Bounty of a Julian Conquest
The secret gardener has spoken and the conquest must be chronicled the glory saluted the splendour celebrated or else who knows what she might put in my salad? So, here’s the truth of how the land lies.
The anniversary rose was among the first to rise up. It’s gone into hiding for now but will come again. Its barricades are arrayed against the north wall south-facing and constantly pacing itself for another year.
The piazza and pond were surprised by the spears of scirpus and the imperial purple standards of the moated flag iris and were surrounded by noble regiments of osteospermum fuchsia lobelia geranium. Their banners leave no doubt that they’re here because they’re here, because they’re here. Even when they’ve gone they’re not going anywhere. Honour them.
The triumphant dahlia has taken her throne in the capital we'll come to her; meanwhile, please note that the southern borders were overrun by untamed wildflowers and mercenary partisans. Clematis in a cascade of purple paratroops falling to plant their root boots among the foot soldiers of poppy oxeye daisy yarrow verbena scabious and oil seed rape.
(Whisper it but the wetlands saw raiding parties of semaphore flies signalling their intentions to unreceptive mates.)
To the west beneath the orchard the hosta hold the shady ground hostage by the field hospital where lemon balm stands by for those who need to stomach it and canular chives proffer garlic serum chivalrously having long since gone to seed in pyrotechnic starbursts.
Boxed in to the east foxgloves trumpet their victory pennants high above the cosmos and shoulder to shoulder with calendula and heuchera and reinforcements of more hosta and geranium. With dismissive stiffly wagging fingers they point with hypocritical prudery at the audacity of the wild nipplewort.
There are hinterlands where we do not apply forces, between the apple trees, for example, where lines of advancing grasses are never mowed down and run amok beneath the hammock and in the shelter of the hazel trees where the forces formerly known as weeds reclaim the ground that was always theirs and just outside the Bani-shed where I blast out old rock wild strawberries gig again. Play it loud enough and they will come.
(Keep it quiet but we know leaf-cutter bees have left tell-tale lacerations meaning that somewhere they’ve made secret bivouacs behind partitions under ground. Careful what you say: those walls have ears.)
The unspoken garden has an oval heart now beating with echinacea dahlia more calendula zinnia and verbena and another galaxy of cosmos.
This garland to my mind is always the secret gardener’s crowning glory. This year she feels the castellation is a little rebellious with peaks in unplanned places but that’s horticulture I suppose.
Command what you will survey the land plan your campaign dig your trenches build your borders plant collaborators extract insurgents and you may have some victories but however triumphant you may be, in the fullness of time nature always takes back all that you have gained.
All a bit military you might say, but the forces in the garden do not care for your sentiments. They come, they spore, they conquer.
Lughnasadh or Lughnasa is the final of the four primary festivals in the ancient Celtic calendar. The others being Samhain (October), Imbolc (February) and Beltane (May). Lughnassadh is celebrated on 1st August and marks the first grain harvest of the year. Its Christian usurper was known as Lammas a word derived from loaf-mass.
We have not harvested wheat, but we’ve had baskets of strawberries (domesticated), buckets of rhubarb, mugs of blackcurrants, pans of beans (broad and now French) and there are strings of onions spicing nicely. The potatoes were fewer than hoped for and had only hobbit proportions. The tomatoes are putting on weight and blushing, the lettuce keeps coming and the herb pots are trying, though some species could do better. The cherry tree was stingy but gave a little more than last year. The apple trees have done their ‘June drop’ to cast off their self-nominated rejects, and look much more fruit-bulky than last year. The hazel duo have gone full camouflage - so densely you can't see one for the other. Nuts are forming, but they'll be gone before we can get to them. The foreign blighters in grey squirrel suits will see to that.
More spore wars can be found in:
take a look here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B09H7PYSWJ