Far too many gum tree leaves...
I could spend all day raking the summer gardens and lawns - far too many gum tree leaves are messing things up. Everywhere I walk there is crackling underfoot. Aargh!
Thursday 15th January
I had such a great day yesterday, and I think I know the reasons. One - I didn't hurry, and worked in the shade, so I didn't get garden-hot and bothered. And two, I had human visitors, so I had real people to talk to rather than cats and the dog. And yippee! My visitors helped lift the ailing Moosey waterwheel out of the water.
Memo to self - while NGP (Non-Gardening Partner) is on holiday, find him and talk to him - during the daytime. Take him sandwiches and refreshing drinks, and ask how the Pump House is going. Yesterday, when I remembered he was there, I introduced, ever-so-lightly, the topic of me building a stone tower behind the pond. If anyone ever wonders why NGP makes himself scarce during the long hours of daylight...
On The Topic of Stone Towers...
Well, well, well. It's now mid-afternoon. and I've made NGP a delicious lunch. He says (with a huge grin on his face) I can 'give it a go if I like', reckons it will take six months, and says that the tricky bits are the tops of the windows (if my tower has any) and doors (which my tower will have).
What a hoot! He must have been impressed by my stone retaining wall. Later this afternoon (it's too hot to garden at the moment) we are going to get some stones to edge the Driveway Garden.
Mortared Stone Walls
Having googled 'building stone towers' without much success (does nobody build towers in their gardens these days?) I've downsized and settled for 'mortared stone walls'. Here I have hit a rich vein of information.
- '..easy even for the novice to build stone walls...'
- -Thomas J. Elpel.
Ha! 'With slipforms it is easy even for the novice to build free-standing stone walls'. This is a quote from Thomas J. Elpel, Author of Living Homes, and gives me, a novice of all novices, much hope. Non-Gardening Partner will be wishing that Thomas Elpel had never written that! While I can imagine those tower walls slowly taking shape...
So Many Little Things To Do
However it's high time I did some more quiet pottering in the real garden - there are so many non-stone little things that need doing. I am going to plant the Buddleia behind the pond, the cutting grown daisies along the water race, and the hostas in the hosta garden. In fact they will go exactly where a rhododendron has been living for at least five years without flowering.
There's a word for gardeners who shift rhododendrons in mid-summer when the temperature is thirty degrees (Celsius). Probably the same word which applies to gardeners who want to build stone towers behind their ponds. But I don't care!
Eek! I didn't do any planting - I started off just nipping and dead-heading in the house gardens, kept on discovering more and more places desperately needing weeding attention, and ended up doing just that. There has been much pulling out of old Nicotianas and pruning of Hypericums. The Fairy roses are ready for dead-heading - a sure sign that summer is marching ever onwards.
Blood Red Daylily
At the moment I have the hoses on, having uncovered several ailing little Azaleas. I've been dead-heading the daylilies - some of the hybrids have almost finished. And I promise to make a decision on that rhododendron tomorrow. See - I am concentrating on garden details, as per my New Years Resolution.
Friday 16th January
Today there is no need for a list - or indeed, any words. I know what I'm doing...
Much, Much Later...
And I know that I'm a legend, so there's no need to boast! I planted the hostas (called Honey Bells) and the Buddleia and worked around the Jelly Bean Border weeding and trimming. I've decided that the rhododendron can stay for the moment - as a foliage plant - since it looks very settled (and the temperature is about thirty degrees Celsius).
I cleared up all my rubbish, then I took some clothes off and had a refreshing long swim in the Moosey pond. Floating on my back in circles, staring up at the tops of the huge trees - just magical. And then NGP and I drove off for a dinner-time treat and we talked some more about my proposed stone construction. Hmm... I wonder exactly how large the inside diameter needs to be - probably big enough to do a starfish (just in case). The floor will be just sand, like the square courtyard in my Shrubbery.
Saturday 17th January
A Saturday morning dilemma - should we go to the Country Perennials nursery sale? Particularly as I will have to get a cash float from NGP. I'm thinking more hostas, clumps of ornamental grasses, large shrubby salvias - but will they survive the winter frosts?
Other things that I need to do today are, in no particular order:
- Rake the Wattle Woods and clear the paths.
- Pick up gum tree rubbish from house lawns.
- Get stones for the Driveway Garden edging.
Seems fairly mundane, and should keep me merrily gardening all day.
Middle Bridge in Mid-Summer
This morning I've been a Modular Moosey - taking a barrowful of stones to the water race, coming back with dead-heads, old Lychnis plants, and gum tree mess, tipping that out and starting all over again. The Driveway Garden is looking tidier, and I'm watering the Maples. One simply doesn't spend large amounts of money on cute red Maples to see them suffer in mid-summer, just because the big irrigation doesn't water them properly (though NGP reckons it does). Histeria the tabby started off providing cat-company, but she didn't last.
Histeria theTabby Cat
I just have the Wattle Woods to go - then I'll be properly finished. I'm planning an apres-gardening swim in the pond, followed by a trip to the supermarket to buy cat food, cat food, and more cat food. What a lovely summer's day!