update on the back patch


Crow patrolling the back patch lawn.    (12 May 2020)

The woods group convened to work at great distance from one another the other day, and we got a lot of tidying and trimming accomplished, with bags already with the neighbour for the council’s green waste collection.

Chris and Robert tidied along the railway path, while I weeded and trimmed the middle path, full as it is with honesty, lungwort, and wild violets.  There was plenty of sticky goose grass growing through everything, and stray blackberry were also cut out at the back of the composting area.

Growth in the woods this year has been immense – everything is lush, with plenty of colour out – daisies in flower, cheerfully bright yellow Californian poppies nod throughout and there’s a small clump of orange wallflower that was donated by EP & Princess Millicent last spring.

Mourning widow has also self-seeded all over, creating full beds in happy spots, with some showing up and flowering right in the middle of the front lawn facing the circus.  The lilac bush at the corner of the woods and the back patch is still in glorious fragrant bloom.  And the rescued potted pine tree we planted toward the point of the woods path and the railway lane is doing well with little tufts of fresh green growth poking out at the end of each branch.  (It was a rescued Christmas tree that had been dumped)  Oh my!  It’s all magic!


Snails sheltering in the water tubs. (12 May 2020)

The big guy staked and tied in the windblown patch of Ayla’s roses – all planted in memory of her two brothers and finally, of herself as well.

The wind had blown them over, and they’d also grown a bit unruly.  (One needs to be fully dug out and replanted, but we didn’t get to that yesterday.)

After he’d tended Ayla’s roses, he lingered on his own in the back patch,  taking stock of how things are growing.  He’s a flower guy, and loves all the different shapes, scents and colours of all the different blooms. As usual, he was thorough in his attentions: all the water tubs were replenished, and all the plants growing given a life-giving tinkling of water.  (There’s no rain forecast for our area the next two weeks!! The mini-drought persists.)

Everything’s lush.  All manner of roses are in flower, with only a few shown above.  The purple blousy roses at the corner end of the railway path (donated by Jo & Paddy two years ago) has exceeded itself this year in an explosion of strange blooms.  These photos show emergent spears of future bloom, swelling and getting ready to add to the candelabra branches of purple and white rippled flower fantasia.

Also shown are the simpler forms of our five petalled white roses.  There are also the pink long-stemmed roses under the pergola, and pale pink rambling roses that spill over the second pergola.


Foxglove (12 May 2020)

Already in early May, we find that most of the back patch roses have come out in first bloom, though we still await the gorgeous yellow rose in the railway flower bed to set flower, as well as the rambling white rose along the woven fence (which this year sadly seems to be suffering a little from powdery mildew – I’m resisting cutting back effected growth until the blooms appear, and fingers crossed this is the right approach!) . I’m not sure what it is but I absolutely adore yellow roses.

Tall spears of foxglove are out in their speckled psychedelic glory.  As we stood together looking at the flower we witnessed big fuzzy bumblebees flying straight into the long colourful cones to collect the sweet pollen.

The perennial flower bed shows huge progress in growth.  Our patch of Japanese anemone seems to have spread itself freely, which is welcome as the foliage is pretty in itself (almost a little like peony leaves), and the flowers – which appear late summer – linger long in the garden through to September when much of the other colour in the garden has gone.

Amongst the explosion of green growth are delights such as this colourful red with white small flowered columbine – looking a little like an exploding crimson star), and the simpler form of the open-faced bobbing cheerful faces of daisy in flower.  (The daisy are quite floppy and are at the moment planted at the front of the bed, but I think it would be more suiting for them to be dug out and replanted closer to the railway metal fence, which would help to support them and keep them growing tall, but that’s a job for another day – preferably a rainy overcast but warm late summer’s day).


Wasp resting on sticks in the water tubs. (12 May 2020)


Peony in bloom.  12 May 2020

There’s also a small peony nestled in beside some lungwort and a large wormwood plant.

Like Ayla’s roses, this peony evokes the memory of Brenda, our neighbour who passed away at the end of 2019.

The growing beds of vegetables and edibles are also doing very well – though I still have to protect our rhubarb patch from the neighbour cats, which took it as their litter – much to our disgust.

Needless to say rhubarb season is over for this year, but my idea is to cut a section of chicken wire, and lay it out (with pockets cut out for the plants) across the whole rhubarb bed.  That way the cats will catch their nails on the wire – and if they cannot scratch away and dig with pleasure they will move on and prefer another spot.  Or at least that’s what I’m hoping!


Beloved lovage patch (12 May 2020)

We also have some fine ground black pepper, which I want to sprinkle around as an additional anti-cat measure.  Thankfully the cats seem to be leaving the other growing beds alone.

The lovage and artichoke patch looks great.  The horseradish grows vigorously even when fully neglected.  (And I admit – I am tempted to dig out the horseradish patch which has grown to a monumental size and is too woody in growth to ever properly harvest to eat or enjoy.  Which makes it a nuisance weed instead of a good addition to the kitchen garden plot.)

Further along, close to the end corner of the veg patch along the woven fence there’s a patch of wild rocket which I let to go to flower and seed – you’d be amazed to see the wild rocket, which grows so low to the ground, but in flower stands three feet tall or more, bearing pale creamy pink flowers.  It’s looking ragged and feral now, but I’m hoping, like our mizuna patch on the allotment, that the wild rocket will likewise create its own self-perpetuating patch.



About smallPaws

A tumbleweed from Canada who's been living in London for twenty or so years.
This entry was posted in back patch, diary, perennials, veg patch, wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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