More relaxed in the garden...
I am determined to be more relaxed to the garden this month. There will be no frenetic weekend days spent trying to do everything at once. I have transformed into a gentle and wise gardener...
unknown david austin rose
Saturday 1st March
I spent a relaxing hour (see my above declaration) clearing up around the patio garden - trimming the catmint, dead-heading the Compassion roses and clipping edges. In no time I had one wheelbarrow-ful. I noticed the variegated Liriope flowering for the first time - how absolutely beautiful (and small) it is! Many of the roses are flowering well in their second big flush, and the standard Genista which my friend gave me for my birthday (September) is still flowering.
Some patches of crocus leaves are showing nearby, reminding me that this autumn I may be allowed to buy in some more spring bulbs.
Over the last week the irrigation has been on, since there has been no rain. A line of trees on the roadside fence has come close to dying - and the rhododendrons in the Hump are really suffering. Though they were wonderful in there while flowering in spring, the harshness of summer makes their position quite unsuitable. The soils over the water race hold so much more moisture, and are much more rhodo-friendly, so I plan to shift them all. In a garden of this size it's just too much trouble having to bucket in water to plants, and the nearby gum trees are just too greedy.
Sunday 2nd March
The concept of relaxing through the month of March has gone to my head - today I did absolutely nothing. I looked around the garden, checked out the dahlias, I walked around the garden, I sat in the garden. I might have picked a few fallen leaves out of the decking pots, but that was all. Shocking - I hope this is not the beginning of a lazy old lady trend.
Pretty White Roses
Sunday 9th March
No way! Yesterday I gardened for three hours, gently, with short rests for food and drink. I worked on clearing and weeding the house borders visible from inside the house. Now this morning I can proudly see the results of my labour. As soon as I've had a coffee I intend to return out there and do more.
There is a slight autumn feel to these days, too - absolutely no wind, crisper mornings, sunrise noticeably later. Today I'll finish chopping down the spent lilac phloxes (which unwisely I have introduced to rather a lot of the borders), and I will reorganise the beginning of the driveway border near the house. This area has been hot, dry and scruffy since spring, and really needs replanting. But with what? (when in doubt, plant a flax?) - a limited design concept, but there is a favourite red flax in a patio pot straining to escape. I'll consider liberating it. Back soon.
I am a legend - the clear-pathway fairy. I've been sorting out paths at the top of the Wattle Woods near the water. It's desperately dry in here, so I have also been watering. And rethinking this whole area - this water problem only exists because of my ridiculously inappropriate plantings. Now I am having a short compulsory rest before planting the red flax. Everything is going according to plan.
The back lawn just through the pergola has now become the place where ducks and attendant small birds hang out. I've been watching them from the camouflage of the Wattles as they all poke around and fluff out their feathers. This is therefore Duck Lawn Number Three - and makes the labeling at Mooseys a little complicated - Dog-Paths and Duck Lawns which change at the whim of gardeners, dogs, and ducks.
Well Done, Mary Rose!
I have also made the discovery that it is perfectly possible to have an old-lady snooze mid-afternoon without the garden suddenly erupting into weeds and needs. With my new gentler approach to gardening I will probably get more things done, ironically. The rhododendrons in the Hump are watered, the house pots are tidied, a new small bamboo is installed in a pot, and the red flax is planted in the driveway border. All is well at Mooseys.
Saturday 15th March
My local nursery has a sale! I have been such a good person in going back to work and not complaining too much that I AM ALLOWED to buy some plants. Am just about to zoom down there in the car, before I face the gardening day. The irrigation has been run several times this week, so I am not too apprehensive about what I'll find in the garden. It certainly has been my week - my cricket radio was left outside for five nights under a tree in the driveway border and somehow is still working (actually it was still on, crackling merrily when I retrieved it last night). And it is just as well that I am back at work, for we have played badly in the cricket. Back soon with armfuls of new plants, hee hee.
I was allowed to spend one hundred dollars. Nothing has yet been planted, but I have got some Jester flaxes, two large purple rhododendrons, cheap lime leaved hostas and inexplicably two Clematis Montanas which promise me pink flowers and semi-vigour. I think they are called Vera.
So I spent two hours cutting down the thuggish and rampant Clematis which is strangling the Crab-apple tree, two ceremonial roses (last resting places of Lucky Puss and Grey Puss) and two flowering weeping cherry trees. Am I seriously going to replace it with the new specimens bought in the plant sale? (this has a hint of the insane about it). I have also weeded the vege garden, dug the purple gourmet potatoes, and watered the Hump rhododendrons. It has been a full gardening day, and I feel really pleased with my results. Tomorrow I will possibly plant all my purchases.