March is marching on, as it does. Every day is shorter and every morning is a wee bit nippier. But I am at peace with the garden - having no wind really helps! And I love the start of autumn, with just a few leaves turning golden and red in colour.
Wednesday 26th March - Daughter of Moosey's Birthday
Happy Birthday to Daughter of Moosey, whose Birthday Rose Garden has been specially weeded for this memorable day. And I've borrowed her a special birthday library book on gourmet cooking. I think she was expecting more, but I've spent all my money on the plant sales. Oops.
Ha! Money doesn't make a garden, or provide a Head Gardener with peaceful feelings - but the autumn sale month creates great excitement. And the Moosey household could, I'm sure, live on home potatoes, basil, tomatoes, and the chooks' silver beet if I totally empty my wallet at the latest nursery. Hee hee, let's see... Fresh green Hebes and Choisyas and other evergreen hardy shrubs for five dollars each - flaxes for ten... Hmm...
Yellow Perennial Daisies
Here's the plan. First I have to personally deserve the new plants. That's easy - I'm off to the gym, and then for a swim. I pick up horse manure and plants on the way home, and I promise faithfully to do my piano practice when I'm cooking tea - oven-baked potatoes with grilled tomato and basil, what a surprise! Done.
Shrubs Only Allowed
Then I have to be totally focused, gardenwise - and I am! I am only allowed to buy shrubs, and only for the Driveway Border, which will be remodelled today. Its stone wall gets built up slightly. All rejects will be potted up immediately - there can be no waste! There is no room for random design elements in this functional border, and I want a green and pleasant four seasons look, to complement the white fence-line Iceberg roses. No variegated things and no permanent perennials are allowed - sorry, blue lupins, you get potted up with the aquilegias.
Icebergs in the Sun
Right. I am focused, and determined. And I promise not to sulk if (when) we lose the cricket.
Yippee! My car is full of Carexes, Hebes, Nandinas, Choisyas, Ake Akes, and horse manure. It's a real gardener's car - in other words, back seat passengers risk getting dirty, and the less said about boot hygiene the better. The cricket is a disaster - my garden makeover will be dedicated to the memory of the New Zealand cricket team.
I've planted as much as I can today. I'm left with a few spare Hebes and three green Ake Akes. The carexes look beautiful in the sun - they're a reddish green, and make the original drab brown ones look even drabber. I think I might physically replace those - young tussocks don't care if they're planted in a hole recently vacated by an oldster.
The planting on the lawnside of the drive now needs to match. It may be that the large, sprawling mass of brown-leafed perennial called - hmm - Lysimachia? - gets severely diminished to make room. It needs to be in a wetter place, anyway. But that can happen tomorrow.
Please excuse a bit of garden gushing. I've had a grand day - I'm so lucky to have this wonderful country space with which to garden. I keep trying to improve things, and never quite get it right. I'm lucky that every morning I wake up with new garden ideas.
I have manias for one gardening style, and then I change and go off on a different tack. I'm extremely lucky to have the health and energy required for such random navigation. Of course my faithful furry friends - gardening cats Fluff-Fluff, Percy, Histeria, Lilli-Puss, Stumpy, Jerome, Tiger and little Mugsy, and dog Rusty deserve a special mention, even if they abandon me completely some days - like today.
Thursday 27th March
Today I should finish the Driveway borders. Then I need to plant my trio of bargain bin Senecios.
- Senecio :
- Senecios are yellow daisy shrubs with grey leaves, considered scruffy by some - but so sunny when flowering at Christmas time.
Then I have some tiny Hebes called Emerald Gem which need subtle placement - but where? Does subtle exist in the Mad Moosey Garden? Some of my new plantings are subtle - then the plants grow...
Friday 28th March
Wow - I still have so much to do, and so much to say - and so many more new plants to plant! Yesterday I bought five flaxes (three Cream Delights and two Golden Rays) and, foolishly, five cheap pots of daylilies. Then I worked away in the Driveway Garden, placing stones, planting new shrubs (so small!) and wheeling in compost. I shifted a silly rhododendron which was all on its own, and which I always forget to water.
Autumn Pot Plants
Today I must remember to plant the Senecios and the daylilies. The white Pelargoniums need to be popped into a pot. I don't know where to plant the new fifty cent perennials - I'm not in a perennial mood! Maybe they can go behind the glass-house and wait for spring.
A Brilliant Week
I've had a brilliant week - great weather, almost endless garden energy, and - oops - lots of new plants at reasonably low prices. I've been swimming and cycling and reading - my latest travel book concerns an old lady who cycles around the world, hee hee. I love Albeniz (my momentarily favourite piano composer) and all my friends, family, and animals. I even love my disreputable chooks who are moulting madly and look like mangy old Dickensian tramps.
And I love my garden. What would I do without it? What would I have to think and talk about? Eek!
Four Hours Later...
All my sale plants are either planted or watered. I've dug out the small pond at the end of the Wattle Woods stream and cleared the surrounding garden of gum tree leaves and happy weeds - happy because the garden soil near my stream is delightfully moist.
The New Shrubbery
In the new shrubbery I've left a space for a large shrub rose to grow on a tripod. My Driveway Border is finished, apart from dividing up some more Bressingham Ruby Bergenias for the stone edge, and covering everything with compost and mulch. Already there's a slight covering of fallen gold leaves on the gravel - autumn is here! I am very, very pleased with my week, and now I'm off around the world with the nicest cup of tea and my old lady cyclist.