So many lovely flowers...
I've just been for a walk in my garden with camera, fluffy ginger cat, and red Border Collie dog. There are so many lovely flowers out - I can choose any colour and find it blooming somewhere, even if on a small scale.
Wallflower and Flax
Wednesday 26th September
So what am I going to to today? What do I want to have finished by the end of the September spring month? Actually I did wonder about having the whole day off, but a kind neighbour has dumped a box of newspaper at the gate - this means I could finish the paths in Middle Garden.
The mulch is already dumped, waiting to be spread, and it's important to have some form of weed suppressant underneath, if possible. Otherwise lots of wee green weeds pop up, forming such a beautiful colour contrast with the rich brown wood shavings. Aargh! That's happened on my little paths in the Wattle Woods.
Wattle Woods Colour
If I write a small list, and if I finish everything on it, then I am allowed to have the rest of the day off, to loaf and laze, eat, drink cups of tea and read gardening books - how about that?
- 1. Clear pond rubbish
- Two wheelbarrowfuls, to be raked up from the back of the pond, scene of my latest random beautification scheme.
- 2. Finish Middle Garden's paths
- A lovely place to work, with the big pink rhododendron flowering.
An extraordinarily small list, which should be easy as pie, or ABC... C'mon Rusty dog, hero of yesterday's pond clearing work, let's go. The edges of the rump steak for you if you follow faithfully all afternoon, and don't chase the visiting ducks off the pond.
My list didn't work, but only because I ran out of daylight - I must be a very slow raker! After spending two hours behind the pond, I poked and prodded at my fire for what seemed like two more hours. I do not like burning, but this stuff is full of gum tree leaves and flax leaves, and cannot be composted.
So tomorrow is already organised, and I also have a list of weekend chain-sawing for NGP (Non-Gardening Partner) of trees around the pond. My new Waitara Gold flaxes look great, and now I'd like to buy a couple of golden hybrid Pseudopanax shrubs, to continue the light look.
Get Going, Gunnera!
The pond Gunnera is slow to start - my plants by the water race have green leaves unfolding, while those by the pond have nothing.
Thursday 27th September
Yippee! A whole day, sunny and relatively warm, in which to finish paths, pot up seedlings, shift the wine barrel, plant it with hebes - having bought them first, together with some pretty Pittosporums for the pond's back-side.
Hopefully the frosts have finished and I can start preparing this year's decking and patio pots. They'll feature the usual half-hardies - cheery red pelargoniums, dazzling daisies, and assorted succulent which may or may not be sedums.
A potted cordyline with green leaves and a red stem has died (squashed flat by Tiger my supersized tortoiseshell cat), and I've promised a potted flax a painless escape into real soil. And I would love to buy some more little informally-shrubby Japanese maples - for my style of garden (that is, no style) the umbrella shaped ones would look silly.
It's true - I do have room on the fencelines for more climbing roses - I really do. And I have a nursery garden voucher (only because I spent sooooo much there last visit, oops). Suddenly I am a VIP nursery customer!
Down the Garden Path
So there are many different garden paths which I could follow this morning, and I seem to be in a wonderfully random mood. I'll grab my wallet before I lose confidence (extreme danger here - my credit card balance is a credit, hee hee). Who says I can't buy just a few more little maples, anyway? As long as they fit in my car...
Much, Much Later...
Hee hee. And ho hum, diddly dum... I've finished little Middle Path (shifting out some daffodil clumps and fixing up its edges). I've planted my new pond garden plants - two Pseudopanax, three Coprosmas, and two budget clumps of purple Agapanthus. I know, I know - they won't really be purple, but they were in the bargain bin! I've popped them in the sun underneath a large Cabbage tree on the edge of the pond.
View of Glass-House
All that compost I spread out on the new Glass-House Garden is sprouting lots of tiny forget-me-not seedlings. Nice! I've watered the glass-house seeds and plants, and I've burnt my rubbish. Fluff-Fluff has provided excellent cat-company, and my little cricket radio has been raving away, everyone talking about the Rugby World Cup. Go the All Blacks!
I also bought some perennials at the nursery - a Stokes Aster (hopefully this is the one I saw blooming in the North American gardens recently visited), a variegated sage, and three Lavateras with the name 'Burgundy Barnsley'. And I found a small shrubby red Maple, which is to be planted in the car lay-by garden, behind my mossy castle.
I Love Being a Gardener
And now, as I sip my late afternoon cup of tea, and listen to the different whistling birds and droning bumble bees, I feel really great. I have clean hair and hand-creamed fingers, my fingernails are scrubbed, and my lilac summer apres-gardening shirt has even been ironed. The sun is streaming in my piano room, it's peaceful and I'm happily tired. I can't imagine not being a gardener. Blimey - whatever would I talk about?
Lawns to Mow
My only immediate worry - I have multiple weekend chores for NGP to do, and I just know he'll try and escape. There's chain-sawing, mowing absolutely all the lawns, and erecting the new chicken run so my hens can range free in the orchard - that's just the first three!
Friday 28th September
Thirty days hath September, thirty wonderful gardening days - I've planted many new plants, dug new garden areas, spread loads of compost - and I haven't finished yet. Little trees that were new last year surprise me - when did I plant that? And suddenly I am buying little Japanese Maple trees, as if every garden area absolutely needs one. The tree of the week, until next week, when I'll check my beloved coloured-leafed Cornuses and decide I want more of those!
- Yellow Banksia Rose :
- My first climbing rose to bloom is Banksia Lutes which climbs all over my washing line. Oops.
Today I'm off swimming, and my return home will take me past the $8:95 rose nursery. I will buy a few new climbing roses to cover more of the house fences - and anything else I have room for which seems a good buy. Why not? Such a good price and such a beautiful show from late spring until late autumn. And this is the first time in years I've tried to restock and freshen up the house gardens.
Look, the only rule is as follows: If you buy it, just remember to plant it. Nothing else should matter. Ha! Except prune it, feed it, water it, weed around it, stake it, mulch it, and spray it? Aargh!
I am back with a carload of: Yellow Wave flaxes, steely blue penstemons, roses (Souvenir de Madame Leonie Viennot, plus a noisy red rose called La Marsellaise, for the Rugby World Cup), and two red edged cordylines to replace the one that Tiger the cat squashed. Why two? Because they were there, and the price was reasonable.
Welcome home, Moosey, to a rabbit (eek!) in the middle of the kitchen floor, and feathers all over the stairs. So it's the catching season again. Hmm... If I don't do much gardening this afternoon, and choose instead to sit on a seat and read, or maybe sit on my backside somewhere and weed slowly - well, so be it.
Extreme gardening legends (especially those who have hung out TWO loads by the washing line's Daphne bushes) are allowed to rest, sit, and admire their surroundings! That Daphne smeels wonderful, too.
Late Afternoon, Apres Gardening...
Phew! I very nearly planted the two new cordylines right up against the house! And then I thought the new Maple tree would look nice there. Oh the joys of being random! So the Maple was hurried into its sheltered garden by the car lay-by, which I weeded and spread compost around. Now I've got another rule - cabbage trees by the pond, roses by the house.
I'm sorry to do this, but I have NGP's gardening list for the weekend. This is the last weekend of September, after all.
Things that Non-Gardening Partner Must Do This Weekend
- Mow all lawns properly.
- Chain-saw all trees that I point to behind pond - and not disagree.
- Pick up Koru sculpture from nursery.
- Build the hens their second chicken run.
My hens are bored birds, since they're not allowed out at the moment to peck at my new spring plantings. I try and make life interesting for them by appearing at least twice a day with unusual food (squashy strawberries, chopped up spinach stalks, apple, rice and noodles) as well as layer pellets, greens and grain. Good eggs - good birds!