Hanging by a thread

Thunbergia shoot hanging by a spider thread

Thunbergia shoot hanging by a spider thread

This Thunbergia shoot suspended in mid air is supporting, or being supported by, an anchoring thread from a spiders web just outside the living room window.

Last weekend I went to tidy the garden of a house we’re selling. I haven’t been in the garden for a number of months. It’s been progressing through the summer unwatched and unnoted. The Buddlejas have come and gone. The un picked sweet peas are over. Rosa Eugénie Guinoiseau was a mass of browned and shriveled flower heads. Did the flowers ball in the hot weather or is she just bad at shucking off her petals as she fades – I can’t remember. Last year’s dahlias survived the winter in a fashion and the fig is starting to make itself known more emphatically. The water lily in a bucket, Texas Dawn,  is just hanging on as her quarters have become somewhat shaded and as yet I have nowhere to move her to.

Kiss me over the garden gate the first flower buds are at the top. Oddly it needs germinating in the cold in spring and then moving into warmth as the first seedlings appear.

Kiss me over the garden gate the first flower buds are at the top. Oddly it needs germinating in the cold in spring and then moving into warmth as the first seedlings appear.

Here the “Kiss me over the garden gate” (Polygonum orientale) is at least 10 feet tall and just starting to flower at the very top. The squash is romping up a tree. The heron may have visited in the week, one of the new and most active fish “Pyjamas” seems to be no more, and the other two fish are staying well out of sight. We saw the heron last week sitting on the electricity wires,  an odd sight to see this gawky bird perched so precariously. I’ve also heard it having a stand-off with a crow in the oak trees near the garden.

The new Chicky Girls,  two Speckledys and a Bluebell

The new Chicky Girls, two Speckledys and a Bluebell

One of the last two surviving Black Rock chicky girls died in front of me last week, (she was about 8 years old). She’d looked a bit wan for a couple of days. I found her wedged under the chicken hut with just her head out, she looked at me blearily, shuddered once and stilled, the first green bottle flies started to land.

Now we have three new ladies, two Speckledys and a Bluebell, both types apparently Maran x Rhode Island Reds. They’ve had a few contretemps with “Wibble”the old surviving Black Rock, it seems to be settling, and the Speckledy queen in waiting has already made herself known. Sadly the new trio also find my wood bed the most charming scratching, bathing and lounging area, I came home to rooted out and squashed plants yesterday evening.

I made plum jam last week from the abundance of Victoria Plums, but had to do a re-boil (tipping all the pots out into the pan), and as one allotment forum suggested, that was a pot worth lost of extra boiling that was needed.

I’m sorry to hark on about the compost issues I’ve had but it bugs me;

  1. I’ve wasted time and money
  2. I hate to see the plants looking so miserable
  3. Any newer gardeners would be thinking its their fault and be put off

I tipped out the poorest faring of the bad compost tomatoes yesterday, there was no root growth at all outside the original rootball that was put in (yes I did break up the compacted compost before I planted the tomato seedlings in May).

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