The Land Rover Owners Wife

There be Bronze in that there Rubble Heap

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One of my rescued Bronze Fennel seedlings.

If there is one thing guaranteed to strike fear into the heart of a Land Rover owners partner, it is the words ‘We need to bleed the brakes!’ and it was those words that Mud uttered yesterday! My heart sank because bleeding the brakes of a series Land Rover is never easy, is never a quick job, always involves much cursing and swearing and invariably results in mutterings about rusted bleed nipples, located in nigh on impossible to reach places, due to the nonsensical design whims of the Land Rover engineers of by-gone days.

Tiny strawberry seedlings from seed.

So it was that I found myself sitting in Annies’ cab responding to Muds commands, uttered from under the vehicle as he bled each brake in turn:

“Apply pressure!”

“Pressed down as far as you can!”

“Release!”

The ‘Scardy Cat’ plants are flowering.

And so it went on until he was happy that any air was now out of the system. While Mud took Annie out for a test drive, I busied myself pulling weeds out of the herb bed. The herb bed is a surprise success story, born, as it was, out of one of Muds more unusual ideas. Ten years or so ago, Mud had piled some of the left over rubble created from his landscaping of the back garden, against the front side fence and covered it in a thin layer of topsoil and compost. He had then planted some surplus young herb plants into the bed as a temporary measure but they had thrived in the nutrient deprived substrate. Sage and purple sage, curry plant, a creeping thyme and a bronze fennel had all taken to what was effectively a rubble heap, with gusto, making the space their own, creating a sensory experience for anyone who brushed past the overflowing foliage.

A dozen Bronze Fennel seedlings (one pot has two inhabitants).

That said, a year ago I noticed that the purple sage was looking tired, old and a little sick having been overrun by the normal sage and so I had drastically cut back the inhabitants in that area, removing the purple sage completely as it was too far gone. As per normal, the bronze fennel put in an appearance this year, albeit a brief one, and then died back much quicker and with what felt like finality. I figured that, as with the purple sage, the fennel had reached the end of its’ growing life and I don’t really expect it to regrow next season but Ma Nature has a way of throwing in the odd surprise, so we will see.

A welcome burst of colour in the small green house.

Back to today and as I was weeding the bed, I noticed some little seedlings and the more I looked the more I saw. It seems that the bronze fennel had left its’ own little surprise behind and had deposited its’ seeds all around it and now, as we march into Autumn and with Jack Frost just around the corner, the little so and so’s had decided to germinate. In fact not only had the seeds germinated but, just like their parent, they were thriving in the rubble bed and were now between 3 to 8 inches tall. Of course I couldn’t just leave them there. For a start I figured they were too young to survive a harsh winter (Eldest Mudlet tells me that Princes winter coat has already come in earlier and thicker than ever which I think indicates a hard winter is on the way) and, even if they did, there was just too many of them for the space. A short while later I had managed to transplant a dozen of them into little pots of compost and had discarded probably a dozen more because their root systems had been too close to the surface of the soil and had sustained too much damage as I tried to remove them.

The ‘Grow Your Own Christmas Tree’ is doing really well – but is definitely a tortoise of a plant.

I’ve popped my rescued seedlings into the greenhouse to give them a chance to put down more roots in a controlled environment and whilst I was out there, I took the opportunity to take some shots of the other greenhouse residents AND the ‘Grow Your Own Christmas Tree’ which is now approximately 3 inches tall.

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