Sunday, 25 March 2012

Fennel, Willow and Beach

Revamped Herb Bed
It was a glorious sunny weekend here, with temperatures up to 18/19°C. So I looked at my job list and then did completely different things. 

Our herb bed had been a little neglected of late and was in need of a good clear out and yesterday I hit it.  Now I'm not saying the ground was a little hard but after two minutes I threw the handle of the fork one way and the head the other! 

So I set to again - this time with a mattock and spade. One section is made over to mint and this I pulled up in large mats, with the buttercup that was giving the mint a good run for its money.  The upper section had a small amount of mint creeping in, plus oregano and marjoram had spread. The mint was all pulled out (hopefully) and the other two were reduced.  I found traces of  two thymes and some self seeded parsley - these may survive but do look a little out of sorts. 

A couple of chives and an onion are growing nicely - now we can see them.  An overgrown sage had a major haircut plus the lavender a trim. And there was no sign of anything else. That is apart from Fennel!  It had rooted everywhere and needed a full scale onslaught to dig out. Again, like the mint, I'm sure this is not possible and there will still be the stuff popping up. I wasn't very polite about this plant at all.  And no wonder broke a fork.

Living Willow Fence
Now we have a revamped herb bed, ready for some additional herbs - and it has sprouted a wood feature.  A nice big bit of old gnarled, mossy oak I found when tree felling.  It takes centre stage of the bed and needs an appropriate herb to grown out of its hollow centre - any suggestions?  Anything - as long as it's not Fennel!

Today I cut back the willow and dog wood alongside the play area.  These coppice back up and give us some nice winter colour.  And I have now used many of the cuttings to make a living willow fence and a living willow arbour over a log - to make a covered seating area.   Finger crossed these will work, but as Rosie says, if anything will guarantee a drought, planting these willow features will.  And if a drought doesn't get them, I sure footballs will!
Sunny (?) Beach Trip

As the weather was so glorious we decided a trip to the beach was a good idea.  This was in between my willow work. Tom wanted to try his new kite and metal detector out.  So all dressed in shorts, t-shirts and saddles we headed for the beach and arrived to thick fog, much colder temperatures and no wind.  Fortunately we all had other clothes, jackets, socks and shoes.

Happy Dog
Tom lost interest in the metal detector after a few minutes of finding nothing and there was no wind for kite flying, so he and Ben got wet in the sea and generally played on the beach.  The dogs had a great time, sniffing around, and Poppy chased after stones I threw for her into the sea - two happy dogs.  We had a bit of a walk and then had ice cream (well I had a coffee).  We headed back home to lots of sunshine and lovely temperatures again.

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