It’s been almost four months since we’ve been able to visit our cottage in West Wales, but we’re here now and my brother is looking after our house and garden in Walsall. We’re certainly not complaining about the restrictions on our visiting the region, with such low numbers of people with Covid 19 in Ceredigion, the last thing we’d have risked was travelling from the West Midlands (potentially with the infection), into this wonderful area. So it’s great to be back and we must pay tribute and give our heartfelt thanks to our friends and neighbours who have not only kept a look out for us, but also kept the lawns under control.
However – it’s the countryside and if you don’t keep on top of the unwanted plants, aka weeds, they do have a tendency to take advantage! The most troublesome in our Welsh garden are cleavers, enchanter’s nightshade, creeping buttercup and couch grass. I really dislike the fern that grows anywhere it can and it has certainly been busy over the last 4 months. There’s also a smattering of nettle and we’ve arrived to find that the common hogweed has joined the congregation!
It looks rather elegant, but we know that to leave is to regret it, so they’ll be removed post haste – not the easiest task as they have long tenacious roots, a job for Chris I think….
At first sight, we thought there’d been a new crop of couch grass dominating the front of this border, but in fact it is shallow rooted and not creeping and should be relatively easy to remove. The only difficulty is that it is growing through the legitimate astilbe which is irritating to say the least.
My own personal bête noir has to be the cleaver, it inveigles itself into the nearest host and then attempts to smother it, making for an extremely untidy and misshapen sight. It pulls out easily, but it is covered in sticky little seed buds and it is just impossible to contain these and so we’ll be pulling them out infinitum (and removing them from Ollie’s fur)!
Before I had a chance to photograph the pathways, Chris had started to tackle the weed infiltration – dandelions, herb bennett, willow herb, buttercup – you name it, the path had been invaded. They’ve been weakened by a glyphosate applied by a friend and Chris has already cleared the biggest area..
An alarming surprise was to find these trees leaning perilously over the river towards our garden. I’ve got pictures of this section showing them completely upright – we think that the storms of October 2018 and the huge amount of rain last winter may be the root cause as when the river is high, it roars through and there is clear evidence of bank erosion on that side. Time to contact the landowner! A special thanks to our neighbour Jackie for keeping the path on the top right of the picture clear – amazing!
Finally for today – not a weed, a wholly welcome sight in Clematis ‘Etoile Violette’ which is romping away and looking just gorgeous!