Sweep the house paths!
I am getting the garden ready for a group of lady garden visitors. Eek! Suddenly my gardening priorities have changed from sweeping vistas to sweeping the house paths!
Saturday 1st October
The ladies won't notice that my Hazelnut tree pruning is two rows short of being finished. They won't notice that the Golden Hop is stirring, and last year's old vines haven't quite been cut down. They will notice little things - details - like the dandelion flowers, and the dog debris in the lawn, and dead pot plants on the patio.
My plan of action is clear. All my paths will be made passable, all my pots will be refreshed and watered, and assorted succulents like my Echeverias (just about the only one I know the name of) will be brought out of the glass-house and displayed artistically.
Blossom in the Driveway Garden
All is going well. I've been watering in the Wattle Woods all day - my garden visitors will appreciate the moist, green, woodland ambience, with Honesty and Ajuga in bloom, and the swathes of fresh green Japanese Irises.
Sunday 2nd October
Daylight saving starts today, and I have been (gently?) woken by the grey cat Jerome - a couple of wet nose smooches followed by the licking of my closed eyelids. Hmm... Today I must - must - must! complete my garden visitor preparations. What could be simpler? Passable paths, edges trimmed, lawns free of dog-poos, patio and decking cleared, pots watered, outside windows cleaned... Then there's the real garden further away from the house. Everything must be watered and weeded - perhaps I could buy in some colourful pansies (hello, nursery!) to fill in the gaps?
Hmm - before I started writing my mood was buoyant - it was a big mistake to write a list, even one disguised in a sentence, with commas. However, a list it must be - I must record the visitor status of each of the Moosey paths and my plans for remedial action.
The State of the Moosey Paths
- Willow Tree Path
- Clear, weed free. Hee hee! Done a few days ago.
- Lower Wattle Woods
- Clear, but surrounding gardens need gum-leaf raking and watering. The Renga Renga is tidy.
- Upper Wattle Woods
- To do today. Gardens need watering - multi-tasking?
- Middle Path
- OK, but there are foxglove seedlings blocking the way - transplant!
- Need weeding and flaxes trimmed - being poked in the eye by a Phormium tenax spear is not a good garden-visiting experience.
- Hen House Paths
- Rake, weed, and test out wearing spectacles.
- Behind the Pond
- Aargh! Forget it? What to do?
Monday 3rd October
It's the eve of the garden visit. Paths, lawns, watering - I'm sitting on the house patio (which is oddly messy again) drinking tea and admiring the view. The shrubby Choisya in the Island Bed is flowering - so is the first blue iris (yippee!) and the house Crab-Apple. My yellow violas look cute in their house pots. Instant colour (hee hee), at a price.
I have raked and raked and raked. All the Moosey paths are OK now, and the Island Bed has been weeded and watered. I've burnt the rubbish, fixed the stones around the Hen House (where my new chook fence will go). I've cleared the old slippery ferns (and dangerously spiky flax leaves) off Rooster Bridge. I have even swept the front path - my goodness this is serious stuff!
Tuesday 4th October
The day of the garden visit dawns - am I ready for this? Is the garden ready? I have swept the house decking. I have even checked underneath the outdoor chairs for spiders...
The rural ambience sound-wise is brilliant - lambs baa-ing, house birds twittering, the pheasants shrieking (they have moved over the water race) and those nagging noises from the plover birds in the orchard. And floral-wise - the Crab-Apples are blossoming, the thuggy Clematis Montana (so pretty and delicate) is flowering, and the rose Banksia Lutea by the washing line is covered in discrete lemon buds. What a pretty colour combination they make with the new navy blue sheets and the wedgewood blue towels hanging on the line...
Stop it! I will sweep the back porch, and then spend the morning clearing up the Pond Paddock Gardens. This is, after all, a working garden, so I plan to greet the ladies in faded muddy-kneed jeans and blue gumboots - a country blue check shirt should complete the picture nicely! I must remember to pick some flowers for the house (mustn't forget house-impact) - have even dusted the piano...
Flowering Crab-Apple Blossom
The ladies were graceful and lovely! No problems, no wobbles. They listened politely to my ramblings, patted Rusty the puppy, and particularly enjoyed my beautifully cleared paths. A success! And heaps of fun!
Wednesday 5th October
It rained in the night - much joy for my thirsty (and publically admired!) garden. Today I might just stay inside (it's still raining, windy, and a bit cold) and indulge in some self-admiration - of the garden kind! It's not every day that all border edges are very recently trimmed and all the Moosey paths are in working order. Except I decided to ignore the back-of-the-pond mess, and I totally forgot the Hump paths.
Good morning to Stumpy the cat who loves my colder-weather woolly sweater, and who is helping to keep my typing hands warm. And important news which was bypassed rudely in the frantic garden visitor preparation - all the rose arches are now complete, lying in a proud row in the Frisbee Lawn! Yippee! And non-news - the New Zealand native plants for the new Water Tank garden (as yet undug) are still sitting in on the Stables Garden bench, enjoying the rain...
Thursday 6th October
After a garden rest day yesterday (when I mooched around in a very lazy space) I am back. Today I plan to 'hit' the Water Tank garden - I'll sit in the dirt and dig, and maybe get this new area planted. That is, after trying yet again to actually finish pruning the Hazelnut trees. So after the lovely distraction of frantic preparations for garden visitors it's back to the mundane and the normal. Puppy will enjoy chasing the Plover birds, and I will find my gardening feet back firmly on the ground. Perhaps I could rig up a real-time garden-video camera, so people could see actually how long it takes me to dig very little! Aargh!
Not quite finished, but almost! The Water Tank Garden is taking shape, and is almost ready for planting. I reckon there are three half rows of hazels still not pruned. I worked hard all morning, and have also been swimming and walking. A very physical, sensible day, of which I can be very proud. And I am!