3. OCTOBER

I had a lovely surprise in the garden today. Two completely different things, both quite remarkable. The first one is rather small but very welcome. Some years ago I used to buy a gardening magazine and in those days they offered a plant, for free with me just paying the cost of postage. One of these was a tree peony, white flowering. I planted it next to the little fence in the front garden, it flowered for a number of years. Eventually it got smothered by the hydrangea growing nearby. In the spring I decided to dig it out and hoped that it would survive. It got very leggy so I gave it a severe haircut, there wasn’t much left of it but I planted it in a large pot nevertheless. I kept looking at it, it looked rather dead so today was the day to act. I wanted to pull it out of the pot and compost it. However as I looked I saw a few little buds and I was delighted. It is worth waiting a bit longer, there must’ve been enough life in the roots.

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I gave it some new soil on the top of the pot and now will just wait.

The next surprise is even better. It is a long time ago that we went to Istanbul for a long weekend and of course we went for a number of tasty meals. On one occasion we had fresh fruit as a dessert and of course I collected the dark brown seeds from the apple-like fruit. At home I planted them in a pot and two of them germinated. I found out the name of the plant – Eriobotrya japonica or loquat. It grew to a lovely large tree and is very happy in the front garden. I knew when it should flower and bear fruit but I didn’t think I would see any flowers on my tree. Until today that is.

I’m not sure if I will have any fruit but even just to see it flowering is great.

ONE MAN’S UNWANTED PAVING SLABS….

…..my ideal material for sprucing up the plot.

Yesterday I cleared the area between my new greenhouse and the latest net cage. It is not very wide – I had sunflowers growing close to the net cage as that way they had some protection. Close to the greenhouse is a large crown of rhubarb and a small raised bed. It was the perfect area for weeds to thrive!

It was clear of weeds but I knew I had to do something there to stop the weeds to come back. Slabs I thought. Again Simon came to the rescue. He already gave me a few of them to make a little path in front of the greenhouse, now he gave me the rest of them. The blue bricks I dug out from the ground at the end of this very same plot – the guy who had it before me started to build a wall?? It looked like it, all in all I unearthed 15 blue bricks! The rest can be seen here

To finish it all off Simon also gave me some sweet William plans – he was planting them out and, fortunately for me, had more than he could use. Thanks to him it looks very nice, the bees will love it next year when it all flowers.