Saturday, 18 June 2011

Not only but also . . . . . .

There's a saying : 'Never explain, never apologise':
as I am not Royalty, I will do both.
Not only has the past week been 
"the birthday week", 
when I pay more attention than usual to
it has also been my last ditch attempt at knocking the garden into shape
before the grand opening next weekend.

Hence my temporary absence from
the blogosphere.
I am guilty of neglecting my friends' blogs as well as my own.
Forgive me.

Problems, problems.
Firstly, the English weather, what else.

Winter left huge gaps in beds and borders, needing camouflage
in the form of smoke and mirrors,
shrouding semi-dead shrubs in annual climbers and bedding plants,
strategically placing terracotta pots and rusty metal watering cans,
as well as large lumps of rotting tree trunks, rocks and pebbles; 
the canny gardener has all these tricks up her sleeve,
just in case.

Several expeditions to expensive nurseries 
helped to deplete my gardening budget and fill a few more gaps.

the most essential ingredient to gardening success,
trusty gardener, 
hurt his back. seriously enough to drop out of my schemes for two weeks.
He came in one day, crooked and not his usual cheerful self at all,
just to mow the lawn.

In spite of being a selfish sort of employer, and frantic to boot,
I forbore to get cross with him, commiserated and asked
how soon he thought he might be well again.

That's gardeners for you, anything for the cause.

So, here he is again.
I am plying him with tea breaks,
kind words and consideration.

He is almost back to normal,
complete with gardener-isms;
today he suggested, that somebody should
"draw a diaphragm".

I love gardener-isms.

I love gardener even more. Today he defined the edges between the lawn and beds and borders, and  weeded all soft paths as well as between stones and slabs on the hard ones; both these jobs make an instant difference.  He staked tall herbaceous plants securely, weeded a deep border and strimmed the daffodil lawns, a long overdue job, leaving me free to do delicate hand weeding on narrower beds, which I can do kneeling. As it's Saturday he left early but he has promised to come back on Thursday. I shall continue to get out there between showers as often as I can, so I might not be around that much this week either.

All I need now is a few days of sunshine to get some colour into the borders which are still quite sad looking. Tidy, but colourless.  Wish me luck.


  1. friko - do what is necessary!!! knowing that your garden's are beautiful! you lucky person. steven

  2. I could never manage a beautiful garden like that, Friko. You say "tidy but colourless" for yours and I say "colourful but untidy" for mine, although "colourful" might be an exaggeration right now.
    I think your second photo shows some lovely colour.
    And "draw a diaphragm" is wonderful! I love it.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  3. Your garden is extremely beautiful. And you are SO fortunate to have gardener, even when he's not a hundred percent. Lovely place you've got there, Friko.

  4. When you mentionned 'togetherness' and 'knocking the garden into shape', I was sure you were going to tell us you were helping the fertility of the garden by following the advice from your book on 'Miscellany of Gardening', quoted from in a previous post.

    Your garden is just lovely - no matter how it gets that way. :) Love your new ferns!

  5. smiles. your garden is looking wishes on your continued efforts...

  6. I wish I could walk through your garden. You claim it is tidy but colourless but I am sure it is neither. I am sure it is riotous and pulsing with life-- despite the bad back of a gardener-- and not unlike you.

  7. You can't possibly know how your garden looks to me over here - like something from a magazine. Good luck with all the final touches - but really, it is beautiful.

  8. Friko - your garden is just wonderful (as is your gardener!!)

    Here it is early winter with just the odd rose still in bloom, early rhododendrons and some camelias roll on spring.

  9. No apologies. Go out! Run naked in your garden! The rain will be back before you know it. Until then, enjoy!

  10. I wouldn't mind a diaphragm of that garden! I don't know how to "do" and English garden, with all the variety in heights and colors and bloomtimes....but I surely do appreciate the bejeebers out of yours!

  11. Do what you need to do!!! We'll be waiting with open arms to welcome you back!!!!!!

  12. It looks lovely to me and I miss your visits and your writing but I know what you mean. strike while the iron is hot!

  13. Your gardens look very tidy and orderly to me...that "diaphragm" really helps to keep things in their proper place and I bet it prevents weeds too! Good to end this day with a big grin!!!

  14. Miss your words and visits, but totally understand the time spent in the gardens. Virtually inspirational! Go tend, then come back and share. Smiles.

  15. Lupins and foxgloves and things with green leaves . It's beautiful !!
    Have a very Grand Opening indeed , you both deserve it .

  16. Oh my, your garden is just gorgeous. Its evident there are proper green fingers at work there, and I love "draw a diaphragm". :o)

  17. What a dreamy and inspiring place for a chat with friends and blog writing :D

  18. I wish my garden looked as nice. I have huge holes and gaps and my tall plants have moved the front and little volunteers hiding behind...ugh!

    (my word verification is entinkle(?))

  19. The garden's looking good, and it's obvious that a lot of hard work has been done. Three cheers for all involved.

  20. Is this gardener your husband? :)

  21. and where is the dust?

    good luck with your opening - are you part of the Open Garden scheme? hope the sun shines for you

  22. Du hast einen wirklich wunderschönen Garten, ein Paradis...!
    Ich wünsche Dir viele sonnige Tage!

  23. Hello:
    Oh the stresses and strains of opening to the public! We can sense and readily identify with your frustrations but, the best thing is that true gardeners who come to look will be only too aware of the difficult gardening conditions which have prevailed and will be appreciative of your efforts.

    Your garden, to us, looks to be full of interest and beautifully arranged. And, remember, that green is a COLOUR!

  24. Beautiful garden and I am so jealous! You have a gardener!! Sigh! I wish I had one too!
    I have been working on mine and loving it!

  25. Your garden is beautiful. I look forward to mine looking better soon - not as nice as yours - I'll need a few years to bring it up to snuff but a start has been made.

  26. My god, the man has a bad back, and there he is BENDING OVER for you!! What loyalty you do inspire in others, Friko.

    I'm going to sidle up to you during the visit and whisper 'boo' in your ear.

  27. Absolutely gorgeous -- English gardens are such a delight. (And an English gardener would be heaven!)

  28. It looks stunning already - I was going to photo my newly planted tubs and pots, but now I'm not so sure. Every Blessing

  29. The only luck you will need is Gardener's good health.

  30. Friko, it's been such a treat to see how your garden grows. What a lovely place, that manages that magic of never giving away all the effort devoted to gaining its natural beauty.

    Hoping your gardener's back will continue to strengthen, and that you'll have a sunny sky on your open day.


  31. Your garden is beautiful. Your gardener is made of steel to work with a bad back. -- barbara

  32. Good luck in your beautiful, spacious garden, Friko xx

  33. Plying Gardener with tea is far more important than anything else. I can sympathize with his back pains, having a few of my own.

    What color? The photo with the little man, number two in your lineup, shows an amazing amount of variety in your foliage. Gaudy doesn't do it for me. All looks well. Dianne

  34. Friko - your garden is a dream - its lovely. So glad Gardener is feeling better. Cherish him - he's worth his weight in gold!

  35. A gardener! I want one! That would be heaven. What lovely gardens you have.

  36. Your garden looks absolutely gorgeous, so green and lush and full of color and texture, things of different heights and widths. It absolutely looks like somebody "drew a diaphragm" for this, probably more than one! ;-)

  37. What a truly lovely garden. I admire your patience at weeding, on your knees… You must get a great feeling of accomplishment when you see all the pretty flowers and shrubs thriving - new life because of your (and your gardener.)

  38. Oh Friko, I am sick with jealousy I tell you! Sick!
    Do you want to trade gardeners? I have Leo who has no imagination and doesn't listen to me, ever.
    And blames me for the weeds because I COMPOST. How dare I.
    I love your garden and spent a good 5 minutes pretending it was mine and showing it off to my friends.

  39. From what I am able to observe, Friko, you and the gardener can stop your labors. The gardens are gorgeous just as they are! Have a good week.

  40. I live in arid southern California, so your pictures were even more of a delight.

  41. Wonderful! Your garden is a fairies land. ;)

  42. I'd say you've done well in spite of your trials. It's just beautiful, diaphragm or no diaphragm. Give my best to the Gardener, whose love of his work combines with yours to create a place of beauty.

  43. Friko, you say you are not royalty - but your garden proves you wrong. I am astonished - when can I move in?

  44. Good luck! You are your own worst critic, you know.
    Do you keep a record of 'gardener-isms'?

  45. You are totally forgiven especially if you give us some more photos. Just beautiful ... and keep sweet talking the gardener! :)

  46. My husband is a garden freak! Cuts the grass more times than is necessary, but his strawberry patch is making up for last year's (weather-beaten) pitiful amount! He'd love your garden (I'd love it more....) It's beauty indeed.

  47. Thank you for stopping by at PF a tick & joining up as a follower! To my lights, please know, you may stay knee deep in muck as long as necessary, for the results are magnificent, and we are the vicarious beneficiaries, sans muck! What a spectacular garden. Our yard, though with a lovely view across the hills, has soil so poor (it's called bank run), that hardly a weed manages to thrive!


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