Just as a follow-up to my last post, here’s a picture of what the kayak looked like on top of my parents’ tiny car…
A list of the plants my parents brought comes towards the end of this post…
And this is the recently acquired spare spare bedroom… We only have one bedroom in the main house and a small spare bedroom in the annex, so in order for me to have some sort of privacy while my grandmother inhabited the main bedroom and my parents occupied the spare bedroom I went out and bought a small tent. I love sleeping outdoors, and even in a tent you get a much more immediate connection to the nature around you.
My parents are fussy people. They need to be constantly entertained, it seems, and I some times struggle with that constant need to “do something together”. I like lying back with a book and relax, so how does one reconcile these two modes of enjoying oneself?
Easy, once I found the answer…
My dad mowed the entire lawn, together with him I sawed up a pile of wood into foot-long pieces and then he played around with the electric wood cleaver and turned it all into suitable logs for the fireplace. He’s looking old and tired, mainly because he really needs to gain weight, but there’s still work in the old man, and he really seemed to enjoy being able to do something for me that helps me and makes him feel he still has a “value”.
Meanwhile my mother volunteered to weed the Ambitious Border, and then she went on to extend it with the perennials they’d brought, which basically meant digging up another 2 meters of lawn… Then she weeded the Evening border, and finally she sowed annuals between all the perennials to fill out the borders this year.
And every series of works needs an overseer. In this case Freja, my parents’ dog who is named after the Norse goddess of love and fertility. What better overseer for a garden, eh?
It was a good visit, and I’m so pleased they seemed to really enjoy the house and the garden. And I’m so pleased with all the work they did, leaving me free to cut back the “cemetary” by 50%:
We have a low yew by the entrance to the garden, and while it does provide some seclusion from the drive it is also just ugly and straggly and not very nice… We refer to it as The Cemetery because it looks kind of depressing and had a completely unbecoming shape. But now half of it has been cut away, keeping only the upright parts that shelters the garden from the drive. This leaves a couple of square meters of mainly bare soil (with a few privet plants that can be transplanted to provide more coverage towards the road) that might eventually be turned into a perennial bed or be planted with a sun-loving shrub or bush. And you know what? Now that I’ve cut it in half it has the chance to show off it’s beautiful branches and I’m sort of falling in love with the plant that I used to want to get completely rid of!
The most important plant my parents brought up to the garden this past weekend was a small kolkwitzia amabilis that is a root shoot off their large kolkwitzia. It’s tiny still, about half a meter in height and roughly the same diameter, but it will soon grow and begin to seem like more than a small shrub in the lawn just to the right of the “cemetery” in the picture above. I planted it in the lawn, because it’s overhanging branches and fountain-like shape will probably shade out everything growing next to it, and besides I quite like solitaire bushes.
They also brought a few groups of goldenrod, which we already have a fair amount of, but it’s a nice staple perennial and adds height to any bed, so it’s fine by me.
Then there is a single acanthus (which I wrongly called agapanthus in my last post). It’s unassuming at present but does have the potential to be a stunner in a year or two.
There were 5-6 small globe thistle plants as well. The husband has previously been less-than-enthusiastic about intentionally planting thistles in the garden, but I suspect he will be won over when he sees their stunning lilac flowers that seamlessly transforms into the round blue seed heads. (Also, it’s one of the few perennials that happily end up growing to 2 meters in height in Denmark, and that alone is, surely, a reason to have it.)
They also brought a very leggy root shoot off a variegated evergreen shrub that loves full sun. It’s roots were quite small, though, so we chopped it down and set the cut-offs as cuttings in some pots in a shady corner, leaving only 30cm of the 2-meter shoot on the root and planting that in the hedgerow as a temporary measure. It will not get enough sun there, but while it establishes its roots it will be in a shaded and moist position that should suit it.
A small cotoneaster is confusing me… I don’t know quite where it will look “right”, so for now it has been “dumped” behind the annex. Perhaps it should go into a large pot in the courtyard, but I can’t really make up my mind.
There were some other perennials as well that I can’t recall at the moment, but then there is the emotional star piece; a blue anemone – anemone hepatica – that my grandmother brought. A tiny, easily missed plant, but pretty as you like and with a stunning shade of blue that few other flowers can produce.
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