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Cerney House Gardens Diary

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- Autumn damp

Our house seems to be absolutely full of spiders. Much to do with my
cleaning routine but also maybe the unknown weather. We seem to lurch from
very cold to unseasonal warmth unified by wet. No wonder the arachnids
prefer indoors. And so to be honest do the gardeners. However we have a
huge amount to do to put the garden to bed and time seems to be rushing
ahead towards Christmas and then its new year and snowdrops and before you
know we will be back to rose time. We finished cutting back and tying in the
laburnum arch today. I am never too sure what we are doing but it seems to
flower beautifully in May and although we find a lot of dieback in November
there is always plenty to make a structure leading in to the knot garden.
More than ever this year I feel we need to tidy up parts of the garden. I
am all for nature giving us a lead here but she seems to have taken over
completely in parts and the effect of a partnership that we enjoy has been
lost. So Silvia and Kate have been given instructions to be radical in
their clearing and I follow on later and take out more. Hardy geraniums,
pulmonaria, alchemilla, aquilegia, and every kind of herb are the main pushy
culprits but not to worry about many because they have merely been banished
to the woods. There is another reason for the clearing. Avon bulbs
approached us with an exciting idea for next spring- Floral Fireworks. The
intention is to plant masses of tulips in time for a colourful explosion in
the spring and then hopefully lots of visitors will be so captivated that
they will want to make their own splash at home. The brainwave belongs to
Chris and Charlie who plodded around our garden in the rain and remained
enthusiastic in spite of drizzle and mud. We feel challenged and privileged
and this may only dull when we have to plant hundreds of bulbs in our rain
and mud.
We still have flowers in the garden. None that one expects together. Roses
are under planted with hellebores and primula in full bloom all with the
fabulous autumn colour backdrop. The colours are truly vibrant this year
but the leaves are dropping with remarkable speed and James looks less than
enthusiastic as his tries to keep on top of their clearing. It is a
thankless, task particularly when the wind blows, but we make marvellous
leaf mould to improve the beds in a couple of years.
Jessie, our collie, still shows promise with the sheep although the weak
link is us and our inability to remember which way away means. We need
serious help and will set it in motion when we get back from a weeks holiday
in France. We hope that our guide will also be able to stop Jessie from
digging the huge pits she has taken to excavating in the newly cleared beds,
we suspect that she is on the heels of voles and mice but I have threatened
to bury her in the next one.
Amy's kittens, Milly and Annie, now rule the kitchen and look quite grown up
in front of the aga. They have already ventured to the top of one of our
trees, causing me to panic and Amy to cry. The pecking order has remained
the same, just a little longer and I am proud of all our furry inmates who
have shown great hospitality.
As for the larger members of our farmstead. The rams are working though the
flock, although the new jacobs seem a little slow to be covered by their
spouse Albert. And we have decided to venture back into Dexter cows. Beauty
and her baby Lizzie will be joined at Christmas by Tizzie. Both elders will
calve in the spring and we have a lot to learn in the next few months. We
want the girls to be halter happy so that they can join us in the garden in
the better weather and graze our wild flower bank and meet the visitors. Let
us hope they don't eat tulips.

posted by Barbara @ Wednesday, November 10, 2004   0 comments (Post a Comment)

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