With milder weather forecast, Christmas presents wrapped, shopping orders complete and a few days off work, I’ve jumped in the car with Ollie and made for Wales for some pre-festivities peace and quiet. Unfortunately, the dream of peace was almost shattered when after a rather stressful journey, I opened the door to an unbelievable smell of oil in the house. Not knowing much about boilers or the implications of the odour, I had visions of not being able to stay and having to drive all the way back to the Midlands! However a quick word with our heating engineer put my mind at rest and he came out and replaced the leaking fuel pump yesterday – smell gone, heating on now and all is cosy.
The ground is saturated and the river quite high – sure signs that it has been characteristically wet in this part of Wales! However, after last weeks snow, the temperature has certainly risen and I’ve spent some time squelching around in the garden tidying up and cutting back herbaceous specimens that have started to rot – crocosmia, persicara and fern in particular. The new photinia hedge we put in to replace the deceased eleagnus is growing strongly, a quick trim to encourage low growth and avoid a straggly shape was needed, although I’ll still have to convince Chris that this was the right thing to do!
The moss covered tree stump on the river bank got seriously wrapped up in bramble during the summer, but I think we’ve managed to get it all out, no sign at the moment. This self seeded foxglove on the other hand is looking healthy – I’m assuming it will be pink.
The crown of the gunnera was very exposed as all the leaves have died down, so I took advice from the internet – the consensus being that the plants’ leaves should have been folded back over the crown and a thick layer of mulch piled over the top in November. As the gunnera leaves were beyond being of such use, I gathered a pile of beech leaves as a first layer and then heaped compost on top – fingers crossed for healthy new growth next year.
A good two hours later and I was really warm, having wrapped up too well, and it was lovely to sit quietly with a cup of tea and watch the numerous birds we have as visitors to the garden before making for the coast for a bracing walk along a surprisingly deserted beach. All refreshed and ready for Christmas!