Maybe little and often is best?
The days get longer, but my gardening sessions seem to get shorter. Maybe little and often is best? For example, I could always burn my rubbish later in the day, and go apres-gardening twice...
Monday 8th August
It's technically still the weekend for me - no work today! So why is it drizzling? Hello, sun! In about three hours you can shine in your splendour down on me! To use my time wisely I am off this morning to take Mugsy the cat to the vet for a growling check-up - could just be old age - could be her teeth?
- My Friend's Seaside Garden:
- I have a few photographs of my friend's seaside garden in this article - take a peep!
I will also visit my seaside gardening friend. She fabric pained my Gardener's Cushion, which is by far the most colourful thing in and out of my garden at the moment.
Her garden will be looking lovely, I know - she also writes a garden journal which includes arty pen and ink sketches. Like me she says she is always repeating things. I wonder how different it would be to garden by the sea? Hugely, I suspect. Funny how we two garden so close to each other, yet our plants and our weather conditions are so different.
I've been thinking impatiently about my Camellias. Yesterday I was clearing the ground under my little nameless collection. I forget how slow they are to become fully flowered. They seem to spend weeks in bud, full of beautiful promises. Do I like Camellias? Hmm...
It's now late afternoon, and I am back from a most successful trip to the seaside. Mugsy the cat didn't growl once for the vet, who stretched her back legs up, and out, and back, and weighed her (she is a good weight), and discussed her diet. No problems! Then I visited my gardening friend for a quick cup of coffee - her garden is very much more advanced than mine (her Magnolia Stellata is flowering). And her garden looks much more colourful than mine! Perhaps I just have far too much green?
I have also cleared for a very busy three hours around the Hen House. I've cleaned out the native garden - a Toe Toe which seemed to be three quarters rotten is now beautifully groomed, as are some flax bushes, and I've trimmed the Renga Renga. Yet more of the Moosey paths are now clear, debris-free, and passable by a very wide visiting person. I've nipped the tops off some self seeded Pittosporums. I though this might be a nice shrubby look - their light leaf colour and texture are a great foil for the deeply dark and brooding Pseudopanyxes. Hurray for New Zealand native plants! Layers of green...
- 'A happy poultry owner is a firm poultry owner.'
- -Krysia on chooks
My friend who owns the soon-to-be-new-Moosey-rooster has given me some sound chook advice. There will be a few hens for company. So, as soon as the netting run is built around the Hen House, the Moosey garden will be re-poultrified! My friend says that no flapping out and wandering around raking up garden mulch can be allowed AT ALL, in their first week/fortnight. I am to remember her stern words when they look at me longingly through the netting.
The New Stile
And finally a huge hurray for the new stile! A stylish stile now allows elegant older-lady-gardener access to the water tank and the Hazelnut Orchard from the Hen House. I will soon be planting in this orchard paddock corner - I'll probably use very tough natives (but might be allowed a rambling rose to scramble over the tank itself). The stile was erected in a very short time - I'm still waiting for the rose archways to be welded, but one can't have everything all at once!
Tuesday 9th August
Some of the bent rose arch pieces are here, on the back of the trailer! My goodness, how suddenly some garden plans turn into reality! Other things I've thought of doing have gurgled and simmered for weeks - months - years? The second Moosey pond is still gurgling, deep in the landscapes of the mind...
Today I intend to finish clearing and weeding by the Hen House. I will also lay out the perimeter of the proposed chicken run. Should I include the concrete drinking trough which is pelargonium-filled? Or will the chooks enjoy feasting thereof? Questions, questions... It's delightful gardening close to the burbling water race, and today's weeding, if finished, could get me a nomination for the Gardeners Hall of Fame.
I'm trying hard to make a list of things which are starting (oh so slowly) to colour up the late winter garden - for archival purposes, you understand.
Colours of Late Winter - Or Is It Early Spring?
- Purple and White Honesty
- Darker Pink Camellia in Wattle Woods
- Maroon Red Wallflower
- Mauve Erica
- Pink and White Daphne
- Motley Pink Hellebores
What a sad little list! Right. Out I go. Puppy can do his racing circuits over Rooster Bridge and around the garden paths, and I can get the Hen House gardens finished.
It's actually easy to clear up surface weeds in light drizzle - I think the job looks worse than it actually is! It's just a matter of being allowed muddy knees, and being prepared to work with wet, muddy gardening gloves. I've cleared the Hen House Gardens up to the edge of the Oak Tree Path. I've trimmed numbers of dead brown leaves off flaxes (they are really huge!), and have uncovered some old river stones deep in the border's interior - edges of the very first Hen House path. How much the plants have grown! Six or seven years ago this was scruffy paddock, with huge gum trees and an overgrown gorse hedge.
This was the happy crowing ground of the very first Moosey rooster, whose name was Le Grand Poulet - a rooster so over-sized that he couldn't even fly over the water race. The gate in the middle of Rooster Bridge was enough to keep him safely on his side of the water. Ah... Those were the days... Memories...
Vote For Slow Puss! Cat of the Century! (that's Last Century)
Now it's raining on my new mulch! Perfect! I love my garden. I can definitely nominate myself for the Moosey Gardeners Hall of Fame. Furthermore, in order to nurture the Moosey animal legends, I have decided to vote every single day in the Moosey MVP Competition for Slow Puss - the slowest cat that ever purred - a cat who never lived here in the country, but who deserved to!
Wednesday 10th August
As I write this (good morning to Stumpy the cat) the birds are twittering quietly, and favourite Bach pianist Murray Perahia is tinkling languidly - another calm day full of amazing garden possibilities is beginning. What shall I do first today? Apart from trying to capture this sweet moment?
Ha! First I will vote again in the Moosey Global MVP - Most Valuable Pet Competition - for Slow Puss, the cat of my ancient memories - with adult Moosey children transformed instantly into roaring toddlers - the time when I was learning to care for my very first garden, making mistakes, puzzling about things like catmint (I had no idea it kept growing after being trimmed back) and perennials in general. What a young goose I was in that first garden! And what a flood of treasured old memories Slow Puss has inadvertently released! Go, Slow!
Then I will return to the Hen House Gardens and continue clearing - under the Oak trees and along the water. I will look around every ten minutes or so and give thanks for living here, in the country, surrounded by cats (theoretically, since they will probably be snoozing in cat lounge), birds and puppies (well - just one), and having enough good sense and luck to enjoy nature's bounty. Blimey! The mood of this week seems to be very sentimental!
I have had a most successful day! I decided to weed and clear where the sun was - so I started by Duck Lawn, trimmed and pulled out nasty grass, and shifted stones in to give Middle Garden's dog-path a proper edge, renewing my acquaintance with the Golden Hop. Hmm... Puppy did lots of circuits - he'd zoom through the dog-path, round into the water race, splosh up to the big Middle bridge flaxes, and then go around again. He'd flash past my weeding place - a fluffy streak of pale orange, eyes gleaming manically, a piece of flax trailing from his mouth.
The Lost Gardener's Weekend...
Terrible news for a complusive diarist - journalist doesn't quite seem the right word - journal writer, perhaps? Due to serious gardener technological error, I have lost all my rambling thoughts which were faithfully written down during this past weekend. Oh no! All I can remember doing is weeding and mulching and burning stuff collected from the Wattle Woods. However, I can remember having lots of serious thoughts, and writing most descriptively and eloquently! Two missing days - a lost gardener's weekend!