This is a real garden and so not quite as pristine as one at the Chelsea Flower Show, but in my own way, I have an understanding of what those gardeners go through.   I am now at the titivating stage before next week’s NGS opening.

There is a path - I promise 🙂

For myself, I am happy to have the plants spilling over the paths in gay abandon, but I know that visitors would like to actually see the paths in front of them.  So this weekend, the job has been to persuade the plants to stay behind the border edging plant supports I have. 

Border plant supports – hopefully soon to be hidden

Whilst they are also made from metal and robust, they are different from the ones that I use to protect individual plants from the unwanted attentions of the dogs.  If you are interested in this type of support, check out Snape Stakes.  In the next week, the plants should grow enough to hide the supports whilst still benefitting from them.

Aqualegias are looking wonderful this year

I am spending my time wandering around the garden and watching for anything that looks out-of-place.  Never before have I had to dead headed Aquilegias as they are usually over by the time of the garden opening.  They are looking wonderful at the moment and I am just praying that they can manage to hold on for another week.

The bay that I had to avoid pruning earlier in the year as it was home to a blackbird nest has now had its annual trim, and the stock of bay leaves for the kitchen has been replenished.  Any yellow leaf that I see is whipped of the plant – everything is so late this year that the evergreen shrubs are still losing last year’s leaves.

Fallen wisteria flowers carpet

The big job left is sweeping the paths – this has to be done again and again.  The remnants of the wisteria’s flowers are still trying to carpet the garden.  Obviously they have competition from other plants which are dropping leaves and flowers too.  Then there are the bits of wood chip that the birds clear out of the way in their search for worms.  I used to blame the dogs for this until I realised that it happened even if the dogs hadn’t been out.

Less than a week's growth, the wisteria is trying to invade the house

In other posts, I have mentioned that the wisteria is a thug.  It grows so fast that it can be hard to keep it under control.  One of my more unusual jobs is to go upstairs and prune what I can reach from the bedroom windows.

But next weekend, the garden will be lovely – and all the big jobs I have to do each year will be done.  After the opening, I can sit back and enjoy my garden without having to worry too much.