Thanks for the encouraging messages after my last post. It has been a bit of a despondent time and I appreciated the support and encouragement.
I spent another day there last week while the weather was so lovely and although it was back-breaking by the end of the day things were looking much better.
This corner gets the sun first thing in the morning and used to be a lovely place to sit with an early cup of tea...
This long flower bed honestly took me the whole day - I have never seen so much couch grass. I must have dug up about two barrows full of horrible spaghetti-like roots. To say nothing of the stinging nettles (note to self...get a pair of nettle proof gloves!) and dandelions. But in amongst that lot, I did find a few old favourites - aquilegias, a beautiful peony that has just so many buds on it this year, delphiniums, hollyhocks... It felt as though I was giving them all room to breathe and I'm certain they will come on quickly now.
Its not perfect (but who wants perfect apart from bowling greens?) - the weeds eviction has left a lot of gaps, I gave up in despair at the invasive periwinkle (lord help me, I actually chose to plant that! What was I thinking?!) and the grass is a bit rough and ready but in a funny sort of way I enjoyed being out in the sunshine and the satisfaction of getting things back in some kind of shape.
The weather stayed beautiful here for the bank holiday weekend and all three sons (plus two girlfriends) were home for the weekend so we had the first barbeque of the year in the garden. Middle son had arrived home from Derbyshire and cracked on and given the grass a really good cut - that makes such a difference doesn't it? So, we sat out, ate too much, drank a bit and felt generally very relaxed. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this space. Funny, I had thought I would be fine with a flat - more affordable, less trouble etc etc but actually I think I might struggle a bit without some outdoor space.
Now, we just have to negotiate how we can cooperate to keep the house and garden in order - I just know some of that couch grass is just lurking under the surface waiting to rear its wretched shoots again!
Fingers crossed for progress on the communication front!