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The 'Fat Regiment'


No rain until about 3pm today, so I had a good five hours outdoors. The soil is so wet and heavy and some plants are suffering. The lawns resemble a bog, they are going that horrid yellow colour. I moved a yellow hellebore to a slightly drier spot and hopefully it will do better there.

I weeded the central part of Golden Border and split a big clump of Rudbeckia fulgida var deamii. So that will be even more prevalent in the border in September this year. I love it. Would be happy to have it all through that border.

When weeding, I try to take the top inch of the soil from where the weeds are so hopefully I get rid of the many seeds that are lurking there (willow herb) as well as the visible weeds. Time will tell. Its heavy, dirty work. My back was not my friend afterwards. I took a hot bath and tried to keep moving until after dinner.

I removed a large Cornus sanguineus from the raised border and replaced it with a Leucothoe. Hopefully the Cornus will take when I transplant it in to the Pod area.

I pruned the other red-stemmed and orange stemmed Cornus shrubs and the climbing rose ‘Bridge of Sighs’ also got a good pruning. I’m trying to get most of the flowers up in the apple tree. The Sambucus in the Raised bed also got a good prune, as did the Cotoneaster ‘Cornubia’ with the lovely red berries. I want to keep it neat.

When I came indoors, I noticed that the Fat Regiment (this is my nickname for the flock of Goldfinches…if you’ve ever seen their white ‘buttoned tail-coats’ you’ll understand why I call them a ‘regiment’, and the ‘fat’ part is because they eat so voraciously at the feeders!) came down and discovered I had put a feeder in the pear tree beside the pond. So I took a few photos. If you look closely you can see them in the tree and couple of fat woodies picking up the scraps underneath!

We had rain after that…not too heavy though. Honestly…will it ever stop? The ground hasn’t had a chance to dry out at all since August now. Thankfully, parts of my garden are well drained. I am just so thankful that we aren’t flooded…it would break my heart. Some people are just in a desperate situation and I hope they will get the support they need. :Z

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I thought you'd seen a photo of me when I read the title :o)) glad it turned out to be gold finches. They are such pretty birds aren't they?

Lovely blog Karen and I know what you mean. Our garden is very wet and towards the workshop it is very boggy. fortunately the ground slopes down away from the house.

19 Feb, 2020


So glad our garden has a gradient too.When you see farmers whose land is completely submerged,they must feel so distraught.

You must have worked very hard especially with such sodden ground.

20 Feb, 2020


Nice blog Karen, we're lucky our little back garden is sloped, still wet-ish but not as we aren’t as unfortunate as others being flooded. I agree about the goldfinches. Often they fly south don’t they! We’ve quite a few buzzing round the feeder, they do drop most of the seed. However, blackies pick up the mess, thankfully!

20 Feb, 2020


Is that a prunus in flower on your last picture?
We have 'team' feeding too, gold finishes and tits etc on the feeders and wood pigeons and blackbirds cleaning up below, I need a bird table for the ground feeders, ours got grubby and rotted so had go.
Our gold finches aren't half enjoying the Niger seed.
I think if we had a wet ground competition I would win, sludge bath here and before we know it we'll be walking around with watering cans.

20 Feb, 2020


Thanks ladies. Yes, we are very sad for all those trying to deal with flooding. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have a foot of water in your house and trying to get to work and carry on with life. These floods are sure to have a huge impact on our country.

20 Feb, 2020


Love the last pic, with your borrowed landscape. Hope the water off those hills turns and runs down the road and not onto your property. You are right about the Goldfinches, they don't arrive here en mass till later in the season

20 Feb, 2020


The water does come’s bound to eventually. But so far we have never had a problem. Just a very wet lawn!

20 Feb, 2020


NIce garden & landscape. very attractive.

20 Feb, 2020


As usual you have been a busy 🐝 Karen......five hours! I wouldn’t have been able to stand!
Too wet here to attempt splitting our perennials......and I won’t do the Cornus until March, although they are all leafing up well!
I agree with Siris your garden looks wonderful with the borrowed landscape ...... our borrowed landscape is a big ugly red house! 😂
Although the grass and the soil is so wet here, we luckily don’t have a problem with flooding......I am not sure I could cope with it, and I feel desperately sorry for all those people who have to cope with such awful conditions must be heartbreaking.....
The birds bar a few magpies and pigeons have deserted us, no doubt they will be back!

20 Feb, 2020


Thanks Bathgate. Yes Angela..I was early doing the Cornus. I hope they will be ok. The biggest one, which I took out, was breaking bud so I thought I’d get on with it. But tbh, the others weren’t showing any signs of growth yet. So hopefully they will be ok. Once I get going with my new secateurs.....;)

20 Feb, 2020


Trigger happy Karen!!😆

21 Feb, 2020


I admire you for gardening on this saturated soil ... our lawn is growing too long and too quick ... looks a mess! I seem to have lost my enthusiasm for gardening at the moment ... hopefully it will return as the weather improves ... whenever that will be!

23 Feb, 2020


Hi, im back. All well i hope. Wow you sure used your time well Karen! Its looking grand. I did a few hours on my small latch but it was so cold. So nice to be out there tho.

23 Feb, 2020


You do wonders with your gardens Karen ! I bet you sleep well at night ! Hahaa!
Despite the weather , your garden looks lovely. Ours, being clay is still so wet and sticky even though I had put loads of compost and manure in last year.
The goldfinches started visiting our garden , but there are about 20 sparrows that live in the hedge and they kept bullying the goldfinches , so they don't come anymore. I even bought extra feeders but the sparrows just go on them all!

24 Feb, 2020


Thanks is a lot worse now. I hope we get a dry spell soon. At least I now have a few little daffodils to cheer me! Heading South tomorrow though, so I am hoping for a bit of sunshine while I am with Rachel in Dorset. A couple of days to myself in London first, and then off down to Shaftesbury.

Thank you Walesgirl! I know what you just feels so good to be outside for a change! Heavy rain all day here today, but I did get a job done yesterday. I had removed a big Red-Stemmed Cornus, so that got replanted elsewhere. At least the rain will have watered those roots in well!

24 Feb, 2020


You have made the most of every opportunity to get jobs done outside and you now deserve your little holiday.
Like Shirley, our lawn also looks such a mess and until that can be cut, the whole garden looks a bit neglected and untidy.
It WILL stop raining and dry out won't it?!!

24 Feb, 2020


Karen, the weather forecast is dismal for the South over the next week or so, light rain/hail showers/heavy rain, so best pack your wet weather clothes!
On a more positive note, Michael mowed the lawn this morning, mower on a higher setting for the first cut, then we went off to a GC for lunch and came home with a Fatsia 'Spider Web' shrub to fill the gap where I removed a Lilac last Autumn. The sky is blue, the sun is shining now (2pm) but we are expecting drizzle in an hour or so :o)

25 Feb, 2020


Shirley, Peter mowed the lawn and trimmed the edges, it looks so much better,a lovely day here sky and lots of sunshine, but, a very cold wind.....
You will love Spiders Web, a real beauty....and grows well in the South....
No rain as yet......and it’s 6 o’clock! Wonders will never cease!😀
Karen enjoy your little holiday.......

26 Feb, 2020


Dotty, as we are having new fence panels soon, I am reluctant to plant the Fatsia in the ground yet. Who knows how big the fence guys feet are!!! Another dry day, but far too cold for me to go gardening ... :o(

27 Feb, 2020


Yup...miserable here in Shaftesbury!

28 Feb, 2020

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