Clearing the Beds in the Cottage Garden

It's time to get back into the garden and tackle the weeds - thankfully they have declined in the last year as we have moved towards mulching and getting the buggers when they are young. A quick tug and hoe is all a gardener needs. Today we need to clean out the bird bath, move it to a new location in the cottage garden and bring in rhubarb crowns from the front garden. This sounds easier than it is, we have one problem, we have a new family room and no one, no one is walking across that wooden floor in muddy wellies. So, it will be a case of Andrew digs up the crown, puts it in a bucket, Carol carries it through the house in her stocking feet and Little D watches the crowns by the back door - we have to give him a job or else he'll climb into the beds with no shoes or socks on and then run up our newly painted walls. Andrew will then have to replant the rhubarb in a new position and we'll repeat with the geraniums, sweet woodruff and white harebells. The rest of the plants leftover in what will be our herb garden will end up being composted, as they have been their long before we arrived and are woody, half dead and mainly knackered to behold. We will retain a climbing rose we brought with us and the rest is a fresh slate. Back to the cottage garden, the mid-part of it looks like this at the moment.

weeding, gardening, life on pig row

You can see the quince near the wall, we're not sure if this is still living as it got hit by quince leaf blight - you're recommended to prune out infected branches in winter and burn them, we did this earlier this year but there is no signs of life at the moment; if it is dead we have a greengage waiting in the wings to take its place - you can see some of the daffodil bulbs we planted in early January too, just on the cusp of starting to flower and then you can see plenty of grass as weeds. To clear this we have drafted in our A team...

children gardening, gardening, kids activities, life on pig row

...him. This is Little D posing with a cabbage, you can hear his views on cabbages at the bottom of this post, it's worth listening to and reveals a real love for vegetables. However, he is not a weeding machine, more of a weed that gets amongst all the plants and runs rampant through them in the same way an JCB performs a tango in a Blackpool ballroom. However, he does like putting things in the compost bin, annual weeds, foliage, next door's cat; basically anything that composts down or flies out hissing when you open the compost bin. Between all of us we manage to clear the bed, tossing out the lamb's sorrel, our most pernicious weed, onto the path for Little D to put in bags. This tossing of the lamb's sorrel is accompanied by him humming the Imperial March from Star Wars and a constant muttering of, 'Aha, got you, you naught little weed, die weed, die!' He stops for awhile to watch next door's dogs barking, he barks back, they bark together, it's a duet of barking boy and barking dogs as our neighbour in his garden looks back and forth as if they are caught in a demented conversation. They are. 

rhubarb planting, gardening

We dig some new holes for the rhubarb as the heavens open and Little D, fair weather gardener, fair weather out door player, bolts in the house yelling, 'It's cold and wet, die cold and wet, I have karate powers'. By then the neighbour has gone back inside shaking his head, caught between barking dogs and a child who is obviously barking too. The rhubarb is in and we're covered in mud. The geraniums and sweet woodruff, that most wonderful of sweet bedstraw of yesteryear, moth deterrent and utterly repulsive to Little D, will have to wait to come through the house tomorrow. Time for a bath as the rain turns to hail.


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