The Garden

I must admit to enjoying a bit of gardening. Unfortunately, I don’t spend as much time as I would like pottering around doing gardening stuff like dead heading, planting out new plants, taking cuttings and enjoying the physical effort involved. Some of this is down to work but more often it’s the rubbish English weather on my days off that stop me.gardener cartoon

I have been planning and plotting the other side of our front garden for some months now and progress has been slow.

Part of the front garden before we went on holiday to Florida at the beginning of July

Part of the front garden before we went on holiday to Florida at the beginning of July

Front garden two weeks after our return from holiday

Front garden two weeks after our return from holiday

The front garden just before I went to Wales at the end of August.

The front garden just before I went to Wales at the end of August.

The front garden shortly after my return from Wales with a load of well rotted horse muck ready to be dug in

The front garden shortly after my return from Wales with a load of well rotted horse muck ready to be dug in

Horse muck dug in and ready to plant. It's now mid September!

Horse muck dug in and ready to plant. It’s now mid September!

Planting up begins. It's now October.

Planting up begins. It’s now October.

The dark patches show me where I've planted bulbs.

The dark patches show me where I’ve planted bulbs.

What I want to achieve is a “cottage” garden, which is very relaxed and informal. I think that’s what a garden is all about – somewhere to be relaxed and informal, just like the garden. There is still lots to do. I have 30 odd allium bulbs to plant, daffodils, the big thing you can see in the background in the first few photos with white daisy like flowers is being moved to the centre, there are plants in the back garden I want to move and then once spring has sprung, I’ll fill in gaps and move plants around because it looks like shit with colour clashes all over the place. I want lots of scent so two or three honeysuckles will be added to festoon themselves over the walls. But I’ll enjoy doing it.

I love the informality

I love the informality

cottage-garden-paths2

This is what I would like to achieve. A combination of these three would be ideal

This is what I would like to achieve. A combination of these three would be ideal

Other people prefer a more formal and regulated garden. Good for them. If that’s what they like then I’m not going to criticise them. When it comes to gardens, I firmly believe in “Whatever turns you on.” Want gnomes? As many as you want mate. Nothing but roses? Good for you.

One of the things I also try and do is encourage wildlife into our garden, particularly insects and bees. While I have been known to use weed killer on those pernicious perennial weeds like dandelions, I don’t use pesticides. Pesticides don’t discriminate between good bugs and bad bugs. It’s a bug so it dies. Not a good idea. I try to achieve a natural balance in our garden. Doing so, particularly if you have used pesticides, can take a couple of years and you never actually get rid of every bad bug but you do get levels of infestation that are manageable.

A hoverfly

A hoverfly

Hoverfly larvae scoffing an aphid

Hoverfly larvae scoffing an aphid

Taking bees aside, I try to encourage hover flies and lady birds into the garden. If you have roses in your garden or grow vegetables and have a problem with aphids, I suggest you do the same.

Yep. A lady bird

Yep. A lady bird

A ladybird larvae. Do NOT kill

A ladybird larvae. Do NOT kill just because it’s an ugly bastard

Ladybirds and their larvae will scoff upwards of 4000 aphids during their life cycle. That’s right! 4000! Hoverfly larvae will each munch their way through several hundred aphids before eventually becoming nectar eating hoverflies. So they are worth encouraging. Both hoverflies and lady birds like to feed on nectar but they need to do so on plants with fairly open flowers. Plants like ox-eye daisies, coreopsis, marigolds and Rudbeckia are ideal. If you’re happy to suffer a few aphids chomping your roses or lettuce, you will notice the difference in the wildlife attracted into your garden. More insects, often means more and different types of birds, hedgehogs, frogs and toads in the garden and that, to my mind, is a good thing. I have had sparrow hawks chasing blackbirds in my garden and that is a sight to behold.

Gardening can also be dangerous. It’s not just the tools like shears, secateurs, strimmers and mowers involved. It’s bloody zombie gardeners!

Dude. Do you have a spade. I need to dig a big hole

Dude. Do you have a spade? I need to dig a big hole.

They’ll stop at nothing to nick all the good stuff in your garden and transfer to their own.

Gardening can be a dangerous occupation. I always keep a spade handy. Just in case.

Gardening can be a dangerous occupation. I always keep a spade handy. Just in case.

They’ve been known to bump off a gardener or two and they pop up out of nowhere.

I always keep a few tools handy just in case some of the zombies round here start to go into one and launch a surprise raid to try and nick my lobelias.in_case_of_zombies_gardening

So far I’ve been lucky and managed to beat any ZGRs (Zombie Garden Raiders) off with a sharp spade to the head.zombie gardener2

I must admit it’s a bit of a pain disposing of a zombie head but, like with slugs and snails, I usually lob them into next doors garden and they  have a moan and a groan:

“Oi Terry! Them bloody zombies have been fighting in our garden again. There’s fucking zombie heads all over the lawn.”zombie head

“I bloody told you Chardonnay, them bleedin’ hollyhocks you wanted planted up attract those buggers like flies to a dog dump.”

“Are you sayin’ it’s my bloody fault we always find zombie heads in our garden? How come that bloke next door never gets any?”

“Coz he ain’t got any fuckin’ ‘olly’ocks in his garden you silly cow!”

“Silly cow? You bastard. That’s it! I’m staying round me mums. You can sod off.”

“Oh that’s right. Leave it to me to clear up all the bloody gore and brains again, then take it down the council tip and hope they don’t notice. Thanks a bunch you selfish old moo.”

“Stick it up your bum Terry. I’ve had enough. Where are the car keys………”

All over a bloody stray zombie head. See what I mean? Zombie gardeners are bloody dangerous. Pinch your plants, bury a trowel in your head and cause matrimonial conflict. Bastards.

Finally, a quick message for SDG. I’m afraid the slug deterrent experiment will have to wait until next year now. By the time I got round to trying out the nettle juice and smuggling the hostas out of PILs sight, they had all started to die back and slugs wouldn’t have been interested. Looks like we’ll have to wait until 2016 to make our fortunes.

On that note, it is time for me to leave.

Have a great day.

More Dick soon.auto

14 responses to “The Garden

  1. Hmmm zombies and neighbours…better than eastenders any day.

    I would be happy for you to fly over here to sort out my lawn of weeds…. i think i may be missing a cat in amongst them

    Liked by 1 person

    • The cat can stay missing. Bloody cats are always crapping in my garden and we don’t even have a cat!

      Are you paying for the flights? If yes, I’ll be there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Awww poor puddytat….i will send a private jet for you now

        Liked by 1 person

      • I shall be at the airport waiting with my suitcase and implements ready to start on your lady garden!

        As for poor bloody puddytats, what is it with them? Not only do they crap in every garden bar their own (and seemingly they have a particular liking for mine), but they then bury their crap like it’s some kind of trick they want to pay on human beans. Then, days later, while planting a bulb or perennial, you end up with a handful of smelly, semi congealed cat poo. PIL forbids me from sitting at the window with my rifle and shooting the buggers up the arse. Spoilsport!

        Errrr. What airport do I need to go to?

        Like

      • Poor puddytats…when you got to go..ya gotta go… still isn’t there a expensive brand of coffee that is made from cat poo!

        It’s the airport that is around the corner just next to the brook. Jet is a fluro yellow one…shouldn’t miss it

        Like

      • Coffee from cats poo? That’s not coffee that’s cats poo! If such a thing exists then there are two lots of pretty weird people in the world. The people that drink it and the people who make it.

        Ah. You mean Manston Airport down near that marvellous seaside town and home to the Turner Centre, Margate. Dammit. Roadworks on the A28. I must’ve missed it. Be careful though in case one of those bloody zombie gardeners got on board.

        Liked by 1 person

      • hey.. remember who you are talking to.. if there is weird people out there, then I am bound to find them.

        I think I may have gotten the Zombie one.. he was blabbering on about brains or something.. I just thought he was trying to chat me up

        Like

      • Have a word with your pilot. He could have hung on for a moment longer. Then again, Manston Airport has that kind of effect on people – can’t wait to get away.

        I’m feeling quite ill as I contemplate a witty comment about cat poo coffee so I’ll change the subject. Tea anyone?

        Like

  2. I like your choice of gardens. The more formal ones are lovely to look at, but there’s just something peaceful and idyllic about those cottage type gardens. They look far more natural, like nature intended.

    My mum is currently waging a turf war with a few cats. One of them however, loves her so much, that he keeps bringing her ‘love gifts.’ Somehow though, decapitated rats just don’t say ‘I love you,’ in the most romantic of fashions.

    Laughed so much at the Zombie heads in garden scenario. Bloody funny.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I must admit that while I’m all for people having any type of garden they like, I just love the informal look of cottage gardens. It’s difficult to achieve but that’s one of the joys of gardening. If it ain’t right, dig ’em up and move them.

      As for cats, I think I’ll just say that my dislike of them increases with each handful of cat crap that I find.

      I was looking for photos of gardening tools to write about how important they are (Boring!) and came across the photo of that tool shed with “In case of zombies” on it and my head just went off in an entirely different direction. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. That conversation DID actually take place the other week but it was about the gazillion slugs they found in their garden. Most of them had been lobbed in there from my garden so hush hush! Our neighbours are actually very nice and are a bit plummy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha! That is so naughty, you slug lobber!
        My mum has a running feud with a certain cat. They’ve become arch enemies over his refusal to not use her garden as kitty litter. He even sits on the shed and peers through the window to watch TV, but as soon as he sees her get up, he makes a dash for it. The two of them have become quite the comic duo.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Is this cat called Morecombe? Or Enfield?

        Shhhh! Not a dickie bird about lobbing slugs next door. The actual conversation that took place was funny in its own right as I knew what the truth was. Not that I was going out of my way to listen. As if!

        “I say. Camilla. Have you seen all these wretched slugs in our garden?”

        “Well Jerry. I did inform you that planting hostas and hollyhocks would attract the beastly things. Mind you, I notice Dick hasn’t got any in his garden and he has got hostas.”

        “He keeps his in pots old girl. And his hostas! Haw haw haw”

        And so on while I sniggered like my old mate Muttley.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s funny. They sound like Jerry and Margo from ‘The Good Life’.

        I believe the cat’s name, according to my mother is ‘you little shit,’ or ‘that bastard.’

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Good Life. That’s my sister and her husband although Boo doesn’t look like Felicity Kendall.

        Excellent names for cats. They should all be called that or “Dieyoufucker” if you’re in Wales.

        Liked by 1 person

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