Reflecting on my week #88

Well that was quite a week. And quite a wet week at that. I half-joked about the drop in temperatures from the much balmier days in Lisbon, but it wasn’t any fun persevering with your summer clothes - and footwear - and getting wet every day. Eventually even I had to cave and wear proper shoes again.

Usually when I get back from holiday I can’t wait to get out into the garden and see how the garden has fared, but this time it took a couple of days for there to be a sufficient break in the rain. I realised that my tomato plants would most likely be swimming in the trug I’d left them in by now. So there was nothing else for it, the tomatoes needed rescuing. However when I got out there, it was clear that these cowering peonies also needed some help.

peonies cowering in the rain

And I’m sure you will have seen the rescued peonies either here on Friday or on my social channels. It’s only today that they’ve drooped and are once again looking sorry for themselves again, so their next stop will be our compost heap where the whole cycle will begin again. And while I was out there, I couldn’t help but have a longer nose around. The tomatoes were also rescued and returned to the greenhouse, where they’ve since been planted and will need feeding as it looks as if there’s tiny fruits appearing. I’ve only got two tomato plants this year - which is far from my usual tomato farm, but that’s probably representative of our garden endeavours so far this year too.

But look at the cherries. The pigeons have saved us some! Well for now at least.

Cherries glistening in the rain

Over the weekend the weather improved and I’m sure the sun has helped them ripen even more. It’s also made them appear even more attractive to our local bird population and now I’m sure even more have been pecked. Today MOH could wait no longer and he picked a tupperware tub to bring inside so that we at least get to eat some. Our garden has become very popular with all sorts of birds, so I think it’s a wise move.

It wasn’t all good garden news though, we did arrive home to this.



In fact it’s looking rather dead, rather than not healthy. It’s right on the patio too so wasn’t a great sight. I can only assume that it’s been snipped on the other side of our fence by our newest neighbour, who does seem rather keen on having things just so. I was all for having A Talk with the neighbour, but they weren’t in. I know neighbours can cut back overhanging branches, but they don’t have the rights to kill plants.

As the weather was nice - it was much nicer on Sunday - out came the ladder for a much closer look. And it was worse when I got up the ladder, as there was further deadness, as I looked. It’s quite dense in here, and is a mix of honeysuckle and the small pink flowered plant I shared here a while back. And it did need a trim, but even so, this was more drastic than I had in mind. And just so you know, if a garden is deemed to be overgrown or unkempt (and ours certainly isn’t) that doesn’t give neighbours any more legal rights to take things into their own hands.

up the ladder and starting to tackle the brown bits

I’m still all for having A Talk with our newest neighbour, as I don’t want our other plants along this boundary to suffer in the same way. Having looked at this from up the ladder, it’s possible that it was snipped in error - but it’s still quite a lot of dead plant to do by mistake. There is a lot of ivy on their side of the fence, which I know they’ve been trying to remove, sadly I know that as the fence is in places showing the wear and tear of their efforts, which I’m also not happy about and is also another reason why I still want to have A Talk.

As I tried to untangle live growth from slightly crispier growth it was clear that I could rescue a fair amount of what was there, and give the rest of it quite a severe trim. It has given us some extra space on our patio, and has made me cut further back than I usually would, but even so, I’m still not impressed. I’ve a new plan to grow more of the plants lower down the fence, but allow it to grow up again to cover the trellis and retain our privacy.

rescuing what I can
temporarily tied into place

But after a full day’s gardening yesterday, that will have to wait as there’s still some severe pruning that needs to happen. As the weather is due to turn (again) the parts I’ve rescued have temporarily been tied back in place, as I’m sure in the wind they’d really look quite wild.

And I still think I’ll be having That Talk. Would you?