice set of steps. They’re still terribly uneven but at least it looks picturesque from head-height. I hope the loosestrife fill the area again.
While the garden is dominated by the large borders, there are many spots – particularly around the house – that are “in between” spaces. These are “fillers” or small scraps or fragments of ground or borders in between one main area and another. I’ve gradually been getting round to dealing with them and I can now tick another one off the list.
Restoring the area around the back patio steps has scratched an itch I’ve had for a few years but unfortunately, that rose still hasn’t pruned itself.