Sunday, 22 June 2008

Alan Titchmarsh would be proud

I've been gardening. For reasons that I'm not yet ready to share (for fear of counting my chickens...), I have been taking cuttings and lifting my most treasured plants from the garden.

The first to be lifted was my beloved bay tree (back-right in the photo, with the droopy leaves). I know that it's the wrong time to lift it, and that it will sulk terribly and perhaps even die because of its uprooting, but it's a risk I've had to take. I've had this tree for 6 years, since it was only 8 inches tall, but I have to admit to have neglected it in its current location.

Assuming it survives and flourishes, I will start to take proper care of it, pruning it and keeping it in shape. It's a huge assumption though - only an hour after it was lifted all the leaves and new growth had drooped and wilted. I hope it will be ok.

Second to be lifted was my gooseberry tree (back-left in the photo). I've had this since I lived in Bournemouth, but is only about a foot and a half tall, because I once dropped a garage on it. It's a resilient little bugger though. I was delighted to find a crop of big, fat berries on it today, some of which I will be having for my pudding tonight.

Centre-front is a blackcurrant bush which I planted about 5 years ago, but which had been completely overwhelmed by the garden hedge to such an extent that I had to cut 3/4 of it away due to straggly legginess. I'm hoping it's relocation and severe pruning will help it recover and be much bushier, healthier and fruitful (assuming, of course, that I haven't killed it by lifting it!)

Front-left is a rose bush. Seriously, it is! I was going to take some cuttings because it has the loveliest fraganced white flowers, but this has also been very badly neglected. Due to a combination of a lack of pruning, a lack of dead-heading, greenfly infestation and caterpillars (there were over a dozen on it!) I only managed to pull 3 cuttings (of dubious health), and was left with little more than a leggy stump. So I cut that right back, lifted it, and potted it. With feed and water, I hope it will be ok.

I don't want to give the impression that everything in my garden is neglected and in decline. Those plants which need no attention from me do fantastically well! :o)

My honeysuckle, for example, is blooming and smells absolutely beautiful of an evening. I took 4 cuttings of this while I was at it, so we'll see how they take, too.

If these plants (my most precious, beloved plants) survive my clumsiness, I promise to look after them from here on in. I will even read some of the gardening books I have in my bookshelves so I can take care of them properly!

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