The temperature dial has really turned up this last week. The seemingly ever-ending dull skies, rain showers and general mediocre weather has been replaced with days of strong, hot sunshine and little white fluffy clouds.
I managed to get the patio pressure-washed and the patio pot collection (greatly reduced this year) assembled and the patio is looking more like the patio it used to in previous years – just without the rocking, broken slabs and multiple levels. What hasn’t changed is just how uncivil the patio is when the sun has been on it. The large, open expanse of concrete bakes and heat radiates off it long after the sun has gone in. There’s no shade either so ironically, there’s no easy way to enjoy the patio in summer, unless you’re nocturnal, a gecko or some other sun-loving reptile.
There is still some follow-up work to do on the patio, just glueing a few slightly loose slabs down (it’s probably an optional thing too) so I’m considering the patio work complete for now and ticking it off the “To Do” list for this year. What’s next is resuming work on the final and grandest border in the garden.
There’s lots of wheelbarrowing of compost and manure, digging, tilling, mixing and general heavy manual work, all in the hot weather. I have actually been able to make reasonable progress, despite the heat and while it is exhausting – digging a border in full sun – it’s been good to see this “border to end all borders” get some attention. It has been eight years since it was first marked out, after all.
Work on this final border is also turning into a race as in the meantime, there are small plants sitting (cooking) on the staging on the patio, waiting to be planted out, that in turn will free up pots for me to sow the next batch of seeds, sometime in late summer/early autumn. It just wouldn’t be a normal garden project if there weren’t plants’ lives on the line. I like to call it “just in time” gardening or “horticulture by the seat of your pants”.
As a consequence, the rest of the garden has had very little attention. After the usual annual spring clean-up, it’s been virtually untouched. There have been a few small areas here and there which have been redone, but otherwise I’ve left it alone. That even includes the usual pruning and dead-heading. It’s not for lack of jobs, it’s just that at this stage, anything that is not directly related to getting the final border finished can wait, unless it’s a (horticultural) life or death situation.
There’s not much left of July, then there’s August, September has usually good weather for gardening too. October is “putting the garden to bed time” so we’ll just have to see if two months-ish is enough time to get a large border dug and ready for planting.