Shokking! (Six on Saturday 23 July 2022)

I’ve had an interesting few weeks!

Cat wearing dressing on leg after operationResident cat has had to have a couple of small operations on one of his front legs. The result was that he alternated between loudly protesting his confinement and milking the care situation for all it was worth. The protests reached a crescendo when the dressing came off and the cone went on. Still, whilst I was myself (how could I without being myself?) confined top a chair under the weight of a cat using my lap as a bed, I managed to catch up on a lot of books in my waiting queue.

And it was during my forced accompanying confinement that, whilst pondering the mysteries of the universe, I was suddenly struck by a sudden realisation. I found, wobbling around in my cerebral void, the answer to a long-standing question:  What name should I give to She Who Shall Not Be Named? And the answer came from a humble mangetout. Blaushokker was its name. Now Frau (German for lady, among other things) rhymes with Blau and “Shokker” is appropriate, at least if you simply pronounce it as the English word “shocker”. As SWSNBN is most decidedly that, in countenance and in force of her right hook. So I decreed that, henceforth, Frau Shokker shall she be. Deffo rolls off the tongue more easily.

Meanwhile the weeks have rolled by and I suppose I ought to shake a leg (the one Frau Shokker didn’t injure last week whilst waving her hori hori around recklessly) and drop by with one of my occasional sixes. Although, as I write this, our glorious leader is most likely sitting in a traffic jam somewhere with a car-load of complaining family members, he has, nevertheless, provided the anchor to today’s proceedings which you will find over here.

This week, other events forced a re-arrangement of Frau Shokker’s weekly visitation and so it was on Thursday, a thankfully cooler day, that she arrived in her celestial charriot, for her weekly coffee boost and Cornish pasty. Proceedings for such visitations are now more or less cast in stone. She barges me out of the way in order to greet her favourite cat. I pick myself up and make the first coffee of the day, we natter for a bit and then proceed, carrying our second coffee of the day, on a garden walkabout. Ostensibly, this is so that I can draw her attention to what I’d like her to do once she’s finished her coffee (second) and before she is served with her Cornish pasty, cooling soft drink and coffee (third). Actually this tour allows her to point out all of my deficiencies, such as the plant that has wilted in the heat despite having had a sprinkler directed onto it for an hour the previous evening (seems I should have doused it with a watering can for at least two hours). It concludes with her telling me what she has decided to do. I am left to get on with what I want done (as long as I stay out of the way).

1 Vertical Garden

This has come on nicely since I featured it in a post on 25 June). Frau actually likes this (though this didn’t stop her from, a couple of weeks ago, criticising the fact that a few of the grasses originally planted in it had succumbed to heatstroke, having walked past, not noticing, the plants that were already to replace them later that morning). Neighbours like it too as it’s a splash of colour in the front garden here. Someone did ask about the effort of watering. That’s easy. I just turn a tap on as there’s a drip irrigation system installed.

And it’s far better to look at than the simple fence that it covers.

2 Renovation

Across the drive is the smaller of the front lawns. Frau and I agreed that this needed something. Like a miracle! It’s only a few metres square but, for some reason, started to decline last autumn and has doggedly continued on its downward spiral this year. Now I knew, just knew, that if I didn’t do something, I would face detention next week. So I devised my recovery plan. As soon as Frau left that day, I set the mower to its lowest setting and scalped the lawn. Well, that’s something to show her, isn’t it?

Then, on Friday, I decided that more was needed so out came the scarifier, again on it’s lowest (what I call “armageddon”) setting. At this setting it’ll rip out crocus bulbs an inch below the surface. Anyhows, three “goes” and I’d got it to this stage.

There’s a fair bit of moss on the right side of the photo; I think this is more down to shade from the hedge than poor drainage/compaction issues. Moss is, of course, a symptom of a problem rather than the problem itself. So I’ll wait a couple of days, as per, and then give it a treatment with an organic mosskiller. Then aeration. Then top-dress and overseed and all that. I’ll report back on proceedings (and on whether Frau is happy with what and how I’m doing, of course).

3 Front Garden Bed

Hopping back over the drive (excercise is good, see) there’s a bed in the middle of the larger front lawn. Back in time, this was my tribute to municipal mass bedding.

These days, it’s a bit less gaudy.

You can thank Frau Shokker for much of the improvement. The construction site in the background is “coming soon”! You won’t be able to thank her for that though she keeps pleading for a chance to flex her muscles. Giving her more muscle mass involves a risk that I’m not prepared to take!

4 Repeat Performance

A hop, skip and jump from the aforementioned bed we come to a rose. “Love and Wishes” to be precise. I’ve featured this before but, once its first flush had been lovingly dead-headed into oblivion by Frau, it proceeded to gear up a second time. And I think something as good as this deserves a second appearance.

And there’s yet more on the way!

5 Hanging Gardens of South Wales

For thus they have been named by the Frau! All four sides of the house have a mix of wall planters and hanging baskets to break up what would otherwise be boring brickwork. This is the north quadrant. A joint planting effort between Frau and me (honestly, we do really work well together, despite the – generally – friendly banter). Some may say it’s too much colour but I say you can never have enough.

6 Hydrangea Something or Other

I found the name of this a few weeks back but then lost it again. When I find it again I’ll update this post. But in the meantime, it’s still worth mentioning in dispatches.

It also gets a mention because its twin sibling is the plant that Frau criticised me for allowing to dessicate (see introduction).


And with that, I’m off. I’ve decided I need a short break but need to count the pennies, as they say, particularly given the current cost of petrol. I’m not one for lounging on a beach somewhere; rather, I want an authentic experience. So I’ve packed a bag with some soft drinks and snacks and am going to sit in the car on the drive for a couple of days. I’ll probably take the opportunity to message Frau. She said she’d had a young man come on Friday to get something up in her garden. So far, I know she was impressed with his erection. By now, no doubt, she will have got her hands on it and will have more news to tell.

See you when I get back. If I survive Tuesday’s visitation.