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When fate gives you a good slap and the obvious is ...obvious

Campanula UK Z8
6 years ago
last modified: 6 years ago

Rambling - beware.

This has been a torrid summer - started badly with self-inflicted spray destruction...and went downhill from there. An infected abscess (Mr.Campanula's) refused to heal, culminating in emergency surgery, total tooth removal (and bits of jawbone) and 2 months of seeping (literally) horribleness. Needless to say, having wrecked my home garden, I somehow managed to entirely miss the annual allotment highlight - rose month - and also the culmination of spring planting at the woods. And if I was struggling to manage running 3 gardens while still attempting to earn a (meagre) living before illness struck, I have now ground to a sorry halt altogether.

However, this woeful tale has its roots back in 2012 when we bought a small patch of glorious woodland, but 60 miles away from where we live (and I don't drive). Apologies to those who feel deprived with only a tiny patch of garden while I am whining about owning 3 but, as I tell my customers with tedious regularity, less is more. Ho ho, but this truism does not apply to me, I complacently think...except it very clearly does since I have ended up with 3 unhappy, unsatisfying and burdensome chores instead of a patch of personal paradise.

Now, since I only rent/lease my house and allotment, but actually own the woods (the only thing of any substance I have ever owned in my life), I assumed that all my efforts would be henceforth directed towards the woods...somehow overlooking the 60mile distance. I know Americans will drive this far to nip out and get a pizza but it is an epic pilgrimage in the UK...and it very soon became apparent that I would be doing precious little 'gardening'. I had just redesigned and built my tiny home garden in 2011 so it continued to look good with very little input from me (until the spray catastrophe)...while the allotment just got progressively overgrown but in a charming (?) manner while I did the minimum required to keep it looking decent...until I couldn't. In just 2 months, it has quite literally run amok. Bindweed has become rapacious, virus has claimed some of the fruits, the plum has still not got a decent pollinator, every single dahlia was decimated by snails, the cherries went unnetted (and robbed), the strawbs rotted and the roses are gigantic, semi-collapsed sleeping beauty type briar forests where children and small animals could vanish forever.

Looking through old photos (pre 2012), I was horrified to see how badly it has deteriorated (over years, not just a couple of months)...hence my new resolution - to concentrate on redoing the allotment this year (a 2minute bike ride)..while the woods, which managed with 50 years of utter neglect, can do its own thing - I have opened a lid on diversity - adding many foxgloves, lunaria, columbines, solomon's seal, anemones, martagons, celandines etc.etc...and even a prairie and primrose eastern edge. And so, my bulb order this year is a true favourite - a genus I (reluctantly) cast aside but am about to embrace in all its brilliant lushness - species tulips and a fully renovated scree garden. Oh unspellable, unpronounceable, uncommon lovelies such as orphanidea, schrenkii, whittallii and humilis albo- coerulea - be still my fluttering heart. And yes, after destroying my almost flowering seedlings - sprengeri bulbs too.

I promise photos (as I have embarassingly had nothing worth commemorating for years).

Always next year - the gardener's motto.

Mr Campanula came home from his second hospital stay today having, we sincerely hope, finally beaten the hateful streptococcus (he has a normal white blood count for the first time in 2 months).

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