Yippee! My Garden Helpers have completely cleared the back of the pond - piles of wood and iron left over from the Pump-House rebuild, as well as my gardening rubbish piles. My garden visitors will be able to enjoy the ambience...
Thursday 19th March - Continued
The brief I gave my staff was simple - to clear a path around the pond and the immediate surroundings, remove all eye-sores, so that a group of older ladies in semi-sensible shoes could pleasantly glide through, enjoying the views. My Garden Helpers understood this perfectly (their mothers have obviously trained them well). Conscious of my energetic, cheerful, and very fast workers I naturally stepped up my game as well. The circular Driveway Garden now has more shrubs - a Mexican orange Blossom and a beautiful species Hebe - as well as pea-straw mulch.
Meanwhile Minimus the kitten had a tremendously independent day - climbing the Wisteria pergola, zooming up and down the Driveway, turning up everywhere, then disappearing... Rusty, wandering around being dog-nosy, had a scary time. Minimus the menace hides underneath tussock grasses and leaps out sideways, scaring the fur off the dog! As a gardening companion Fluff-Fluff (mature cat, pale ginger, large) is much more languid and relaxing...
- The Waterwheel :
- Turn, turn, turn...
Then - the piece de resistance (an odd phrase, in this context). Early in the evening the waterwheel went back into the water race. It is still being a touch temperamental, so a small stone dam will be built to direct all the water flow through its paddles. But it will turn - won't it? Please! What a brilliant day!
Friday 20th March
This morning I woke up with a clear vision - a ring of greenish Heucheras planted around the base of the Driveway flowering cherry tree, contained by a double ring of stones. And maybe some Renga Renga to softly caress the little Indian sculpture. Ha! Another quick nursery visit...
Yippee! Time for my first hot coffee, and then my dog and I are off to the river to get stones - thus neither of us will start the day bored. Then, continuing my logical 'garden sweep', I be weeding and manuring the Hump's Pittosporum Garden before laying pea-straw mulch. I notice that my spell-checker wants me to replace the word 'manuring' with 'maturing' - there's a difference?
Much, Much Later...
I almost succumbed to daisy temptation. While sneakily wheeling one barrowful of rubbish to the fire, I noticed that all the Shasta daisies along the water race are ready to be trimmed down. But I dug deep (hee hee), found my self-discipline, saw the error of my ways, and returned at speed to my Driveway Garden area. I am not allowed to be random.
I've started putting pea-straw on the Pittosporum Garden, I've done the stone circle, I've redug another border edge, and I've trimmed flaxes and overhanging tree branches. Gradually, but inexorably, the Great Moosey Gardening Machine trundles slowly and surely towards the house - as will the Garden Club ladies, when they visit.
Best not to mention the cricket - India has the greatest batsmen in the world, and it's an honour for our chaps to be bowling to them - isn't it?
Saturday 21st March
Right. A hot cup of breakfast tea and a list - no, two lists, one for Non-Gardening Partner and one for me. As I write, Minimus the kitten and Mugsy the old disabled cat are enjoying their first play-fight of the day - this ancient cat-art contains elements of kick-boxing, WWF wrestling, capoeira, and judo. There is also much bouncing, rolling and cat-chirping. For now, neither cat has the ascendancy.
Here's NGP's morning list (well, it's more like a flowchart) - it's only just 8am and he is already 'on the ball', so to speak.
- NGP will load wood and roofing iron on trailer.
- Returning from dump he will pick up load of topsoil.
- He will spread this on the Pond Paddock area.
- Then off to the river to get heavy stones for the water race dam.
As long as I stick to my un-random plan I should be OK. Today I plant the Pittosporums in the Hump and finish raking and mulching therein. Then I move on down the driveway past the house. And, obviously, I will help NGP.
The Family who Gardens Together Stays Together?
Continuing the family gardening theme, Son-In-Law is going to enlarge Rusty the dog's Lavender Garden as his special garden project. He will experience the gardening continuum from digging and weeding to planting and watering. And all of this will occur underneath a giant Australian gum tree, from the land of his birth. This tree will be REALLY annoying, in that quaint Australian way, by dropping leaves and pieces of bark on top of the plants.
Right. I need a personal purchasing list.
- Heucheras and Renga Renga.
- More Pittosporums.
- More Agapanthus.
Oops - it's later, and I added three flaxes and some grass seed to my list. I've been working in the Driveway border which backs onto the Frisbee Lawn. A spectacular Phormium called 'Dark Delight' has replaced some scruffy self-sown Aquilegias in the middle of a trio of rusty tussocks. Now that's a wonderful colour combination which the ladies should enjoy, as they potter slowly down my drive...
First Impressions - The Driveway
I've also planted two little budget rhododendrons, the species Hebe right at the back of the border, a cute red striped flax, a weeping grass, and a shiny Coprosma. There's pea-straw everywhere, and I've had the hoses on. It looks great.
Now the weather's actually a bit cold and showery - and the cricket is a disaster. So I might talk to NGP (busy raking and watering his 'new lawn') about us both finishing for the day.