Show me a garden that is actually finished...
One pre-holiday May week is left in which to completely organise my gardening life. Ha! Show me a garden that is actually finished - only in the gardener's dreams!
Liquid Amber Tree
Monday 8th May
I am lunching in the Moosey Office, autumn sun streaming in the window. Warming up the legs and feet is rather needed - they are numb with cold from standing in the water race weeding. I have been laying some more weed mat along the edge, and covering it with stones, with Rusty the Wet Dog stationed downstream ready to grab any escaping weeds. Apparently the temperature of the New Zealand sea is at its lowest in August. The river water I've been standing in was cold enough!
Naturally I had cat-company - Fluff-Fluff and Beige Puss (Fluff and B-Puss for short). But let me list my morning's achievements. Ha! A reverse list - a feel-good list, since every item will have been done!
I have done lots of the following:
- More loads of hedge trimmings that missed the chipper's visit, old flax leaves, and so on.
- Four more loads of chippings spread on the garden. I'm working my way along the water race gardens.
- The Dog-Path Garden, which is how I ended up standing in the water. Yippee for my thermal socks. Hello, broom and gorse seedlings! Nice of you to bother.
- Any seedling Verbascums which have crossed over to 'the other side'. Iris confusa which is messing up the bank edge and hosting all sorts of grassy weeds. Gorse and Broom treelets which have somehow avoided detection.
I've found the best autumn leaf colours on a Berberis shrub which covers a Dog-Path Garden stump - and the second best on the Copper Beech. Oddly, the Hypericum is flowering, confused, covered in beautiful yellow flowers the colour of summer sunshine.
- Autumn Colour :
- Some years the deciduous trees have brilliant displays of Autumn colour. Not this year!
The Cotinus (smoke bush) is hopeless - no colour, just dead-dull leaves. Eek - hope it is still alive!
Right. I am warm again. Should I re-immerse myself? Perhaps not - spreading some more loads of mulch is a more pleasant option. Which reminds me - I can't find the rose Picasso. He's lost. Over-zealously mulched?
Tuesday 9th May
I've remembered something else I must do before going away - prepare for the first frost! Aargh! This mainly involves moving all succulents, pelargoniums and small Coprosmas in pots - off into the glass-house you all go. I don't grow anything that needs semi-permanent protection, but I usually fold over the Gunnera leaves. Seems a pity to do this now, as they're still big and beautiful - not too scruffy, as yet. Something to look forward to apres-holiday?
These May mornings are colder. Brr! Right. Action. I'm off on a small home-grown bicycling 'adventure' where I follow a bike route into the city central park. I have a map! I have a pump! And a thermos of tea. Sorry, Rusty Dog, you have to stay at home. I need to practice doing new things. Confidence and courage are needed for the little things in life as well as the big.
My city cycle-way experience was - rather too little! It was far too short. I am spoilt living where I am and having the quiet country roads to explore. When I got home Rusty and I zoomed off around the big block. Much better!
- Taj-Dog :
- Taj-Dog was the very first Moosey dog. He loved living in the country.
Then I did more weeding in the Dog-Path Garden (named after a different dog - dear old Tajdog) and laid another two meters of weed mat by the water, pegging it down and half covering it with stones. I worked around the Ligularia clump (clever) and carefully dug out anything remotely interesting (some primulas, and some seedling pansies). The water seemed even colder today, and the sun is travelling lower and lower in the sky. Winter cannot be far away.
Eek! Breaking News! Mugsy the Cat is Found!
Apparently three days ago Mugsy turned up in a distant neighbour's bathroom. I have just collected her - she is quite light, and thin, but otherwise normal (well, as normal as Mugsy the Cat could ever be). Wow! I'm thrilled. Time to give thanks, and wonder how she survived. Here's an older photograph of her.
Mugsy the Cat - Christmas 2004
Saturday 13th May
Oops. I am still here! But it's nearly winter, and it's been raining. And I had a whole day out in the mountains on a long day walk. Gardenwise I've just done more clearing - this time in the Frisbee Border, and the house patio gardens. The catmint is cut back, and the red flax cleared of dead leaves. I rescued the rain-damaged Delphiniums flowers, stuffed them in a kitchen jug, and I had a dusk bonfire. No, I didn't cook any potatoes or sausages in the flames - I am saving myself for my Welcome-to-London rooftop garden barbecue.
Yesterday the southerly storm drenched everything, and I lit the log-burner at mid-day. There was much subtle cat-placement in the heat zone, but Rusty the dog with his woolly winter fur was bored with reading by the fire. He would much rather have been out, cantering alongside an intrepid bicyclist. Well, all he got was a rather limp hat-and-gloves ramble down the road to the water race bridge. Brr!
+20 Meanwhile Mugsy the Returned Runaway Cat is getting fatter, with lots of little feeds, diced steak and premium beef mince. Go, you little orange and black faced battler! You get a special award of MVC points for surviving - somewhere - without food or shelter.
I have been thinking about my wee holiday and wondering how brave I am feeling. Alternately, in upper-middle-aged words, how flexible is my credit card? Hee hee. Rather silly, but why not?
What a Gardener Needs?
Helpful stay-at-homes might rather spend the money on new plants. Apart from a second pond (or a lake) my garden needs are simple. And where would I put new plants anyway? I need more mulch - hopefully I'll get some more pea-straw today. And I need my home-made compost to do its composting thing! And I need more winter sun in the Moosey house - the shelter trees in the Hump are 'a shade too big'... And I need to print out some maps (hee hee).
Today I (hopefully) will finish mulching the gardens over the water race. I might collect some stones. And do some more trimming (the flaxes) and have another burn-up. There is sunshine! There is hope! Yippee!