It's May, and I feel very guilty, and very tempted to fib. It's now the third weekend in May, and this is the first time I've come to write in my gardening diary. I have made some sporadic journeys into the garden, but nothing of any substance. Very disappointing.
My gardening relationship has been rather minimal. Of course I've sat on the Stables seat (the winter morning sun-seat) with Jerome the cat drinking tea. I've put several of the new mail order plants in new pots. I've wandered around the big paddock behind the water race thinking about new trees to buy and plant. The hazelnut trees arrive in early July, and I am encouraged to plant some heritage apples and other fruit trees. I am also allowed to plant an avenue of roses on posts between the hazels.
In the Orchard
But I've missed quite a lot by being work-busy. There are only a few crabapples left on the tree by the house, where I usually watch the birds feasting. The Smoke Bushes have almost dropped their leaves, and many of the trees which turn gold are leafless. We have still not really had a frost, so there are dahlias rebelliously flowering. The soft lemon climbing rose on the pergola seems to be in messy full bloom again, with flowery stalks reaching up into the sky.
Late Red Rose
Still the bright pink Flower Carpet rose and the bright red Dublin Bay are flowering. Anyway, I've cleared the vege garden, which every year turns into a disgrace, and tried to give it new hope by curving the wee brick paths. The tomatoes were a failure (well, actually, the person who tried to grow them was the failure). The nettle weeds which grow in late summer every year have not been dealt to. None of the dahlias were staked. Each year the same big-hearted resolutions, followed by the same mistakes and neglects!
And while I'm being hard on myself, I should mention the sad little row of mail-order plants on the floor of the garage, each still suffocating in its tiny pot. Where are they all going? True, last weekend I planted a few of them into new pots, but the rest have been abandoned. I can't imagine why I bought half of them now - surely I copied the wrong identity numbers down - hmmm....
So today is the first real diary entry, hopefully followed by the first real gardening day. I plan to behave, and get my fingernails dirty. My mind needs to be washed clean of impure thoughts (like schoolwork). I will do this. I will be strong and go hard (I'll just make the first cup of coffee...).
Later, on Saturday 17th May
I worked quite hard, cutting back catmint by the house, and digging out two large grasses. I also carted more pots into the glass-house for their winter hibernation. There are so many weeds in the borders - I don't understand where they all came from! I'm trying to take notice of the shrubs that are flowering, so I can remember for next year.
Purple flowering hebe
Sunday 18th May
An enjoyable half day has been spent tidying and weeding the house borders. Nothing amazingly inspirational to report - except huge colonies of fungi growing around the old tree stumps over the water race. Leaf colour is changing everywhere now - the Cercis Forest Pansy is bare, while its neighbouring smoke bush has turned a rather bilious shade of orange. In the Pond Paddock the flowering cherries and the oak trees are in full leaf drop. This lawn probably should be raked next weekend. Odd mail order plants have been potted.
I don't feel quite as guilty now (except when I see the bags of daffodils - oops!) and I promise that next weekend I will be back to my old tricks.