It’s been hot. Not that I’m complaining.

But it makes it difficult to keep on working, especially as the Precipitous Bank is a south facing slope. So I’ve divided the two hours spent weed clearing into two separate sessions. An hour and a half first thing in the morning, an hour and a half late afternoon. Maths was never my strong point.


 Progress so far Wm


It’s coming on.

This is the view down the bank, from the drive at the top. From this angle you can see just how far it is down. The huge heap of earth at the bottom is from the hole for the water treatment plant. We’ve still to find another place to put it!


 Still to come Wm


And this is the current battlefront.

The bit to tackle next.


With many thanks to all who ventured a suggestion as to the identity of my unknown plant. The mystery is solved.


 Ixia Hogarth Wm


 Ixia Hogarth

Isn’t she a beauty?


2017-11-17T18:46:08+00:00July 9th, 2013|Tags: |


  1. Antoinette July 9, 2013 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    We have 2 of those mounds. One from our fosse septique [water treatment system] the other from the digging out of the terrace. Both currently growing a nice crop of weeds … one day they will be dealt with and transformed with soft naturalistic low maintenance planting ….one day…They’re in shade under oak, field maple and pine.

    • Jessica July 9, 2013 at 9:31 pm - Reply

      Ours is in prime view (in the middle of what used to be the turning area) so, believe it or not, it actually gets weeded… although not by me. It has hard core in it too.. I want to use it, eventually, to make more paths.

  2. haggiz July 9, 2013 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    I feel you have lost out on precious time sitting on those gorgeous chairs by splitting your weeding time in two! Oh well, the bank is looking good on it anyway Julie x

    • Jessica July 9, 2013 at 9:36 pm - Reply

      We sit out for lunch, and now evening meals too.. but I could happily make it much longer!

  3. Serendipity July 9, 2013 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    Have you thought of borrowing a mountain goat to clear the bank, then planting some grape vines 🙂 xx

    • Jessica July 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm - Reply

      Grape vines… why didn’t I think of that??? Chateau canard rustique.

  4. Jo July 9, 2013 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    You’ve got stamina, I’ll give you that. It’s been too hot for me to do any work outside today, I’ve had a bit of a lazy day and I don’t care one bit. The weeding will still be there when the weather breaks, then I’ll wish I’d got it done while it was nice out.

    • Jessica July 9, 2013 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      I’ll confess, I had a day off today too. Yesterday I did too much on the morning shift, got completely knackered and, apart from taking these photos, did nothing for the afternoon shift. Apart from sit on the tarmac on the drive and eat a Magnum bar.

  5. justjilluk July 9, 2013 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    Nothing but admiration from me.

    • Jessica July 9, 2013 at 9:48 pm - Reply

      Back to it tomorrow, with gusto.

  6. Joanne July 9, 2013 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    It is a beautiful plant. No matter how I sometimes dream of a larger plot, in this weather the small one I’ve got suits me. Easy & quick to do all the niggly jobs.

    • Jessica July 9, 2013 at 9:52 pm - Reply

      A garden should be enjoyable, not a millstone around your neck.

  7. frayed at the edge July 9, 2013 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    Much too hot for gardening! I was glad to be in the relative coolness of my studio, while Malcolm sweltered painting the summer house!

    • Jessica July 9, 2013 at 10:10 pm - Reply

      Mike is planning on painting tomorrow too.. I’d have thought the paint would be dry before it left the brush.

  8. Em July 9, 2013 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    Just looked up your Ixia and unfortunately for me, it seems to want to be in full sun. Oh well. I can still enjoy yours!

    • Jessica July 9, 2013 at 10:14 pm - Reply

      Could you have it in a pot?

  9. Wendy July 9, 2013 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    I find it’s hot work gardening even first thing in the morning at the moment – not that I’m complaining either, after the long, cold winter. The Ixia Hogarth is a lovely flower – I wonder if my bees would like it?

    • Jessica July 9, 2013 at 10:17 pm - Reply

      The bees have been showing an interest.. but it’s turning out to be quite short-lived, the flowers are going over already, maybe because of the heat. I don’t think it would sustain a hive!

  10. Denise July 9, 2013 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    It’s a wonder such slender stems can support so many flowers. The garden looks like it is coming on a treat. (Which unfortunately reminds me of that old joke – How do you get a peanut out of your ear? Pour in some chocolate and it comes out a Treat! Sorry….)

    • Jessica July 9, 2013 at 10:20 pm - Reply

      The stems do flop without the support of the rusty bendy thingy. Golly, what memories… Treats. Are they still made?

      • Denise July 10, 2013 at 5:22 pm - Reply

        Not sure. I daren’t look because I might find that some marketing demon has renamed them they did with Marathon/ Snickers and Opal Fruits/ Starburst. And that would be very disappointing because, if nothing else, it would ruin the joke.

        • Jessica July 10, 2013 at 11:01 pm - Reply

          It appears you are right… they were rebranded nut M&Ms. Which completely ruins the joke.

  11. Anna July 9, 2013 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    Little and often is a good motto fos such scenarios so it sounds as if you are going about it the right way. I’m trying to convince myself that weeds do not grow with the same vigour when it ‘s hot. Make sure that you take time out for a break in that attractive looking seating area with a long cool drink to hand.

    • Jessica July 9, 2013 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      What I don’t understand is how weeds can grow on seemingly no water… when I am having to pour gallons into my flowers or they wilt.

  12. Rosie July 9, 2013 at 9:48 pm - Reply

    Lovely flowers – glad you found out what the plant is. We decided it was too warm to work in the garden today except for picking gooseberries. Then we decided to make jam with them which was a lot warmer than working outside! I hope after your two weeding sessions you find time to sit out and enjoy the weather:)

    • Jessica July 9, 2013 at 10:25 pm - Reply

      Your jam will be worth it though Rosie. I have redcurrants ripening now and need to decide what to do with those.

  13. Suzanne Dutchess County, NY, USA July 10, 2013 at 3:16 am - Reply

    It is coming along nicely. Don’t be to hard on yourself, it’ll get there. By fall it will be all tickety boo and you’ll be ready to add new perennials which will nicely be on sale. So it’s ixia? I can’t grow that here in New York.
    Lucky you? I wonder what other South African beauties you can grow! What fun to find all these hidden wonders. Makes it all worth it.

    • Jessica July 10, 2013 at 12:12 pm - Reply

      One I know for sure I can grow is crocosmia. It had completely swamped the terraces behind the seating area when we moved in. I relocated some of it, but in a shadier spot it is not doing well. Having run out of potential new homes, now I am just chucking it. There’s so much..

  14. woolythymes July 10, 2013 at 4:42 am - Reply

    such an inviting spot! love how the lime color cascades down the stone wall!

    • Jessica July 10, 2013 at 12:17 pm - Reply

      I love it too – alchemilla. Unfortunately Mike is less keen, he likes things neat and orderly. Next spring I’ll try and split it and move it to somewhere it is less vulnerable to having a fork put under it.

  15. BadPenny July 10, 2013 at 8:45 am - Reply

    What a gorgeous corner for sitting you have !

    Too hot too hot !
    I don’t do heat ( only on holiday ) but at six pm I enjoy filling the watering can & watering potted plants, sweet peas & herbs – my favourite part of the day in the summer ( especially having poured a glass of wine ! )

    You have an amazing garden & I can see how much work you have done !

    • Jessica July 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm - Reply

      Thanks Penny.
      I used to really enjoy summer and tropical heat but as I get older it’s evening, or very early morning, that has become the best time of day.

  16. Pats. July 10, 2013 at 9:40 am - Reply

    Just a tad warm to garden I feel! Sitting enjoying summer with an iced tea is better. We spent a the day at the Great Yorkshire Show, only 80F + in the shade, phew! Great day!


    • Jessica July 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm - Reply

      Farmers are made of sturdier stuff than me! Our neighbour opposite was out just now, hottest part of the day, rounding up the cows. From the level of mooing I took it that The Ladies weren’t in total agreement either.
      Glad you had a good day at the show. Albeit smaller scale, I’m hoping to get to the North Devon Show next month.

  17. Vintage Jane July 10, 2013 at 11:58 am - Reply

    Have a break, sit down enjoy your view and don’t feel guilty … we wait long enough for the sun to arrive! M x

    • Jessica July 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm - Reply

      That’s true enough!

  18. jabblog July 10, 2013 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    You’re a trooper . . .

    • Jessica July 10, 2013 at 10:54 pm - Reply

      Struggling today… seems even warmer than yesterday.

  19. Denise July 10, 2013 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    I am completely overawed by the size and complexity of our garden – I always feel despair when I set out on any trask – so next week I am trying to give myself a level headed focus for ABC Wednesday and the theme is going to be the A-Z of the Nesbitt household garden. I am hoping I get a feeling of calm and hopefulness as I plod through the 26 weeks! Watch this space but don’t have too high hopes! lol! Dxx

    • Jessica July 10, 2013 at 10:55 pm - Reply

      I shall look forward to that Denise!

  20. Willow July 10, 2013 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous ! I adore flower gardens.
    It has been too hot to do much in our garden lately too .
    Believe me , it’s not for lack of wanting.
    I did feel a bit uplifted last evening picking a beautiful bouquet of zinnea for the front room.

    • Jessica July 10, 2013 at 11:03 pm - Reply

      That’s the problem, the will is here too..

  21. wherefivevalleysmeet July 10, 2013 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    We have spent weeks longing for warmth, and then a few days of hot sun and everything starts to dry up.
    I find that I can achieve more in the garden each day if I write myself a small list, not too extensive as that would be daunting, and at the end of the week it is surprising how much I have done.

    • Jessica July 10, 2013 at 11:07 pm - Reply

      That’s a good strategy. I set myself an achievable target.. so much bank weeded. Slowly but surely it is getting there.

  22. snowbird July 10, 2013 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    It is hard to power on the the melting heat isn’t it….but….hey! What fab progress you’re making!!! And….what an amazing mound of earth….I rather like it…..in a weird kind of way!xxxx

    • Jessica July 10, 2013 at 11:10 pm - Reply

      It’s a Close Encounters of the Third Kind moment.. Any minute now a ship full of aliens will land on it.

  23. colleen July 11, 2013 at 6:59 am - Reply

    Just catching up here.

    Is it possible to get vertigo just by looking at photos?

    • Jessica July 11, 2013 at 10:58 am - Reply

      I think it may be..

  24. Linda July 17, 2013 at 9:21 am - Reply

    I hope you’re pacing yourself in this hot weather! Can you believe it? – after getting up at 5 a.m. on Monday and travelling back to the UK via train and plane and automobile my husband couldn’t resist a visit to the
    allotment and promptly started a bit of weeding! At least it was in the cool of the evening!

    • Jessica July 17, 2013 at 9:49 am - Reply

      Hi Linda, welcome back.. I hope you had a lovely holiday!
      It’s amazing weather. The siesta is well and truly established at chez rusty duck.

  25. Bilbowaggins July 21, 2013 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    An hour and a half first thing in the morning, an hour and a half late afternoon

    Daisy and I have been doing something very similar. All of a sudden the Mediterranean habit of taking a long siesta in the middle of the day makes total sense :}

    • Jessica July 21, 2013 at 11:07 pm - Reply

      It certainly does.. I hope your garden is bearing up. Mine is looking distinctly frazzled. Am I allowed to wish for rain?

      • Bilbowaggins July 22, 2013 at 5:38 am - Reply

        Am I allowed to wish for rain?
        I think most gardeners are wishing for a bit of precipitation. According to The Telegraph this heatwave has gone on as long as 1976. Just ‘be careful what you wish for’, they’re also predicting storms and flooding.

        I caved in at the weekend and did a lot of watering.

        • Jessica July 22, 2013 at 9:23 am - Reply

          Me too, on the basis that if I soften the soil up a bit it will be more receptive to the rain.

I'd love to hear from you..