I love spring...
I love spring. But gardening with a spring head-cold has been so uncomfortable. Just as well I am alone with my thoughts and my bag of tissues, and the occasional swear words. Lucky I don't get any pollen allergies...
Sunday 20th September
I have new seeds to plant - yippee! Such a good idea - I 'bought' a whole heap of half-packets (the gardener having sown what she needed) for hardly any money. I have intense admiration for someone who is measured in their seed sowing and who doesn't want anything to go to waste. Anyway, I figure that working at the bench in my glass-house shouldn't irritate the Moosey nose too much.
I've had a tiny word with Non-Gardening Partner regarding the waterwheel. Now I'm working in the Wattle Woods I can sense its lack of rotation. There's no water in the small stream along which I've been weeding. Could he get it going? He's now talking about a steel Mark Two version with proper bearings. Hmm...
Right. Grab a cup of coffee and a new box of tissues, and out I go.
Before I clean myself up, let me record the events of a most successful gardening day. All the new seeds are sown. Fluff-Fluff the cat did his usual - trying to loll over everything, and then treading in the pots with his huge heavy paws. Aargh! Some of the seeds are so tiny (Alyssum, Linaria, Foxglove) - he'll end up with greenery germinating between his toes.
Fluff-Fluff in the Daffodils
For the ongoing perennial summer garden, I've prepared various pots of Stachys divisions and cuttings from red Pelargoniums (covered with plastic half drink bottles). Also I've done some Penstemons and Wallflowers. Wrong time of year? We'll see. And great news for the random and vague gardener lurking within - I've labelled absolutely everything with an indelible black marker pen.
Half of the Hen House Gardens are weeded and watered. There's a lot of unplanted garden space in here, and Henworld looks particularly scruffy - the brown tussocks seem more dead than alive. Dig them all out? I've decided this circular little garden would really like some Agapanthus instead. I've late-pruned a few roses and carted a lot of fallen gum tree branches out of the garden and onto my burning heap.
Newest Moosey Gnome
And all throughout the day I haven't grumped or stopped being cheerful - not once. I've really enjoyed being in the Hen House Gardens - they have wonderful foliage, and give the illusion of being a million miles away from the house and the telephone. The Pittosporums underneath the big gum trees are fatter and taller than when I last saw them. Right. Time to shower, then I'm cycling down the road to see my friend's new lambs. There are no Moosey lambs this year.
Hee hee. I have a new gnome, attached to a pot which he appears to be dragging behind him. In the picture both gnome and pot looked quite small, well worth the $4:50 I paid. Oops - he's really big and sooooo heavy. I'm going to get him painted and then he can grow lettuces in his pot on the patio. Nice.
Monday 21st September
The perils of the online garden auction. Last night I saw THE perfect table and bench set. Ooooo! This morning's plan was first to peep, and if the buy-now price still applied I was to check all my bank balances. Who was I kidding? I know I've spent up far too large on bits and pieces on my recent BIG birthday.
- Birthday Bench :
- I've been lucky lately buying budget birthday garden benches. But there is a slight catch...
Anyway, Non-Gardening Partner could build me a far superior table and bench set (it's to go on the pond decking, for romantic meals by the water. Phew - the furniture had already sold.
So as a consolation I have put in a five dollar bid for another pot with attached garden gnomes. This time I am prepared for supersized or micro. Or nothing - if there is another mild loony out there collecting garden gnomery.
Major Rethink re Rugosas by the Hen House
Today I'll be working back in the Hen House Gardens where my Rugosa roses are. I'm having a major rethink. The Oak trees are still leafless, so a foolish spring gardener is easily deceived when thinking about the appropriate planting style in here. By mid-summer this is no place for flowery perennials or roses, and the soil and irrigation is poor. I should shift all the roses to a nicer place. But I have left this too late? Hmm...
White Perennial Iberis
But there's more! I'm having path problems - the network of Hen House Garden paths don't work. For example, on one side of a path there are flaxes and native shrubs, huge and shiny green, luxuriant foliage, over head-high. Big and bulky. On the other side a weeping cherry tree with some scruffy pink Geranium ground cover, ailing Heuchera (it's too dry), Scabious, Stachys - the usual Moosey edge collection of easily propagated perennials planted in sad, sandy soil. Sad and small.
- 'Move the path, not the plants.'
- -Moosey Words of Wisdom.
It's simply a question of plant balance? Stop and think a bit more - move the plants or move the path? I say move the path, not the plants - much better to let sleeping plants lie.
But the thing is (sorry, I'm still burbling) - if I am prepared to dig plants out of other people's gardens, then I should be equally happy digging and shifting in my own.
Hee hee. It's sorted. But let this be a lesson - theoretical rambling is all very well, but a garden design problem is often better solved by wandering around (cup of coffee in hand) looking at things, and then discussing possible changes with the dog. Result - I've shifted some (not all) of the Rugosas - they've hopped over into the next piece of garden. I've rerouted one of the paths (it now wiggles around an Oak tree and comes out of the garden on Duck Lawn). Hostas and Daisies have moved out. I've spread some compost around to encourage my replanted roses.
Garden Make-Over Finished
But it's all good, and I've finished the garden make-over decisively, in record time. No fuss. Easy.
Oops - I've been rewarded. I've just won the online auction for two garden gnomes holding a pot - for five dollars. More cheap gnomes have been rescued. Mad.