I woke early to a grey, misty dawn. After a week of glorious warmth and sunshine, rain is forecast. I dressed and went to the top of the garden to harvest runner beans before the rains came.
The cows in the back field were starting to rouse themselves from sleep. Light rain was spritzing the air; it will take a lot more than that to refresh the garden, which is in dire need of a downpour.
Whilst I worked I could hear the excited chirruping of a flock of long-tailed tits, flitting about in the branches of the apple tree, keeping me company in the quiet of the morning.
It has been a tiring week of garden drudgery. Ridding the borders of couch grass and ground elder; an almost impossible task. Plants (what remained of them) were lifted and the soil dug and sieved to removed the worst of these perennial thugs.
Now, the borders look bare; barren, but tidy. The urge to fill them with plants again is strong; common sense tells me to wait a while; to enrich the soil with manure; then replant.
I am in charge of my neighbours' garden this week while she is away, always a worry to keep someone else's garden thriving; hopefully the forthcoming rain will do the job for me.
Dave cleared an untidy border; it had become clogged with a ground cover plant that had taken over. Once it had been cleared, he built a seat out of decking to cover it; and with some plants in containers and a couple of cushions it now looks presentable and pleasing to the eye.
Maintaining a garden is not all about wandering around picking fruit and flowers - it is blooming hard work - but I guess it is worth it in the long run.
Here are some pictures we took this week.
A garden requires patient labour and attention.
Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfil good intentions.
They thrive because someone expended effort on them.
~ Liberty Hyde Bailey