Friday, 7 June 2013

Gruesome gardens...

Just like in the Horrible Histories series, I'm finding that the truth about gardening can sometimes be less pleasant than the pretty pictures might suggest...  I feel like a diminutive version of Henry VIII, albeit without the beard and enormous codpiece. 'Will no one rid me of this turbulent weed?' (I've just been told by an irate C that it was Henry II who said something vaguely along those lines, not Henry VIII... oops), 'No, I don't fancy you anymore, I've found a new plant to love...', or 'Off with their heads!', although that last one is a bit more Alice in Wonderland, and definitely not Henry II or VIII.

A friend came to visit the other day and walked round the garden saying 'That's a weed..', 'That's a bit invasive...', 'Yes, that is indeed yet more marjoram...' and impressing/ bewildering me with the Latin names for everything. I dutifully pulled out weeds, heeded the screeched  'NO! That one's okay!' until I got slightly ahead of myself. One leafy twig that I pulled out with gusto, turned out to be a hazelnut tree. Its taproot was broken, it was an ex-tree... 'Tree killer....' was muttered, and I hung my head in shame. Granted, it couldn't have kept growing where it was, but I could have planted it in a pot and had hazelnuts galore one day. Ah well.

In similar vein, digging a space for my lovely new poppy today, which I bought in an effort to spice up the slightly overwhelming pink and purpleyness of the garden, I unearthed the longest worm I have ever seen - easily a foot long at full stretch. I watched it slither off behind some other plants, and was happy to see how very healthy the soil is here.

Later, I looked out of the studio window to see a blackbird pecking away at the poor thing - and I ran out to shoo the bird off. That's not something I would normally do, but it was a very fine worm indeed and I did feel responsible! Sadly, it was chopped in three - and, it's not true that all those bits will grow into new worms. There is a chance that the front section, which was two thirds of the length, might regenerate a tail, but the last two bits were mere blackbird fodder... I put the front part back into the earth, and have just checked again and it's still moving, albeit a little close to the surface for safety (of course it's the same one!). Fingers crossed. Oh, and I put some more seed out for the birds as (poor) compensation...

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