A Quick Peep Inside the Moosey Office
I'm apres-gardening - the Moosey Office is nice and cosy warm, the Moosey body is clean, and the Moosey hair is gleaming and smoke-free. Ha! Hello to July, a new month, a new start. The days are getting longer! Summer is coming! Slowly, slowly...
Saturday 1st July
All day I've been burning tree branches - for nearly seven hours. I've watched the sun scoop around the sky and disappear. Three cheers for me! My new positive gardening policy demands that each day I do at least two non-burning things, preferably creative, or at least things that look ahead to the garden next spring and summer. So today I also trimmed the scruffy stalks off the big Miscanthus Zebrinus grass, and dug out three old Fountain grasses nearby. Nice.
I've got a brilliant new scheme for saving the skin on my hands and fingers - some latex gloves, which I wear inside light polypropylene ones. Toasty warm hands, and less of the chafing and skin breaking. Am I clever, or do lots of winter gardeners do this?
Wattle Woods Damage Report
In order to clear the Wattle Woods mess I am tramping all over the Iris confusa (which is well and truly flattened). One of my shrubby roses is broken - a hybrid musk with amber-yellow flowers, which I've never taken much notice of. I've had to rudely hack back the purple leaved Smoke Bush (Cotinus) - several branches were split by the weight of the snow. I've read that they respond to heavy pruning - time to see if this one of mine does!
- Red Rhododendron :
- I'm so looking forward to some real colour in the garden again. It shouldn't be too long now until the red rhododendron starts to flower.
Looks like the big red rhododendron has escaped. Hmm - maybe he (definitely male - a very masculine fire-engine red) would now like some pretty creamy white spring shrubs for company? What else goes with red - purply blue? I've got time to purchase and plant, before the rhododendron flowering season. Hee hee.
I know that tomorrow morning the chain-saw will work away for another two hours, and there will be just as much mess as there was today to cart over to the burning heap. Oh well. I have promised self that I will not get disheartened - change is exciting! And there will be so much more light in this garden!
Sunday 2nd July
Good morning, frost. Good morning, ice on the pond. And a special good morning to the Moosey burning heap. May the flames furiously flick forth from your silent ashes, as the last (hopefully) of the Wattle Woods mess is soon to be cut up and burnt.
- Winsford Walled Garden :
- At Winsford I saw some beautiful rockery plants and conifers.
Today I will also be removing the last of the big grasses from the Moosey rockery. It's time I took rockeries seriously, and planted appropriate things - I'm thinking of the lovely displays of conifers I saw at Winsford Walled Garden (spied when travelling, carefree, on my short summer holiday). When one sees the right mix of conifers planted well - one likes them! Hopefully the small space I call the Dog Kennel Garden can be just as well-conifered.
Right. Check list. Thermal legs? Thermal gloves? Woolly hat? Scarf? All on. I am ready for some frost-gardening. I will stack logs until the sun breaks through.
Two of the fat leaning Wattles are now almost completely down. There are huge wood logs lying everywhere ready for stacking. I think we have enough firewood for the next ten winters! It's an amazing transformation - slowly, as the trees are cleared, the whole garden seems to open up. Already I can see a route for a brand new path, past the original plantings of Olearia. Some hebes have been hit hard, but they are so easily replaced, as is a Pseudopanyx. I've thoughtfully told the chain-sawer that I don't mind what gets flattened in the clean up, as long as he is safe. It's not as if my rhododendrons are one hundred years old - and it's such a nice excuse to buy in some brand spanking new ones!
Sunny Wattle Flowers
I will be sorry to lose the mass of beautifully cheery yellow Wattle flowers - they would have started blooming in just a few weeks. The above photograph was taken last year. But there are three trees towards the back, nearer the water race, still healthy and standing. Things are definitely looking up - I feel positively positive! I just might have tomorrow off.
Monday 3rd July
Ha! We have had the coldest June for thirty-four years! This weather statistic can possibly be used to justify my moaning and groaning! Thirty-four years ago I wasn't really a gardener - more like a scratcher. I'd never met mulch, I'd never met a perennial. I did know a little about dahlias and hybrid tea roses. And daffodil bulbs in the spring. That was about it - my, how times have changed - or have they? The more I think I know the less I really know...
I am having the morning off to go swimming, and have some compulsory socialisation. It's the school holidays, which of course means nothing to me (hee hee) but allows some of my ex-work buddies to pop up and be available. Being a teacher - aargh!
Looking Towards the Car Bridge
Then I am going to try and do some real gardening in the Wattle Woods, ripping out some of the flattened Iris confusa - I can rescue lots for replanting, when all the wood is down. I'm looking at raking in that new path, too - how exciting! Paths give a totally new shape to garden borders.
List of New Plants
- These are all going into the Moosey rockery. Finally - one garden area, one theme
- These can replace all the scrappy Mountain grasses I've dug out of the Wattle Woods, filling in the new spaces.
- Small trees
- For the Wattle Woods, possibly deciduous. Note - no wattles allowed, sorry!
- Coloured, well-behaved hybrid New Zealand flaxes
- I still love the pink and red toned varieties. Hope they don't grow into monsters!
And I've decided to chop the damaged Cotinus way, way down. Coppice might be the word. If it regrows, then so be it! If not, I can (and will) buy in a replacement - or two. I love these shrub-trees.
Tuesday 4th July
I did spend two ripping hours - goodbye, dear Iris confusa, with your swathes of green strappy leaves (sadly horizontal). I'm sorry! You've been lazy in the shade here for years. Now that there is air (yippee) and sun (another yippee) and no greedy Wattle tree roots your usefulness is over.
I had big plans for today - particularly the raking and composting of the huge vegetation piles created yesterday. Well - there's another southerly storm. So far it's only raining - don't you dare snow again! Apart from writing long lists of new plants, and possibly visiting a local nursery in wet weather gear, I can have the whole day off from the garden.
Lone Blue Pansy
Although the glass-house interests me. Lots of seedlings (except my packet-purchased pansies) have germinated in spite of total neglect and are ready for phase two - pricking out. Does one do this in mid-winter? Perhaps the peppermint pelargonium could provide some cuttings for new plants. This will work in mid-winter? And the sweet pea seedlings - they cannot possibly be sent outside yet, can they? I might grab a plastic apron from the kitchen and venture forth. Poor glass-house - unheated, unclean, and unhygienic with respect to things fungal - I am just not scientific enough! I need to get in touch with my masculine side?
Enough! I can suddenly hear birds twittering outside. This could indicate that the rain has lessened. I am off to investigate.