I've finally started trimming all the bushes around the garden. It's a bit of a hack job on some for now, and I'll wait a couple of weeks and do them again before the house inspection on the 9th May. The new metal garden burner works beautifully. I've green binning some and composting a lot, but it's nice to have a third way to get rid of all this excess growth.
I've emptied one of the water butts EW, so that it can be scrubbed out and used as a source of clean(ish) water over the summer. There's another one I have to do, with about a million, million snails clustered around the top, but today I had enough to do.
I've planted out Watercress around the pond, although it won't actually contact the water for ages and will need frequent watering until it gets something over the lip of the tiny little plastic pond (which is about two feet by eighteen inches). I've tidied up the little show pond, killing off the Pyracantha shrub and seedlings, and cutting back other plants. The pond has been dredged and wasn't as nasty as I feared. No sulphurous smell of rotting nastiness, just mud and water. I've swept out that part of the driveway and gathered all the rubbish, so it looks a lot nicer now. Pebbles and decorative glazed beads have been taken away, washed and put back again on top of the new compost. There's a 'Welcome to My Garden' frog-and-flower statuette, which I shall scrub and paint with acrylics, before putting back. It's not something I'd choose, but I can take care of it. Every bit of this newly cleaned and trimmed pond is hidden behind Pol's Delica, but it will be a nice surprise for House Inspection Number Two.
Campanula is rife everywhere in the North (South-facing) shrubbery bed. I should have an amazing show of flowers, and then I can find out what sort of Campanula is actually is. They're bell-flowers, so I should end up with something pretty. Or the identification could be completely wrong - I just don't know! So exciting! The tree above all this maybe-Campanula has budded with very, very many potential deep pink flowers which are slow to actually come out.
Foxglove and Red Poppy have been sown to make insects happy. I already have established Foxglove plants and some sort of Poppy, but more would be nice. The 'wildflowers for bees' and Cornflowers are coming through. Next to that bit, I've put in a rosemary bush and sown stock all around it. I'll be adding another try of Morning Glories next month after the Hawthorns have blossomed. The bit of 'wildflower meadow' where the bird table used to be is alive but apparently with only grass. At least the square hole in the lawn has been filled.
I've cut back the Hellebores, which, far from succumbing to the Hellebore Black Death I thought they had, are now vigorous and green with new (unmottled) leaf. Hellebores can apparently foster a great many snails in their old, dying leaves - these treats have been saved and given to the rats. The snails seem to be doing no harm at all to the new leaves.
I should have sowed seed last Friday, but was away, so today I got on with it. I've sacrificed the excess Sugar Snap Peas, instead of umming and awwing endlessly about what to do with them. The actual Asparagus Peas (as opposed to the sugar snaps that somehow climbed into their modules) are now planted out and will take their chances. I've sown Borage everywhere, and French Marigold in tidy lines which I make by getting a long box, putting in compost to the recommended sowing depth, adding seeds, filling the rest of the box with damp compost and then making a seed-castle on a bit of ground I've roughly weeded but haven't actually dug. Quite a lot of my seeds are in face sown this way, and this makes it easy to find them.
Planting out 'Red Baron' red onions, I found out that the allium/brassica bed of compost which was four inches deep is now half an inch deep - soil fauna has been very busy, clearly. This bodes well for my plants, I think. Little baby Arcoat turnips are now everywhere. There are three leeks left. Something ate one of my comfrey plants, so I replaced it with two bigger comfrey plants. I couldn't find the culprit, but having more and bigger plants may let them outgrow whatever is eating them. If not, I've learned something. The sweet peas are still mostly not dead, but aren't thriving either. Then again, they haven't been thriving since I sowed them. I'll outdoor sow the rest of the packet later on and then give up.
The Leaf Beet is showing nicely everywhere I put it, and the sugar snap peas are mostly fine although one has been thoroughly eaten. I put out supermarket fennel and excess baby leeks out to die, and they are getting on with that but rather slowly. The fennel is in a concrete planter, which is full of tiny, tiny Pansy plants all flowering busily. The leeks are stuck into the allium bed and have been there for well over a week. There is no sign of even a single Nasturtium, not in any of the many beds I've planted it in. I don't know what's happening there.
The 'dead' apple tree is very green suddenly, having been black when I left for Eastercon. All those new leaves are thumbing their noses at me. I don't mind at all, as I want cooking apples later. Blackberry is showing itself on the very overgrown bit, and will be encouraged where possible in order to shade out the Winter Jasmine. I have so many more uses for excess Blackberry Bush than I do for Winter Jasmine - the shoots are edible as a vegetable, the fruits obviously so and the canes can be used (once worked to suppleness) as tying wires.
All in all, a very productive day.