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Monday, July 27, 2009

Billy and Martin's Garden ~ Part Four

I'm still working hard in Billy and Martin's garden. Hubby's been helping out too, so we're making good headway. He's putting a fence up at the bottom of the garden as it's never been fenced in, and I'm still clearing away the overgrown greenery and disposing of the debris that's been uncovered...... an array of odd pans and lids, a bakelite light switch, an assortment of cutlery and even some old toothbrushes! I put everything in a pile near the door and old Billy said he'd have a look through it to see what they want to keep! :O)

Amazingly, they know the whereabouts of every plant and object in the garden, despite the plants, etc. having been shrouded in weeds for decades. Martin pointed to a spot in the garden and said there's a statue there. All I could see was dock weeds but sure enough, I found the grecian maiden exactly where Martin said she would be. That's her in the photo, along with the original chimney pot that was built on to the house in 1886. I also uncovered a beautiful porcelain Belfast sink.

And there are still gems of plants thriving...... roses, peony roses, mahonia shrubs, blackcurrant bushes and an apple tree that was totally covered in bindweed! It's amazing that they've still continued to grow. Maybe now that more light and air surrounds them, they will flourish and reach their full potential. Martin told me that the apple tree hadn't fruited since their mother died in the 1960s and assigned it to some supernatural reasoning. I think it's more likely that the tree being draped in bindweed prevented any bees from being able to pollinate it! However, I didn't want to shatter Martin's philosophy and, who knows, it could be a combination of both for all I know.

A lot of the clearing has been done now, a fence is being put up and the hedges on either side of the garden have had a trim. It wont be long before some planting will get done. It's satisfying to see good results after our hard work.

The grecian lady and 1886 chimney pot

This photo is from our own garden. I've been waiting for weeks for this artichoke to flower. It's maybe not the prettiest of blooms, but I love the purple florets which seem to be luminous. There are also some flower heads that are at the right stage for cooking...... but I feel queasy about chopping them off! I can't bring myself to do it!

This exotic looking flower is an Asiatic Lily. Despite its sultry appearance, it is such an easy plant to grow. It grows from a bulb and as long as it is placed in a sunny spot in well-drained soil, it will reward you with its sumpuous beauty.

And here it is in full splendour

The Lily by Mary Oliver
Night after night
enters the face
of the lily
which, lightly,
closes its five walls
around itself,
and its purse
of honey,
and its fragrance,
and is content
to stand there
in the garden,
not quite sleeping,
and, maybe,
saying in lily language
some small words
we can’t hear
even when there is no wind
its lips
are so secret,
its tongue
is so hidden –
or, maybe,
it says nothing at all
but just stands there
with the patience
of vegetables
and saints
until the whole earth has turned around
and the silver moon
becomes the golden sun –
as the lily absolutely knew it would,
which is itself, isn’t it,
the perfect prayer?


  1. Beautiful garden! We have had great yard weather in Ohio this year. Cool and rainy.

  2. Hi Hit40. :) Thank you.

    We've had good weather for gardens this Summer too.... a mixture of hot & humid and cool with rain. I'm still waiting for the tomatoes to ripen though! :O)

  3. Glad its all coming along well Lesley.

  4. Hi Gf. :) I was doing some digging there today. There's loads of ground elder to dig up. It's tough stuff to get rid of!

  5. I really never thought about an artichoke in the garden as a plant - very neat looking - we had some broccoli and cauliflower in a garden a few years back that went to seed and attracted hordes of butterflies - do they like your artichokes?

  6. Hello Susan. :) I didn't think of one for the garden either until I saw them in someone's allotment. I was bowled over by the brilliance of the huge purple flowers and decided I'd like to have them in the garden.

    The bees love them but I haven't noticed any butterflies going to them yet.

  7. The garden looks beatiful. We just returned from vacation last night and our gardens are out of control.

  8. Hi Debbie. :) Yes, it's amazing how quickly everything grows at this time of year and you notice it even more when you've been away.

  9. As a "gardener" myself, I know the joy of being able to revive a garden to its former splendor. There is always that special sense of fulfillment knowing that our hands did it.

    It's the first time I saw a blooming artichoke. From this corner of my world, artichokes are just one of those expensive imported veggies. I love its taste but I never knew it looks better. Now I understand how you can't get yourself chopping it for dinner. I wouldn't have the heart myself.

    Thank you for your latest comment in my post. It really meant a lot to me.

    Have a happy life always.

  10. Hello Ss. :) There's about six of the artichokes, on the same plant, in flower now. Next to it is a Sunflower and the purple and yellow look wonderful together!