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I have been absent for some time, for which apologies: I have three small lambs to blame, one ewe and two rams, and for all their diminutive size they’ve been running me ragged for weeks. It’s all very well, this self-sufficiency lark, but it’s a bit time-consuming.

Now I’m into my mega shows work overload which hits every year around April time and lasts well into July. So I’m seeing if I can try shorter, and possibly more frequent posts: and since this is my own space, where I don’t have to worry about being too eloquent or profound, I’m going to write a little more about my own garden. The wonderful Helen once wrote a post about blogging for herself rather than her readers (I’d give you the link but I can’t find it I’m afraid: it was very thoughtful, like a lot of Helen’s posts).

That’s where I’m at. I need a gardening diary, one where I can record what I’m doing day-to-day, the getting my hands dirty bit of my life which I suspect nobody else is much interested in, but which I need to document. I do have a paper gardening diary, or rather notebook, but it’s rather full of plant lists and notes like ‘Medlars don’t like chalk!’ to make much sense as a record of what I’m doing in the garden at any particular point in time.

A bit rough and ready, but this is the bit I just cleared

Into the cleared area I’ve put some hollyhocks for height, sown from a big envelope of seed from the plants in my mother in law’s London front garden, some sweetpeas around the obelisk, and some foxgloves.

foxglove_illuminationpink

Foxglove ‘Illumination Pink’

This is going to be a year of foxgloves, I think. My garden doesn’t have enough foxgloves: in fact, it doesn’t have any which is odd given that it’s chalk and quite shady and woodland-y in lots of corners.

I’ve planted out my seed-raised ‘Suttons Apricot’ seedlings, though I think they might be slightly outdone by these Illumination Pink perennial foxgloves which I got as a freebie from Thompson & Morgan earlier this year. They’ve bulked up into spectacularly healthy plants (T&Ms doing, not mine, I fear). They’re Chelsea stars, having won Plant of the Year last year. I’m not sure about the ‘pink’ bit, but they’re supposed to flower for ages and last years.

jungle

The remaining jungle, still lurking at the back

 And here’s what’s behind: the uncleared bit of the jungle. The purple bits are an overgrown Rodgersia, can’t decide what to do about it, it’s a handsome plant but not at all the kind of thing I want here. I think I’ll move it across the path into the Tropical Edibles garden – it’s not edible, particularly, but it’s very tropical looking. The variegated leaf to the left is our holly which seems to be recovering OK from its semi-drowning last year; and on the right is a thicket of the accursed snowberry (Symphoricarpos) which is a stout and unyielding weed in these parts. Plus the obligatory brambles, arums and later, no doubt, bindweed. Just hope I can keep it at bay long enough for the foxgloves to flower.

 
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