This is terrible!
This is terrible! I am feeling lazy, and have therefore decided there isn't much to do in the garden at this time of year. Absolute nonsense - what about the weeds? Where is my New Year's motivation? Quick - I need some gardening goals for 2006!
Wednesday 4th January
I spent eight hours yesterday at the cricket (which we won). Oops - no gardening. And today, again, no gardening. There is patchy rain, and it's reasonably cold for mid-summer. I'm a bit bored, and I don't feel like sitting around reading - which I inevitably feel like doing when the weather is perfect for gardening. There seems to be some sort of pattern here...
Possible Garden Tasks
What about that poor dahlia Bishop Llandalff (whose name I can't spell) stuck in a pot behind the glass-house? There are strips of gum tree bark to rake up - the lawn by Rusty's kennel is a mess. I could easily tidy up the daylilies, carefully weed the vege garden (which is courgette-less, as a result of over-exuberant raking), and dead-head some roses.
Fluff-Fluff the Christmas Kitten
Somewhere, in some deep, dark secret spot there will be old forget-me-nots gone to seed and just waiting to be ripped out. Somewhere else there will be seedlings I wish to remove and nurture (foxgloves and Korean angelica spring to mind). You see, the garden cannot want to be left alone like this, summer day after summer day. It is simply not good enough.
Gardener Gone to Seed?
Mind you, my day has not been totally hopeless - I have talked to the cats and the kittens, fed Fred the pet lamb, gone for a swim, and done some of my Christmas jigsaw. But these are trivial details - some decent, down-to-earth gardening goals are required. Even half an hour of weeding in the Hazelnut Orchard would be better than nothing. I need to toughen up.
Drizzle! Wind! Bah! I am not allowed to write any more in this journal until I have done something in the garden which is weighty and worth recording.
I have done one hour of wet gardening penance - raking gum tree leaves and bark off the Frisbee Lawn (gross) and slicing out horribly tenacious clover from the edge of the water race. It rained down on me, but I was strong - until my cricket radio spluttered and died.
I can't believe that my friends ever ask me for gardening advice, as if I actually know things. While weeding I found a Pumpkin by the compost heap which started life as a Ligularia. This is so embarrassing - how could I ever employ and direct any professional garden help? Confusing Liguarias with pumpkins does not inspire confidence.
Thursday 5th January
This morning I will garden like the wind! Aargh - unfortunate choice of words. But the year has started so badly that things cannot carry on. I have prepared a self evaluation form which I will now answer.
Self Reflection Evaluation Form
- Garden Preparation
- Question: Half an hour each morning spent in bed doing mind gardening. Is this a good idea? Is this visualisation or procrastination?
Solution: Read gardening magazine instead? Get up half an hour earlier?
- Gardening Tools
- Question: Is there any correlation between lack of garden motivation and loss of tools - for example, latest secateurs and hand digger?
Answer: Hmm... I did find my sharp shovel yesterday underneath the gum tree by the dog kennel...
Solution: New diggers, shovels and edge trimmers? A gardener's apron?
- Gardening Help
- Question: Rationalise the garden chores. Hire a manly garden helper for heavy gardening?
Answer: Could I be that organised?
- Measuring Gardening Achievements
- Question: What works best? Lists, rewards, journal writing, money?
Answer: Depends. Impending gardening visitors seem to do the trick...
Solution: Pay self? Turn Mooseys into an official Open Garden with bus parking on the Frisbee Lawn? Eek!
- Long Term Gardening Goals
- Question: What goals? How long term? Would the head gardener take any notice of them?
Answer: A second pond in the Frisbee lawn. Then there'd be no room for buses...
Hmm... Seems to be that someone isn't taking this very seriously!
The next written entry in this journal will be from an apologetic, humble gardener who is back on track - back on a clear, weed-free path, back in time with the semiquavers of nature, reunited with the tool trinity - secateurs, hand digger and sharp edge trimmer...
How about four solid hours of gardening before breakfast? This confuses the Moosey Munching Machine (i.e. me) a little, but I found peas to snack on in the vege garden! And beans ready for picking! And tomatoes ready for - oops - staking...
I am getting some Manly Garden Help - the oddest Christmas present from the Moosey webmaster in London has been arranged, by remote control. I am in a bit of a dither already - how organised will I have to be? It's totally scary - webmaster says I will have to provide gardening overalls and 'the right tools for the job'.
What job? Eek! What tools? Aargh! I could turn into one of those hopeless housewives who race around madly cleaning the house before the cleaning lady arrives... Anyway, as I worked really, really hard, for four whole hours, with no breaks, I thought about sensible jobs that the Manly Garden Help could do.
- The Best Bergenia :
- My favourite Bergenias have deep pink flowers.
I've cleared the Upper Wattle Woods, dividing and replanting some old Bergenias, weeding and clearing paths. I've also weeded along the level strip at the top of the water race, and planted some grasses in the sloping bank. I've groomed swathes of iris confusa, and had the hoses on where needed. My Manly Garden Help could clear the Lower Woods, and spread soil conditioner everywhere. Hmm...
Even Later... More Triumph!
I have been quietly weeding for ANOTHER TWO HOURS. I've pulled out the Cynoglossum annuals, deliberately dropping their seeds behind. The variegated Elm tree is suckering madly - what bad tree-behaviour this is! Now I am apres-gardening, feeling oh so virtuous - and terribly nervous about the arrival of the Manly Garden Help. Will he listen to anything I say? 'Weed over there, underneath the Ligularias - oops - I mean the pumpkins...' Will I have to bring him wobbly trays of morning tea? Aargh! I might have to bake biscuits!
Beige Puss On Guard
I shall relax, play with the new kittens, and reassure Rusty the puppy-dog (dazed and confused, thank you Led Zeppelin, after meeting the neighbour's electric fence) that it is safer in this life to stay at home. There may be cricket to listen to, or tennis. Summer holidays! Yippee! Stop bleating, Fred the lamb!
Friday 6th January
Today I should build on yesterday's stunning gardening momentum. To that end, before breakfast, I am already burning my rubbish heap. We had dollops of rain last night, with thunder and lightning, so there is quite a lot of furious smoke.
- Emergency Bucket :
- The water bucket hangs nearby - just in case my fire needs - ahem - attention.
The fire ban will start very soon - this may be my last chance (partner of Moosey is a rural volunteer fireman, and it would not look good if the call-out was to his own property).
I am terribly nervous about the Manly Garden Help who will be ringing to arrange the first session - perhaps I could just not answer the phone. Gosh I'm glad I didn't make any New Year's gardening resolutions - I would certainly have broken them all by now. You see, I am feeling alarmingly garden-mellow. And I am dressed inappropriately in going-to-the-movies clothes. Better go put on my gardening jeans and shirt and have a decent poke at the fire.
Not only have I been poking decently at the fire, I have been seriously feeding it - the fire ban starts tomorrow. I have been clearing out gum leaves and pieces of tree from the Lower Wattle Woods. I may even try and get the Wriggling Stream flowing again (the stream-side plantings are looking rather good). All the fountain grasses I've planted are happy, as are the junior Pittosporums, in this waterless area. There are also a lot of honesty plants, getting ready to flower next spring. You see, serious gardeners are always looking ahead...
Ironic that everything I've done this morning would have been incredibly suitable for the Manly Garden Help to do. And it seems to be easy and quick to clear out the rubbish and make a difference in here. So why don't I do this a little more often? And when will I make that scary phone call?