Mud Wrestling

 
Trug & board 001 Wm[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=
 
 

Well, I’ve started.

 

It’s wet. Very wet. The board and kneeler help to spread my weight, reducing compaction of the soil. They may also go some way to prevent the gardener herself from slithering down the slope and over the edge of the bank. Or falling flat on her backside in an undignified heap. Perish the thought.

 
 

The bank 044 Wm[1]

 

January

 
 

The bank 049 Wm[3]

 

February

 

We began by trying to remove the worst of last year’s perennial detritus but it is so boggy here I had to give up. During torrential rain such as we’ve had recently water runs in rivulets down the drive and then seeps into the bank at about this point. I’m also mindful that there are new shoots just under the soil and unfortunately I can’t be sure yet where they all are.

 
 

Helenium 003 Wm[1]

 

Helenium

 
 

The bank 052 Wm[1]

 
 

So I’ve resorted instead to inching my way along with a hand fork. It’s progress, if slow, with much less chance of stepping on something crucial or pulling up that forgotten but nonetheless expensive purchase with the long latin name.

This weekend the weather was so glorious it’s been a pleasure to be out. Ptolemy pheasant kept an eye on proceedings from his vantage point on the drive and the robins did their best to provide musical distraction from the surrounding trees. The most tedious task is proving to be the removal of wild grasses that have seeded. The offending weedlings are visible just beyond the trug, doing their best to fly under the radar by masquerading as a lawn.

 
 

Camellia 013 Wm[1]

 

The camellia (inherited, variety unknown) is in full flow. Some of the blooms have been damaged by recent frosts but there are plenty more buds to come.

 
 

Pulmonaria 007 Wm[1]

 

Pulmonaria

 
 

Whilst teetering around out there on the edge of the abyss, I tried to get a couple more shots to demonstrate just how steep the bank really is..

 
 

The bank 050 Wm[3]

 

Those are first floor windows and I’m standing at a level above the lower edge of the roof.

 
 

The bank 051 Wm[1]

 

It’s a long way down!

 
 
 

Linking to Helen’s End of Month View at The Patient Gardener. Click through to find out what other gardeners have been up to this month, or why not join in too?

 
 
 
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2017-10-27T09:47:25+00:00 February 29th, 2016|Tags: |

104 Comments

  1. snowbird February 29, 2016 at 11:12 am - Reply

    Gosh, that IS steep! If I had it I think I’d let nature reclaim it. Respect for keeping at it!!!xxx

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 10:30 am - Reply

      That’s more or less what I intend to do with the very steep bit. The ferns can be left to multiply at will, it’s the brambles in there that pose the biggest problem. Welcome back!

  2. Wendy February 29, 2016 at 11:36 am - Reply

    The combination of a steep bank and slippery mud does make for interesting gardening! I love to see the pulmonaria. I planted some but there’s no sign of it this year. It’s a flower I must replace.

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 10:34 am - Reply

      Mine seems to have flowered later this year. It is only just opening. I pruned it back heavily last summer having read somewhere that is what I should be doing.. It may have set it back a bit.

  3. Sue February 29, 2016 at 11:40 am - Reply

    It is steep, and if my Lovely Hubby were helping you he would be the first one to fall off. He’s fallen off our banking numerous times, luckily it’s not got quite the drop you have, it looks very similar but is against our single story part of the house so can’t be as high up.

    You’ve beaten me to it ….. my kneeling mat and trug are glowering at me from the corner of the garage but I just can’t garner the enthusiasm to get out there yet …. even in the sunshine.

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 4:42 pm - Reply

      It was the little bit of sunshine that got me going again. This was the area that Mike fell into when he cracked his ribs, so he is as bad! Given how long a drop it is, plus the fact that there is concrete at the bottom, he was lucky not to do more harm.

  4. kate@barnhouse February 29, 2016 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    Goodness, your ‘slope’ never fails to amaze me, it is a bad enough without the cliff face of a precipice it abruptly descends into – by the way, great photos to illustrate the sheer drop to ground level. I guess no matter what you plant, an annual clear up is always going to be needed? The ground looks much like ours, judging from the ivy …. Access this winter must be an extra bind. Keep safe!

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 4:46 pm - Reply

      Thankfully above the drop off it is much flatter, although all things are relative. It rises steeply again as it goes up to meet the drive. But this is where I’ll do most of the planting. The vertical surfaces can be left to ferns, although it would be nice to have some of the shorter grasses seeding in there between them.

  5. Backlane Notebook February 29, 2016 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    Goodness me -that’s quite a drop. Can’t you tie a rope round your waist to a substantial tree above the slope?

    • Spade & Dagger February 29, 2016 at 8:52 pm - Reply

      I second this idea of some sort of a safety harness. I’m trying to remember where I did actually see some gardeners (probably NT or RHS) tidying a steep bank wearing a climbing harness & safety helmet. (Maybe this could be done with a permanent attachment point/post rather than a tree if one is not conveniently placed.)

      • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 6:54 pm - Reply

        We visited St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall (NT) last year and this is exactly how they garden. In some places they literally abseil down the cliff face!

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 4:51 pm - Reply

      I usually do as much as I can reach from the top, then we put a ladder up against the bank from the bottom and do the rest from there. It’s mainly left to its own devices but there are plenty of brambles that need cutting back. There is no way they can be dug out without causing a collapse!

  6. Marianne Willburn February 29, 2016 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    Certainly puts my woodland slope into perspective – feels positively flat in comparison. Do you deal with terrible damp in the house as a result?

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 5:33 pm - Reply

      Hi Marianne and welcome.
      There’s a french drain at the bottom of the hill which carries away the water which flows off or through the bank. It’s quite efficient, especially since we had more holes put in it last year. Any building made of mud and straw tends to be a bit damp because the materials absorb water, something we have a lot of in Devon (!) but I don’t think we suffer any more than most. The important thing is not to cover the walls with modern renders and paints. They need to ‘breathe’, allowing the moisture to evaporate away naturally.

  7. Jacqueline February 29, 2016 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    Ooooo Jessica …. I don’t know how you do it ……. please be careful { but then, you know that !! }
    In the last photo, I see that you have many ferns …… it would make a great living wall which maybe would look after itself { but you’ve probably thought of that } !!!!!

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 5:37 pm - Reply

      Yes, I’ll keep the ferns and they seem to like it there and multiply which is good. Our biggest problem is the brambles that are also there. I can’t dig them out and don’t want to use chemicals as birds nest in the bank all summer!

  8. FlowerAlley February 29, 2016 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    I have spent the past two days on the bank behind my house. I am worn out from trying to stay vertical. I am glad few people can see me. Sometimes I just recline and weed around myself. I’ll be back up there again today. It will be a show-stopper when I’m done. Stay tuned for photos…if I live.

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 5:39 pm - Reply

      You’d better live because I want to see the photos!!

  9. woolythymess February 29, 2016 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    you’ve talked about the bank being steep….but i never realized just how STEEP ((!!!!!!)) eep! it really is. YIKES!!! And I have trouble gardening in my flat backyard! (yeah, I know—-that ‘gardening’ reference is being generous describing what I do). Maybe I’d do better if I had more interesting things to pitter about in. Hellebores are blooming their little heads off……and a couple daffs and that’s it. Everything else is brown and brittle. Maybe if I actually got out and starting piddling around I’d find some new life starting!! You inspired me…..AGAIN!!!

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 5:42 pm - Reply

      Every morning I go out now there is something new to look at. Yep, get out there and poke around close to the ground. You’re bound to find something. Plants want to live, even in the face of big workman’s boots!

  10. justjilluk February 29, 2016 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    God you are fit!! Just take care. x

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 5:44 pm - Reply

      Not so fit. Just persistent. I’ve been doing an hour or so a day to get myself back into it. Thanks Jill.

  11. Caro February 29, 2016 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    What would be do without gardening to keep us active! I’m guessing the slope will dry out with a few more dry days … or is that too much to hope for? Your anonymous camellia is gorgeous, what a wonderful colour to see in spring. The camellia here is also in bloom (and also unknown) but the flowers never seem to last long before they go over – have you found that with yours? Good luck with the slope, I admire your persistence with such a Herculean task!

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 5:49 pm - Reply

      The camellia blooms don’t last long at all, especially as they seem to be favoured by blue tits and squirrels. But they fall off as a whole bloom at a time (I think that defines the species doesn’t it.. japonica?) so they’re easy to tidy up and the buds just keep coming. They’re in flower for months.

  12. Christina February 29, 2016 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    Dangerous work this gardening, do be careful Jessica! Great you could get out to at least see that there are some shoots growing – always a positive feeling.

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 5:50 pm - Reply

      It is lovely to see new shoots coming up, out in the garden and in the greenhouse. Spring is definitely here. Wonderful!

  13. Rosie February 29, 2016 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    That is a steep bank! It has been a lovely week and it has been good to get out in the garden again just basically clearing up everything left over the winter. It is good to see the green shoots growing at the base of the plants and other shoots pushing through now:)

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 5:53 pm - Reply

      I hope your garden is drying out a bit too. Last night we had a lot more rain so my gardening effort has been shortlived. Hopefully it will only set me back a day or two.

  14. Denise February 29, 2016 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    I think Ptolemy should be trained to act as an emergency alarm just in case you have a slippy slidey moment down the bank. We have one magnolia bud about to burst into flower here today. Almost Spring….

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 5:57 pm - Reply

      First day of Spring today, meteorologically speaking. Yippee! Ptolemy needs training not to come up behind me and squawk unexpectedly. Just what you don’t need when you are teetering on the brink.

  15. Linda P February 29, 2016 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    It’s interesting to see the bank virtually from all angles. I’m glad that the better weather over the weekend has tempted you out there. However, take care, Jessica.

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 5:59 pm - Reply

      Thanks Linda. I don’t go up there when it’s very wet, it’s too dangerous. The clay soil doesn’t take prisoners.

  16. Linda aka Crafty Gardener February 29, 2016 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    That is one slippery slope. Hope it dries up soon.

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 6:00 pm - Reply

      It was doing quite well, but more rain overnight has set me back a bit. Hopefully only for a couple of days. Windy tomorrow.. good drying weather!

  17. Tangly Cottage February 29, 2016 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    The January and February photos gave me a chortle as I post lots of befores and afters. This blog goes on my must read list. Very entertaining post.

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 6:31 pm - Reply

      Hi there and welcome to rusty duck.
      The before and after photos stand to remind me just how much (or not) I have achieved at the end of the year. They keep me going. Mostly!

  18. frayed at the edge February 29, 2016 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    That is steep! I think you should have a safety harness like the ones that trainee bareback riders have (or had) in the circus (I think that probably shows my age!). Our garden is finally drying out, and Malcolm’s spring tidy is well under way.

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 6:33 pm - Reply

      I wish my Spring tidy was well underway. Perhaps at the end of the week, as we seem to have another gale coming our way.

  19. Dorothy/The Nature of Things February 29, 2016 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    The pictures really reveal the challenge that you face with this slope. I do love your camellia.

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 6:36 pm - Reply

      It’s not easy. This steep bit is fairly well hidden behind the house so I’ve been able to get away with it for a while. The continuation of it is the Precipitous Bank I tackled last year. Just as steep but thankfully not as high!

  20. Brian Skeys February 29, 2016 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    You certainly do have some challenges Jessica, what with the topography and wildlife. It makes my little flat garden seem like a doddle to look after.

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 6:38 pm - Reply

      I’m not sure any garden is a doddle Brian, especially with the climate changes we seem to be facing these days. I would like a bit more flat though, I must admit!

  21. Janet/Plantaliscious February 29, 2016 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    Oh my dear lord. That is steep. Precipitous. Well done for not letting the weather defeat you though. Lovely to start seeing new shoots. I potted up some bare rooted helenium today, and they had s good mass of new leaves. Very exciting… If this lot survive more than one year that is…

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 6:44 pm - Reply

      I was pleased to see this Helenium come back (Waltraut). I think I may have lost Moerheim Beauty though. It will have to be replaced. As usual Echinacea are showing no sign of returning, perhaps it’s just too early. I may be giving up with those. Very sadly.

  22. Christina February 29, 2016 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    Dear Jessica, you must be a mountain goat to garden there! That is STEEP, especially having in mind that in photos you always visually loose the full extent of a sloping ground, no matter how hard you try to capture it. But you seem to be undeterred by that and happily gardening there. That is what I would call proper (British?)gardening attitude. I think most people would walk away from a piece of land like this and just let it be and not even dream about making an attempt to cultivate it.
    Anyway, I certainly wishing you success gardening in this part of your beautiful property!
    Ooh, I almost forgot to say: I love, love, love your camellia, she is such a beauty!
    Wishing you a wonderful, rain-free week with tons of opportunities to garden!
    Christina

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 6:51 pm - Reply

      There are pros and cons to gardening on a slope. The down side is obviously the difficulty of cultivating it. But on the plus side it does provide great design opportunities. Not directly behind the house obviously, but if I can get it right elsewhere I could have a cascading wall of colour. It’s a big ‘if’ though!

  23. Kris P February 29, 2016 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    I miss the rain but most definitely not the mud – I have to say we’ve had a relatively mud-less winter. And, while your Camellia blooms have been killed off by frost, mine have been taken out by heat. Sadly, many of the buds seem lost as well. I’ve been working on my front slope (not as steep as the back one) and am ever mindful that one false step could break my neck or one or more of my extremities – be careful up there!!!

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 7:02 pm - Reply

      Looking down from the top is fairly awesome and really not captured by the photograph. That alone reminds me constantly of the consequences of a misplaced step. It’s far easier to climb up than down, because I can see the next foothold, so I tend to work in that direction. I’m sorry to hear about the camellia.

  24. hoehoegrow February 29, 2016 at 9:20 pm - Reply

    Gosh Jessica, I don’t think I fully appreciated just how steep that slope is ! You must take your life in your hands every time you do a spot of weeding! Who would have thought that gardening could be an extreme sport !!

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 7:04 pm - Reply

      Definitely an extreme sport here! But it keeps me fit, injuries aside. I’m still not a member of a gym.

  25. Alain February 29, 2016 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    You must indeed have had quite a bit of rain if it is still wet on your very steep slope!

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 7:07 pm - Reply

      It’s clay soil so it gets very claggy. And when it does dry out it goes rock hard. There’s a small window of opportunity between the two!

  26. Helene February 29, 2016 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    It is amazing to see where you are gardening – you are a brave girl taking on a project like that! I miss my huge camellia from the previous garden at times like this – seeing your inherited one helps a bit, it will be 20 years till any of mine gets to that size 🙂
    Happy gardening, enjoy the sunshine while we have it!

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 7:13 pm - Reply

      I rescued this camellia from a tiny pot and it’s taken off since it’s been in the ground. They do grow quite quickly when they’re happy. I’m really quite chuffed because I have a dozen cuttings now.. but only a couple of inches high apiece. They will be 20 years!

  27. Diana Studer February 29, 2016 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    It must have been, interesting – when they built the house into that bank.

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 7:16 pm - Reply

      I suppose that is why the bank behind the house is so very steep. The hillside was cut back to create an area of ground flat enough to build a house.

  28. Sue Garrett February 29, 2016 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    I hope that you had the relevant satisfy ropes. It’s going to take ages for the ground to dry out.

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 7:18 pm - Reply

      Especially as we’ve just had another night of rain. Ah well, I had two days.

  29. Sue C. February 29, 2016 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    We have a bank here too – but thankfully not as steep as yours. I don’t envy you that one and I admire what you are doing to make it part of your garden. A challenge – take care.

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 7:19 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sue.

  30. CherryPie February 29, 2016 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    That is a steep place to be working. I am sure I would end up slithering down there!!

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 7:20 pm - Reply

      I have done before now. I’m getting to know where the sturdy handholds are!

  31. germac4 March 1, 2016 at 12:27 am - Reply

    I agree with everyone, that slope is very tricky. Perhaps all it needs are the ferns already there. Interesting to see your lovely Camellia…most of ours are looking glum despite the watering we give them through the summer. There is such a difference for plants between water from a tap and rain water. (so there is the silver lining to your wet weather!)

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 7:24 pm - Reply

      As the garden matures I’ll come to relish the rain I’m sure. The plants that went in last year are less impressed. A lot of them have ended up pretty waterlogged, so the shoots that are now emerging from the soil are even more welcome.

  32. Peter/Outlaw March 1, 2016 at 5:35 am - Reply

    You are one brave gardener, risking life, limb, or at least dignity to tidy up this slope! Your efforts will be richly rewarded when you look with a great sense of accomplishment at your steep slope in summer glory!

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 7:27 pm - Reply

      I hope so Peter. It’s a leap of faith at this time of year.

  33. AnnetteM March 1, 2016 at 7:38 am - Reply

    I had never appreciated just how steep your slope was at the bottom. I second the suggestion of the safety harness especially in these slippery conditions.
    Nice to see your Pulmonaria – mine is just peeping through in the top garden and a new blue one has just got leaves in the shady border. I hope it flowers for me. Your Camellia is lovely and so cheery.

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 7:32 pm - Reply

      The camellia certainly shines out of the gloom. I’d like to get another one or two in more subtle shades to anchor it a bit.

  34. Vera March 1, 2016 at 7:48 am - Reply

    Your slope is as steep as the one we had in our house in the UK, but bigger! Crikey but it was hard work, although I did find a joy in being able to look out at various parts of the garden as if they were at ground level from each of the four levels of the house.
    To help get the front garden sorted out my husband has taken it upon himself to start weeding one of the beds. Good that he is showing an interest in getting the garden looking tidier, not so good is that he tends to be a ruthless digger which means that he digs everything up whether it is a weed or not. I, on the other hand, would do as you have done, which is to inch my way through the bed with a trowel!

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 7:36 pm - Reply

      Mike is banned from the borders for just that reason!
      What I love about being able to look straight at the bank from the house windows is watching the birds nesting. Blackbirds and robins have both taken up residence and I’ve seen the chicks as they’re about to fledge. Magic.

  35. Mike @ A Bit About Britain March 1, 2016 at 8:16 am - Reply

    And I thought I was doing well trimming a bit of berberis last weekend…

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 7:37 pm - Reply

      You were.. berberis is a brute! How many thorns in your fingers? 🙂

  36. derrickjknight March 1, 2016 at 9:07 am - Reply

    More excellent photographs of your daunting project. I wonder what effect your title had on viewing figures 🙂

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      Almost as good as ‘Red Hot Nuts’ from a few years back 🙂

  37. Anny March 1, 2016 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Crikey yes, that’s steep! Maybe some mountaineering gear to prevent falls? Anyway, you’ve almost made me feel like getting out into my little (flatish) patch, where at least I can be pretty certain there’s nothing lurking with a long latin name… I can feel some restructuring coming on 🙂

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 7:41 pm - Reply

      Yes, get on out there. The birds are singing and Spring has sprung. More wind and rain on the way? Surely not!

  38. Rick Nelson March 1, 2016 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Could give you the name of an excellent book on climbing in the Alps if it helps 🙂

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 7:43 pm - Reply

      When we were hiking* in Norway I borrowed crampons for a day. Thinking of buying some..

      *not very far

  39. Suzanne March 1, 2016 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    I am a bit envious your out there! Although I know getting back into it will also mean sore muscles,etc from being idle all winter. Perhaps it’s a good thing you have to take it a bit slower and a small patch at a time. It’s good you show the month to month photos. It is coming along. I remember last years and the year before that photos and must say you have made super progress.

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 7:52 pm - Reply

      I’m grounded again now by more rain. I shall be back to pootling around on bits of the terraces that I can reach from solid ground. But such is the British Spring.
      It is hugely motivational looking back at how far we’ve come. Without the photos it’s easy to forget. Thanks Suzanne. Hope you’re enjoying the winter break and getting lots of quilting done!

  40. Sarah March 1, 2016 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Your camellia is gorgeous! I do admire you working on that slope it is so steep! We too enjoyed getting out in the garden over the weekend, it is so good to get things done! Sarah x

    • Jessica March 1, 2016 at 7:55 pm - Reply

      After such a wet winter it really does feel good to be outside again doesn’t it. I do hope we have a nice Spring and Summer.

  41. Jayne Hill March 1, 2016 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    Strewth . . . when you said steep and precipitous you were not joking. Congrats on the photos which really do give a sense of what you’re dealing with.

    I am definitely in the ‘let it go feral’ camp. I’d add as many ferns as you can get your hands on, with primroses, snowdrops, anything which will self-seed and work their way down the bank over the years. I once had reasonable success with primrose seed collected in the coppice and sown immediately (it cannot stand drying out).

    Oh, and good luck, ‘cos you are surely going to need it :-}

    • Jessica March 3, 2016 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      I’d agree, self seeding things, especially those with robustness, will be my new best friend. And I do need to add a bit of colour, given that it’s so close to the house.

  42. elaine March 1, 2016 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    And so another gardening season starts and there’s Jessica with crampons, ropes and helmet – I am sending a few Gurkha’s to help out. See you at base camp.

    • Jessica March 3, 2016 at 9:55 pm - Reply

      Much obliged, the Gurkhas are needed! Your comment did make me laugh 🙂

  43. Beth @ PlantPostings March 2, 2016 at 3:53 am - Reply

    Wow, that is really steep! I thought the hill behind my house was steep. I know how hard it is to convey the angles–you’ve done a great job! Be careful out there!

    • Jessica March 3, 2016 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      It is hard, surprisingly so. From the top view the slope looks quite gentle, the view from the bottom is closer to the reality! Thanks Beth.

  44. Julieanne March 2, 2016 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Wow, that is a steep border. Have you got climbing gear to help you look after it? I hear that’s what they do on the St Michael’s Mount garden, and I think yours is steeper!

    • Jessica March 3, 2016 at 10:22 pm - Reply

      St Michael’s Mount is similar in that there are steep bits and relatively flatter areas. There though the vertical distance is considerably greater.. and the fall would be onto rocks or into the sea!

  45. Cathy March 2, 2016 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    OK it is steep, and yes you are very brave and all that.. 😉 I am sure you love the danger and excitement really!

    • Jessica March 3, 2016 at 10:31 pm - Reply

      I do love a challenge, I’ll admit it. But there are challenges and there is downright stupidity.

  46. annie_h March 2, 2016 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    Yes those pictures do clearly show the slope. It was lovely weather at the weekend so good to make the most of it. Primroses would look lovely mixed in with the ferns on that slope and cheering at this time of year. That Camellia is very pretty.

    • Jessica March 3, 2016 at 10:39 pm - Reply

      Moving a few more primroses onto the steep part of the slope would be good. They’ve been flowering for months down here, so they really add value.

  47. Angie March 2, 2016 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    The phrase slippery when wet spring to mind Jessica. I admire your resolve, I truly do. It must be one heck of a sense of accomplishment each and every time you tackle a bit. Well done you!

    • Jessica March 3, 2016 at 10:44 pm - Reply

      It’s a huge sense of accomplishment but usually short lived. It’s amazing how quickly the weeds take over once my back is turned. But hopefully I will have the incentive this year to keep on top of it. Getting cleared ground planted up quickly is the key.

  48. Joanne March 2, 2016 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    Oh my that is steep! That little bit of sunshine though really makes all the difference in making you want to be outside in the garden doesn’t it? xx

    • Jessica March 3, 2016 at 10:46 pm - Reply

      It certainly does. That and seeing the plants beginning to grow now the days are getting longer. In the greenhouse today I really noticed things sprouting, a huge change just in a couple of days.

  49. casa mariposa March 5, 2016 at 5:09 am - Reply

    Perhaps you should invest in rappelling gear to help make sure you don’t fall! Have you ever thought of terracing it?

    • Jessica March 5, 2016 at 8:56 am - Reply

      If money was no object I’d look again at terracing. But I think the slope is just too steep. It would end up with more verticals than horizontals. Plus there are about 25 mature tree root balls buried in there that would need grinding or removing. It would be a huge job, hence the cost.

  50. Donna@Gardens Eye View March 12, 2016 at 10:07 pm - Reply

    My goodness that is a steep bank….very wet here and so i will wait before I can do any gardening….and we are due for more rain this week.

    • Jessica March 13, 2016 at 11:20 pm - Reply

      In the blink of eye we’ve gone from wet to dry, such as happens on clay soil. Give it another week and I’ll be back to gardening by pick axe! Unbelievable really, given the soggy winter we’ve had.

  51. Chloris March 17, 2016 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    Wow! It’ s a good thing you like a challenge. At last the ground is drying out and the garden’ s a lovely place to be again. I hope you are having fun.

    • Jessica March 17, 2016 at 8:54 pm - Reply

      I’m not so sure about the fun. I’m using this lovely weather as a chance to get all the shrubs moved that need it. Knackered might describe it better.

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