Thirty unplanted plants!
I still have thirty (thirty!) unplanted plants from the Easter nursery sale sitting on the garden bench by the new Birthday Rose Garden. Guess what I'll be doing all weekend?
Saturday 9th April
OK - I'm up really early, and it's raining. Blast! Mind you, it's raining all over New Zealand, and this is exactly what my new gardens need. They're mulched with my mulch layer system - good stuff (compost, rotted horse-poos) covered with newspaper and old rotting lucerne hay).
Still Waiting to be Planted
Most of my large Easter sale plants are now planted in the garden - just the little fifty cent perennials to go (Perovskia Blue Spire, a crinkly Ligularia, and some Acorus grass) and a moderate collection of large planter bags - mainly South Island Toe Toes and some tough looking Coprosmas. Having listed them I should now feel personally responsible for each, and get them planted today. There is also a box of bulbous foliage plants with spade-shaped slightly spotty leaves - what are they called? Hmm... possibly Arum lilies?
What should I plan to achieve today? Ha! I may even set some garden goals. I could be annoying and burn some of my dry gum rubbish in the drizzle. I could persuade the Moosey house guest to purchase and read all possible weekend newspapers - the perfect occupation for a house guest on a rainy Saturday (I've run out of newspaper for my mulch).
Autumn Cercis Leaves
I need river stones to finish the edges of the new Birthday Rose Garden (which now has two peony roses in it). I could buy some spring bulbs - just a few - for bare spots in my new diggings. And there's space for a new specimen tree in the grass at the back of the Willow Tree garden - what could I buy?
Oops! I've morphed into plant-buying mode. This will not do! I am even sneakily thinking about the rose sale - is it still going? I need another cup of tea to calm down.
A Good Day for Mud Gardening?
Right - I've just gone outside for rain reconnaissance (and to get Rusty the puppy up). Today is going to be a very-wet-gardening day - did I use the word drizzle? - No way! But I'm determined to be productive, even if kneeling or sitting down has muddy consequences, and even if my hair starts dripping onto my face (which it will).
Right. I'm off to experience the joys of autumn gardening in thermal underwear, beautifully striped and hopefully snug. No photographs will be allowed.
Achieved by Lunchtime...
- 12 wheelbarrowfuls of rubbish burnt.
- 2 Toe Toes planted by the Pump House.
- 10 tomato plants pulled out (all green tomatoes collected to ripen in house).
- 1 wheelbarrowful of wet weeds from vegetable garden dumped in the compost.
A pretty pathetic list of achievements, representing three hours hard work! But during the vegetable garden weeding I have found some daffodil bulbs which I'll be moving, and a couple more left-over roses - all of these can go in the Willow Tree Garden extension.
- Lucky :
- Lucky the cat has been dearly departed for some years now.
I hope that the cat-spirit of dear departed Lucky Puss doesn't mind - I've already moved his memorial rose (a David Austin called The Prince) from the driveway border, where it's been struggling for the past seven years. Oops.
Late Afternoon, Apres-Gardening in Blue Denim...
I have shifted approximately 100 daffodil bulbs, 3 hosta clumps, 3 aquilegia clumps (which I've sliced up) and 3 misplaced roses out of the vegetable garden. No wonder my vege patch cannot ever be taken seriously - and to think that one year I had the nerve to call it a potager! Really! Just because I laid some little brick paths... Anyway, all plants removed are happily planted in the Willow Tree Garden extension. Hurray for me, budget-minded gardener and compulsive recycler.
Sunday 10th April
Hmm... It occurs to me that I still have 28 pots and planter bags from the Easter sale still to plant in the garden. This seems rather excessive. A favourite mail order catalogue arrived in the post yesterday - it would not be sensible to order anything. Typically the plants I like are probably available at nurseries - for example, there's a new Gold Flower Carpet rose, some Jester flaxes, and a Cordyline from New Guinea (which on second thoughts would have to be tropical - oops) I'd like to buy.
Jester Flax (Phormium) Leaves
Today's weather looks like a repeat of yesterday - mild, damp, and drizzly, with absolutely no wind. Sore back aside, I intend to be super-productive again. It's the little tinkerings one does which are the finishing garden touches - like pockets of spring bulbs planted, or foxglove seedlings transplanted into a new space. It's also the little tinkerings which turn mature lady gardeners into stiff old crocks (the 'bend and dig, or get a totally wet, muddy bottom' policy).
- Taj-Dog at the River :
- Dear old Taj-Dog - he loved the river so much he'd squeak all the way there in the back of the car...
What shall I do first? I have to buy some new secateurs (my last pair was mulched - again), and I have to burn at least ten more barrowfuls of rubbish. I need river stones (I redirected some of the new firewood to edge the Willow Tree Garden - this is not a totally sensible thing to do with winter approaching). Right. Time to get the puppy up. What would he like best? The river! Where the dog-spirit of Taj-dog chases spirit-sticks...
We are about to take Rusty the puppy to the river to collect stones. I've been seriously tinkering (weeding actually) for three hours. Many years ago I introduced a cutting of what I thought was a cute perennial to the Moosey garden. Light lilac flowers, beautifully fragrant, appeared in late summer. What I didn't know was how invasive its creeping roots were. This is the second autumn in succession that I've tried to get it out - digging deep, trying to catch all the root bits. My hands are sore, and I've thrown out one pair of muddy (and holey) striped thermal leggings. Time for a change of scenery.
My gardening day is over. My hands are so sore, a bit scratched, and I feel really tired. It's like my head is empty of thoughts, and I've run out of word-momentum. I will, therefore, list the afternoon's achievements numerically:
- 1. River stones now edge the new gardens.
- 2. Two more sad roses have been dug up and shifted.
- 3. The creepy perennial weed is almost cleared.
- 4. Four more barrowfuls of rubbish have been raked and burnt.
- 5. Foxglove seedlings have been planted in the Willow tree Garden.
The Willow Tree Garden Extension
One of the mobile roses is Edward Elgar (Sir) - a David Austin rose which has never really enjoyed living underneath Mermaid on the back fence. Weeding underneath Mermaid has been rather hazardous, too (ouch). Enough. It's the end of a most successful, hard-working autumn weekend.
Monday 11th April
Oops. Last Friday I collected some bags of horse manure and put them in the boot of my car. I forgot about them until this morning, when I was running late for work. Quite an aromatic car trip! The only garden-related thing I've done today is empty out (finally) my car!
Oops! Manure in the Car!
Tuesday April 12th
Today I have plans - gentle, serene plans. In between going to work twice (don't ask!), and before the southerly comes (mid-afternoon), I am going to clear and burn more gum tree rubbish from the Lower Wattle Woods. Then I am going to plant the new fifty cent perennials (some white flowering Nepeta and two red-foliaged Sedums) on the edge of Middle Garden, along with the huge clump of new miniature irises. Two unloved standard roses are coming out of there - they may even be consigned to the fire (goodbye Old Master, and other unknown rose, both with 'tops' the size of a soccer ball).
So the gentle, serene, decisive gardener continues tinkering with her garden in the shortening days of autumn.