6th August

Well, what have I been up to in my absence? Battling with sun-baked clay, mostly.




There’s not a whole lot you can do for the larger areas of ground, unless you have money and machinery (we have neither). The fissures turn into cracks, the soil turns into dust, the most worrying thing is that the rain pours down into the crevices and undermines the structural integrity of the ground, but I suspect this all part of some perfectly legitimate plan the earth has, so I don’t interfere. I’ll probably disappear into a sink hole one of these days!

With beds, I do try to intervene as best I can: mulching like it’s the end of the world and covering the topsoil with a dense layer of wood chips: I use it like sunblock, hoping the earth underneath will stay moist and protected (wood-chips sweat something chronic en masse), and it will all rot down to provide some much needed hummus. I’m hoping it will retain what little rain we get instead of letting it run straight through into those terrible dry gunnels as well.




Having clay soil can be a little like having concrete when you get sudden downpours, so we get flooding, even though we’re surrounded by hedgerows and trees to drink it up. Inventing ways to slow down the water and retain it is an exciting prospect, and so-called ‘rain gardens’ are very fashionable in these parts for exactly this purpose.

Half of me wants to collect it for the dry seasons to come, but I can’t help wonder what effect that might have on the wider landscape? Dry rivers and streams need the run off, I’m not sure me hoarding it is the best course of action…

Anyway, for now, I just work on slowing it down rather than stopping it moving altogether.

I dug over two of the small beds and beefed them up with some home-made compost, but I was forced to use a bit more of the grass compost than I wanted, so I’m waiting to see now if that’s a bit too acidic.

The herbs seem alright, the verbenas are managing, the shrubs are fine, and really it’s only the roses which seem a bit bothered by it. I’m surprised because I’ve never known a rose to mind anything!

Still, even on a bad day, you’re guaranteed to get something.




8 thoughts on “6th August

    1. Thanks Audrey. It just makes for a better day to assume everything’s going along as it’s supposed to rather than impending disaster – though some days that’s easier than others!

      I do try to think on really, really big scale. This isn’t the first Ice Age the world’s rolled out of, and it’s not the first, or last, major shift in climate (whatever the cause), so in the end, everything good and green will recover and re-balance. I’ll try and do the same… :/

      Of course, in between, I’ll be moaning it’s either too hot or too cold, but I think moaning about the weather was probably one of our first conversations!!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Being a gardener in today’s environment is a tough job. We have been experiencing higher than normal temperatures and humidity, plus getting very heavy rains every couple of days. My perennials are surviving, but I normally have four tanks of vegetables and I’m down to one. The only reason I have one left is I’m trying to salvage the tomatoes before I have to pitch the rotting plants. Besides making it hard to grow vegetables, I’m wondering how this change in temperature is going to affect all the fishermen in this area.


    1. When I was younger, I used to hate the idea of change, and old ways disappearing or being forced to change. Now I realise it’s a fact of life, and all I can hope is that we’re not so stuck in our ways we can’t make good choices…

      (I’m thinking about veg beds on stilts for free drainage and what to cover the top soil with to retain moisture and stop rot – maybe pebbles?. We’ll have to think like monsoon people!)

      But it is sad to think we won’t see things that used to be the beautiful fabric of life.
      I’m just hoping we’re not going to lose Spring and Autumn (Fall), because this year it was a bit like going straight from Winter and headlong into Summer. I think everyone prefers New England with fishermen and Fall!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m in New South Wales, Australia. We are at present undergoing the worst drought ever, and we haven’t even got to spring yet. Goodness knows what the summer holds for us. My garden is a thin layer of topsoil covering clay, so I have a similar approach to yours- mulch, mulch and mulch again. I have improved the soil, and also built my garden beds up. I don’t grow many veg because when we go away they become feral while my back is turned, but I have a lot of flowers and shrubs. Jane.

    Liked by 1 person

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