Soil Transfusion


An early bird atop the oak across Christchurch Road admired this morning’s dawn sky which presaged a fine day.

Washing in garden

And so it was. Warm enough to put the washing out.

North Breeze garden 1North Breeze garden 2North Breeze garden 3North Breeze garden 4North Breeze garden 5North Breeze garden 6

My meagre task of the day was to begin the ongoing battle with the triffid invasion from our neighbour, North Breeze.

Bramble uprooted

It is important to tackle the aliens early enough to prevent them from rooting on our side of the ramshackle border, as had this bramble.


When they burst through the greenhouse glass, as they did in the film (see the above link), then we will surely need to watch out.

It is a sad aspect of this jungle that it was once a wonderful garden, where the ghosts of such as


this rose,


this fruit tree,

Magnolia 1

this camellia,


and this magnolia, battle through to the light.

North Breeze garden 7

North Breeze neighbours the whole of the West side of our property, and turns the corner along the North side of the Back Drive,


where, watched by a sparrow,

Jackie planting back drive

Back Drive border 1

Jackie was putting the finishing touches (just for the moment) to her creative planting.

Soil transfusion

Another regular operation she performs, on which she was engaged later, is soil transfusion. Much of the soil in the garden is rather anaemic and needs replenishing. Here, the surgeon has cut out a poorly section, removed the spent matter, and inserted a healthy supply.

She will then sift through the choked plants she has carefully preserved, extracting the smelly allium bulbs, and replant what she wishes to keep.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s luscious lamb jalrezi with savoury rice and parathas. She drank Hoegaarden whilst I drank Kingfisher.

47 responses to “Soil Transfusion”

  1. Your neighbor, I should think, would at least help you get that alien out of YOUR yard, even if he won’t get rid of it all together.

  2. I believe that is the very property that Lisa suggested she and I purchase and clean up with invaluable mentoring from your Head Gardener of course. Sadly, I also believe that proposal may have foundered for fairly obvious reasons. 🙂

    • Many thanks, Mama. I don’t feel I can honour such challenges, because of the work that goes into my daily diary post, and the reading of followers and responding to comments. I am flattered though, and will continue reading your excellent posts

  3. Is the abandoned house up for sale? Hard to imagine it just languishing there for the last two years or more. What a pity. I remember reading Day of the Triffids as a child, but never saw the movie. I think in my head, they looked like huge fennel plants, able to walk about on their bulbous bottoms.

      • Oh my goodness. I’ve never come across such a situation. Sounds as if there are no living heirs to make a decision about the disposal of the home. How sad. I suppose they died intestate. Assuming they died of natural causes. But who would be writing to them? Gosh . . . I feel a mystery plot coming over me. At some point though, wouldn’t the council step in for unpaid rates? Or are you within rights to request they do a yard clean up? Vermin, etc, etc.

    • If I recall right, the original book had some illustrations, including on the cover, of plants interpreted just like you describe. At the time, I’d never seen or heard of fennel, but I’ve found out what it looks like, since.

      • That jogged me to look up some old covers, and you are right, that is where I would have drawn the memory. Me too, did not know fennel as a child, but have since reconnected with Italian family, and “finocchio” is a staple food for them. Particularly refreshing eaten raw after a big meal. And another piece of trivia – in Italian – “finocchio” is also slang for homosexual. 🙂

  4. The picture you have started the post is unbelievably beautiful, Derrick 🙂
    I think that Aliens would love to conquer your beautiful garden. It’s good that you localized them and tackled them.

  5. An abandoned garden is so much worse than a vacant lot. One has an amount of potential but the other is the death of the wonder that was.

  6. Sorry to read about your neighbor Derrick. Love seeing the progress and special care that Jackie takes – don’t you guys love it when the buds open and spread color and sun-filled cheery atmosphere?

  7. Glad to see the ornithology has moved up a gear (you’d be testing me to remember what date I had cause to be surprised at your not recognizing a sparrow).

  8. Ooh, I love lamb and tell Jackie I admire her variety in menus.
    That insurgent, insidious and odious “alien” triffids! How horrible and invasive, Derrick!

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