Rooting for Robins

Our landlord pointed out that my planting would be in the way for accessing the roof; silly of me to overlook this, especially as the low flying military choppers rattle the old slates periodically so that it is a relatively frequent issue. Even though I went a bit excessive with the annuals, there are a significant number of shrubs and herbaceous plants, grown from seed, cuttings and purchased that I want to retain. So the last several days have incorporated cannibalising the beds. Only a few herbs left to rehome, which would have been completed today but for my tool of choice deciding to fall apart.

Mr Fluffy found it rummaging round a junk shop and bought it home for me. Basically, it is 3 hooked prongs on a handle, something like a handrake and it is wonderful for weeding out roots. I attempted to persevere without it but it felt like trying to carve the roast with a spoon, so I didn’t accomplish all that was intended. He fixed it for me when he came home.

I am uncertain how successful all this transplanting will be but plants do try very hard to grow and it is preferable to them being trampled.

I am very fortunate that the most prevalent weeds are oxalis and medicago varieties. I found selfset seedlings of viola tricolor and climbing nasturtiums – I potted those and placed them above frost level in the tent, they might survive. These ‘weeds’ make a lovely edging mix with the violas, red clover and birds foot trefoil. The leaves of these are broadly similar shape but varying sizes and heights although still low growing.

I have acquired an almost constant companion accompanying my to-ing and fro-ing. S/he will come surpringly close and makes the most delightful warbling song. Usually it is the fluttering of the wings I notice first and sometimes we just cheep to each other when s/he looks quite disdainful, which is totally justified, at my attempts of mimicry. I was reading at the kitchen table the other morning and became aware of bird song, on looking up, s/he was perched on top of the wheellie bin, calling me to come out and play – in other words, find some earthworms. Such a lot of character. They were known as ruddocks during the Tudor period.

Also discovered a fern and some greater celandine while tidying under a bramble and disturbed a cloud of tiny bluish moths that looked like seeds at first and it was only when this one landed on the greater celandine that it became clear that it’s a type of insect. There was another visitor crawling over the same plant, much larger and with a vaguely disturbing appearance.

The buckwheat is going to seed in the shady border now but the paper today had this very interesting article about how Dutch farmers are rediscovering the crop and it is good for multiple pollinators.

I haven’t done anything very strenuous in the garden but I have found it to be surprisingly tiring. Should be able to move the last few things tomorrow if it is dry. Then to tidy up the tent – all the cuttings look like they are rooting – and weigh up whether to begin a proper veg patch.

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