The domestic garden. Laundry and loveliness.

Just when you think things have started to settle down … heat, damp, chill, cool and dry air cause havoc in the garden again. The beginning of the month provided the first chance to carry out tasks other than watering, such as clipping the arbutus, griselinia, hydrangea and many other shrubs. Cuttings were kept for experiments as structures, donated to be used as floral arrangements or composted, nothing wasted.

The 25th was the hottest day here so far, 29′. It was hotter elsewhere, but much care was taken to protect the moisture given to plants. Hot sun can be magnified in droplets of water and burn into plant structures. We are lucky not to have experienced the thunderstorms which are promised.

Planting and potting are becoming somewhat out of control. It is just about possible to keep up with the tomato pots.

Edibles appear in other parts too.

The Trwyn Mochyn apple tree has quite a few fruits, but how likely they are to last the onslaught from birds and (mostly), wasps is difficult to say So far the squirrels have kept to the bird food station.

Growth is also out of hand in the beds and borders.

The beans and sweet peas (sharing a raised bed), are in competition. The bed definitely needs to be reconsidered for next year. Access to this raised bed is difficult. the plants sown at the back keep thrusting forwards to the south facing light, causing tangling at the front of the planting and gaps at the back.

Greenfly, innocuous, nasty sap-sucking destructive little beasts love the clogged up foliage. Blossoms are starved of moisture, drop off and the plant gradually dies. Oh, and there’s an ants nest at the foot of the bed. Note bad reaction to ant bite again.

Some new visitors have arrived.

The following fauna, (along with other problems), are not as welcome.

Hydrangea are Marmite to gardeners, however they are very much loved in this garden.

Plenty of other growth is evident. Some plants in places where they were planted (either permanently or as a temporary measure), whilst others are self seeded and making the most of their opportunity – whilst the gardener is running out of steam to tend to them.

It’s attending to tedious little details which allows practice to take place. Any available time is jiggled about to allow for tending to the garden within its changeable environment to the best of available puff. The planting substrate remains pretty much the same everywhere (very poor and stony), unless it is replenished with compost. This is going to be essential next year. Above the ground everything changes, continuously.

What always comes back to the mind is the need for sound tools and protective workwear. Arthritic feet do not appreciate flip-flops on stony surfaces, they do not feel secure when balancing on steps and walls to reach and tend tall plants. Solid hand tools and gloves help protect hands. Keeping the garden going is important to the practice (in that plant and found materials can become part of the practice as well as providing stimulus from what is experienced), it becomes the practice. As important as taking care of paint brushes and tubes of pigment to a painter.

Discussions about the exhibition in July / August 2021 have recommenced regarding the alternative and much larger venue. Galleries 1 and 2 have no natural light, this is both a disappointment and a problem, however they must be approached as a challenge.

Lost labels (time isn’t allowing purchase order notes to be checked), together with animal, wind, rain and sun create challenges. Petal and seed collection continue, with very tired plants being cropped back, some seed heads being retained because of their intriguing shapes.

Taking photographs is a tremendous help in keeping track of what is happening in the garden and in practice. Sorting several thousands of images is not such fun, but must be done. We are often reminded …

“Gofalwch am y pethau bychain.”

This reminds us to take care of the little things, the details. Whilst trying to do this and keeping ourselves going! This is what it’s all about though …