It's the last weekend in March - the madness of the Easter plant sales is over, and I'm left with just a few stragglers in pots waiting for their place in the garden.
Saturday 29th March
I guess I should make a list of things which I absolutely have to finish by the end of the month. There are obvious things, like the gum tree rubbish which needs burning, and the sad little pots of patient plants. Then there are sneaky things like sowing seeds - I never sow any autumn seeds, and maybe I should.
I also need to do some pet photography. The three youngest cats are now almost adult-sized, and official portraits are required. Rusty has his fluffy bottom back (his fur has regrown), and is once again looking like a proper Border Collie.
Histeria the Tabby Cat
Autumn is a great time for some garden and wildlife photography, too. I can spot the red leaf on the Oak tree, follow the bees on the flowering Sedums, and hopefully capture (digitally) one of my beige and brown tree frogs. Except the only way to get them to chirp loudly is to put the big sprinklers on. Hmm - risking a wet camera...
Fantails twitter and flitter around me now when I'm gardening, hoping I'll stir up the insects. And my bellbirds are back, though their 'song' has been corrupted. Shock, horror! Two extra notes have appeared after their normal arpeggio, which now finishes with a musical 'pom, pom' - like a piece of brass band music. Bellbirds are territorial, and mine must have been having a musical war. Oh dear!
White Iceberg Rose
Right. Today has already started. I'm off to hopefully get some fresh barley straw for my chooks. I cleaned out their hen house yesterday, and I've almost run out of their favourite bedding. Perhaps I could also get some compost to enrich the Driveway Borders - finishing that which I started, a sensible plan...
Again I have worked really hard - I've shovelled out half the trailer of compost, finished building the stone wall down the Driveway, and planted all the daylilies, two red hot pokers, and the yellow daisy shrubs (I call them Senecio) in hot spots in the Frisbee Lawn Border. This garden adjoins the Driveway Border, on the other side of the fence, and is sunny. I've made the archway from the driveway into the Frisbee Lawn more decorative by a couple of potted plants - a beautiful cream and sage green variegated Hebe with longish leaves, and the fifty cent flowering Pelargoniums. Nice.
I'm enjoying my autumn roses. The white Flower Carpet roses on the edge of the Driveway Border are combining brilliantly with the golden carpet of autumn leaves. The white Icebergs lighten up the house gardens, and my Sally Holmes roses in the middle of the Island Bed are blooming again. I remember how much I love this rose.
Compassion, climbing on the house pergola, is deeply fragrant with beautiful blooms. I sat underneath it with Histeria the cat for my afternoon coffee and the smell was magnificent. The most beautiful perfumes are definitely in a live garden, rather than captured in little bottles!
I'm happily tired, and very proud of my achievements on yet another magical gardening day. I feel very lucky, too - lucky that the autumn is so benign (so far!) and that there've been no nasty storms to get me stuck inside.
Sunday 30th March
Only two hours gardening today - I've spent them standing in the water race pulling out (mainly) clover weeds, trying not to dislodge too much soil in the process. March isn't quite finished, so tomorrow I'll spread the remainder of the compost and put the dozen or so stones in place. Taking of stones, I counted those in my new stone wall - guess how many? Go on, guess!
Answer: Six Hundred and Forty-Seven. Ha! No wonder it took me nearly 647 hours to build...
I have just had words with Percy my ginger cat. When he was a purry half-tame kitten, and I decided he could stay here, I imagined he would turn into an independent 'outdoorsy' adult cat, one who would lurk in the stables and keep the general outbuildings free of rats and mice. I did not imagine a decorative legs-in-the-air cushion-lounger, spending all day inside following the sun around and showing his tummy.
Monday 31st March
A list! Quick, before March runs out. Realists (hee hee) may consider it far too late to write a list of 'Things to Do In March', but gardeners are not normally put off by this.
- Empty compost out of trailer.
- Clear fence-line rubbish and burn dry stuff.
- Rake house lawn.
- Trim back shasta daisies.
There - nice and short, easily memorised, good variety, and the use of garden tools nicely spread between the tasks. Item one will use the shovel, two and three the wheelbarrow and rake, four the secateurs.