Full of great ideas...
Sunday 18th May
This gardener, after twelve relaxing hours sleep, has woken up excessively full of beans, bird seed, and energetic ideas. What should I do first today? The garden waits - but so do the mountains, and my bicycle, and my new Brahms music on the piano.
Autumn Maple Tree
I do lots of long garden tasks in late autumn. There's firewood - collecting, splitting (I can do this! Hurray for the gym and my ladies' weights programme), and stacking in the carport. Tree maintenance - dead branches, older trees that I don't require in the garden, and so on, get the chain-saw treatment, and it takes ages to do the clean up afterwards.
White Iceberg Rose
Shift Those Roses!
Then there's the spreading of trailer-loads of compost and manure. It takes me ages (like all week) to empty one load. Like all gardeners I love the results, and in my mind I can picture this task completed in a flash! I am so good at doing mind-gardening.
Oddly, it even takes a long time to shift a smallish number of misplaced roses, which is what I should be doing right now. I do wonder if moving a plant half a metre here or a foot there actually is at all necessary. Hmm...
Back to this beautiful, crisp morning. I've boiled my hens up a potato and carrot breakfast mash. The cats and the dog are fed. I've organised to pick up the next load of horse manure. Yippee!
Off to the Mountains
Another yippee! I think we're going to the mountains to check out the suitability of the Poulter River for intrepid older-lady cyclists - valiantly accompanied by Non-Gardening Partners, of course. Just as soon as I've shifted those roses...
The Poulter River Track
Oops. I sort of had the day off. But I've planned exactly which roses are shifting. Firstly, the two Kronenbourgs and the two Roydons. They'll just pop around the corner (past the bird bath) to a narrower border, which will suit their stiff-armed hybrid tea shapes more. Then one of the Jacqueline du Pres roses moves on out. She'll be numerically replaced (though not in the same soil, of course) by a couple of small climbers, which will be encouraged to do rosy things up and over the small rose arch. I think one's a Westerland.
Two small red Fairy roses move out closer to the edge of the garden. A white Iceberg and a Blue Moon move in from the Willow Tree Garden across the water. Out comes a Rosemary, and in go as many pockets of daffodil bulbs as I've got left to plant. And something informal yet well-defined would be nice along the edge.
Rosy Rose Hips
I've just checked with the 'owner' of the Birthday Rose garden - she for whom it was lovingly dug and planted. I suggested catmint, she wants tussock grasses. Hmm... Tussocks, as long as they're small, would fit in beautifully with the grassy Stables Garden across the path. Looks like tomorrow is really well preplanned!
Monday 19th May
Oh dear. Today has to be a big day. Not only has it to overflow with big gardening achievements, it has to also include a session at the gym, a super-long cycle ride, the purchasing of fresh no-preservatives cat-meat, and possibly a batch of small well-behaved tussock grasses... Which will then need to be planted, causing the shifting of several clumps of tall bearded irises and hopelessly non-flowery daylilies. Where to begin?
All the roses and the daylilies are shifted, and the bulbs are planted. I even took pity on two runty Fisherman's Friends (David Austin dark bloody reds) and replanted them in the front of the garden, where they'll enjoy full sun and fresh air. And the spare climbing rose which is planted by the rose arch isn't a Westerland, its a Graham Thomas. Nice.
- 'Nothing I plant ever stays small enough.'
- -Moosey Words of Wisdom.
I suppose there's room for tussocks along the edge, but they'll have to be really small ones. In fact, I don't think there is room. Maybe I should wait until spring and see what sort of growth the roses etc. put on. I'm in serious trouble if I want a little edge-hedge. Daughter of Moosey (whose garden it is) will not allow box, and the only other plants I can think of are small Emerald Green hebes. But will they stay small enough? Nothing I plant ever stays small enough...
Clean Green Flax
A Fragrant Oops
Oops. I worked hard in the garden, for nearly five hours. I ran out of time to go cycling off anywhere. Then right at the end, when I was cleaning up my garden tools, I remembered the six bags of fresh horse manure in the back of my car. Tonight I have to pick up one of the choir ladies - hope she doesn't mind a real country fragrance. It's a bit cold to drive after dark with all the windows open.
Tuesday 20th May
Yet again, a gardening legend - that's me, after five hours of buying and planting New Zealand foliage and texture plants in the Birthday Rose Garden. It's so much better, and it's done.
All roses are now in sunnier places. The rose arch, too, has shifted into more sun - Graham Thomas is much happier about this. A new green flax lurks beautifully in the background near the water, and two Pittosporums (wonderful foliage) have been trimmed to half-size. Shining rusty-red tussocks, two wine red flaxes, and a bay tree complete the picture.
Phew! I've made improvements, while retaining the spirit of this celebration garden (a living birthday present for Daughter of Moosey). I've stayed away from black Mondo grass and/or box hedges, and I've provided DOM, a gourmet cook, with bay leaves. She may yet forgive me for chopping down one of 'her' standard olive trees!