While we have been working on the main garden, the back drive has taken advantage of our negligence, and become rather out of hand. Jackie has decided that, far preferable to getting down on her hands and knees to weed it, she will apply a weedkiller. Since this area is the size of a large town back garden, the task will require goodness knows how many trips from the house to the undergrowth with a small can of diluted poison. In the photograph she is seen making her way to the far end. At least a start was made.
After leaving off the poisoning, Jackie set those last few blocks of granite, and continued planting and watering.When she called me for lunch, I had not even finished clearing the brambles breaking through the trellis by the entrance, and clambering over any plants in their path. As the second picture shows, it became apparent that I had painted myself into a corner. I found another way out.
This afternoon I managed to clear the trellis area, and heavily to prune a sloe tree that was encroaching onto the footpath outside our property, and putting unnecessary pressure on the latticework of the trellis. I had to sacrifice nascent fruit of both the brambles and the tree, but I can live with that.
Before I could put my feet up at the end of the day I needed to clear the severed branches and uprooted blackberry bushes from the garden and the street outside. It was then my turn to make long treks down the garden path. The vast pile of cuttings that all the clearances are accumulating, lies at the far end of the main path, near the gate in today’s first photograph. Backwards and forwards, knackered, I tramped. Adding material to the heap is rather like tossing the caber.
Afterwards, I had a wander around with my camera. A new variety of poppy has revealed itself in the bed I weeded yesterday, and a pink climbing rose has taken off since we gave it more space and light.
We have a number of varieties of verbena which are seemingly happy with life. The tall stemmed bonarensa blends beautifully with the clematises on the new arch, and the surrounding geraniums. Its shorter, scented, cousin, aptly named strawberries and cream, makes a welcome companion for diasca and pelargoniums, especially the nutmeg flavoured one. That is why Jackie has placed their pot alongside the bench.
For dinner, Jackie produced gammon baked in a nest of whole mushrooms; swede, carrot and potato mash; cauliflower; and a positively piquant melange of onions and tomatoes for a sauce to provide juiciness. I didn’t drink any of her Hoegaarden, or anything else for that matter.
For the onion and tomato sauce:
Take four medium onions, finely chopped. Fry them with one clove of garlic in butter with a little oil to stop the butter burning.
When they are well done, add a can of chopped Italian tomatoes and gently fry until blended in well.
Try it. It’s delicious.