Much as I’d like to report that I’ve been out buying plants, visiting gardens and discovering new things, in fact I’ve been weeding, for nearly the entire weekend! I should start by saying that I don’t use weed-killer, so each weed is removed by hand. The task is akin to painting the Firth of Forth Bridge.
I have come to believe that my garden was built on a bindweed (Calystegia sepium) heap which was then infected early on with ground elder (blame the Romans). The two are so well established that I tend to garden through them half the time. I’ve got representations from most other annoying weeds, but they are largely controlled/controllable. Every now and again though, I can’t stand to look at the dull green sea of elder leaves as a backdrop and I have a go at eliminating it from an area.
So today I spent some time digging deep at the back of the long border down the driveway, trying to remove the nasty stuff. Unfortunately, the clay soil is getting pretty solid now and that means that bits invariably breaking off and stay in the ground, so I know I will be doing this all over again later in the year. It is soul-destroying work, which is why I can only manage a small area at a time. I hereby promise myself that I will work harder at improving the soil composition by adding compost, leaf litter, spent mushroom compost and coconut husk etc., which will hopefully make the soil easier to dig and weeds easier to remove.
Elsewhere I blitzed several patches of:
Speedwell (Veronica spp.)
Alkanet (Pentaglottis semperviren – that comes in from the alley next door)
and cleavers (Galium aparine). This last one partly results from the dog, she imports a fair number of seeds of this weed on her coat throughout the summer. However, I don’t mind this kind of easy weeding. It’s rewarding, relaxing and therapeutic.
Neither do I mind weeding the gravel pathway, because that acts like a nursery bed to several garden plants, so in fact I almost look forward to finding and transferring new plants of anemone, scabious, primroses and aquilegia.
And finally, the writing is on the wall for the forget-me-not (Myosotis) that has seeded around the vegetable plot. Each year I pull up armfuls of the stuff and I end up picking hundreds of the little burr-covered seed cases off my clothes. It is gone quickly though. Result!