A boring and repetitive gardener?
My great clean-up behind the Shrubbery continues. Can I spend the third day in a row being a boring and repetitive gardener? Of course I can, if the writing in the Moosey journal is anything to go by...
Winter Crabapples - Spring Daffodils
Monday 10th August
Stop right there! Show me the garden-writer who can make a rollicking tale out of filling a trailer with rubbish and then burning it - and I'll buy them a dozen blue roses. Not vaguely violet, or vaguely indigo - blue! And I've thought of something else - what if I was a subsistence farmer? Then 'boring and repetitive' it would be, all day, every day. I really need to wake up and (oh dear, deadful pun coming up) smell the roses...
Into the Hump
Looking out the window I can see the empty trailer in position. Further along pale wintry sunshine is seeping through the Shrubbery. A Rachmaninov piano concerto is gushing on my radio, and my coffee's hot. Wonderful - I'm waking up to the beginning of a new gardening week. I'm going to make a rebel list...
Things To Do Apart From Filling the Moosey Trailer With Rubbish
- 1. Buy some Pittosporums.
- I'd like to shelter the neighbour's driveway from view. Not that there's any problem - the neighbour is jolly helpful. But I am a private gardener...
- 2. Buy some rugosa roses.
- These are for the Shrubbery extension. Rugosas are tough survivors - free spirits of the tame rose world.
- 3. Buy some larger flaxes.
- Many of my garden gaps are screaming out for a nice bulky flax.
- 4. Investigate buying a round garden table and chairs.
- Hmm... Can't be too dear.
Lately I've spent a little time online looking at auctions for pre-loved garden furniture. I've found a new phrase - 'shabby chic'. I like it! But as far as garden furniture goes I suspect it means 'falling apart and overpriced'. Oops.
Later, Totally Shabby, Not at All Chic...
Four hard working hours! During my clear-up I found some semi-compost which unfortunately had been mixed up with gum bark. Anyway I've spread it all around and scooped up the obvious non-compostable bits. I've filled and burned yet another trailer load.
A New Garden Area
The edge of the Shrubbery is delineated by a row of huge pine rounds, and now these can be pushed back down the Hump, creating quite a nice new trapezium-shaped garden. I'll definitely route a path through it.
Tending a large fire just about does me in for the day. Grubby, smoky, and red-faced I collapsed with Rusty the dog on the park bench and grabbed a quiet moment to gaze around. The garden is a simple and beautiful place to be, and I'm so lucky I can just sit and stare at it.
I tried to explain this to Rusty but he got really bored. 'Huh? Let's do something' was (I imagine) his reply. Dogs can be quite poor conversationalists sometimes. Cats are so much more understanding of the sit'n'snooze concept.
Two Cats Snoozing
And I have some more coloured little flowers to report on. In the Island Bed the big pink Azalea is blooming, as is an Erica underneath the plum blossom tree. And a scruffy shrub directly opposite the bay window is covered in the tiniest purple flowers. Today even more of the miniature daffodils are 'out' - so I picked a few for the house. Yippee! Spring! I love these little spurts of delicate colour.
Wednesday 12th August
I'm back! Yesterday I went hiking for the day on the peninsula hills. Our track wriggled and sidled below bush-covered bluffs, with views (at one time or another) of the harbour, the ocean, the Kaikoura ranges way in the distance, and the Southern Alps. These hills form the crater rim of an ancient volcano, and there are many walking tracks and mountain biking tracks, as well as a scenic road for the car-bound.
- Harbour View :
- We walked past my favourite Cordyline.
Ha! I sound like a lame city council advertising brochure. But it's really easy to spend a day up here with a half-decent pair of knees. And, of course, the good company of my friend with whom I plan to walk the St. Cuthbert's Way and/or the West Highland Way (two long distance footpaths in Britain). We are in training.
But back to the garden... Guess what I'm doing all day? Cleaning out one final load of rubbish from the back of the Shrubbery. Simultaneously I'll be getting the new garden area ready for plants. So first thing I'm off to the nursery down the road to get a carful of Pittosporums. They grow underneath anything, in the scruffiest of soils. If they're totally neglected they just grow a bit slower. Sensible shrubs...
My walking group is off today on their walk, and I am not with them. I have written and e-mailed the trip leader a poem:
Excuse me from today's walk please
I woke up with two puffy knees.
Such a big sook,
I stayed home with a book
About hiking the high Pyrenees.
Much, Much Later...
Six new Pittosporums are purchased and planted. I've shovelled and spread the home-made compost (which smells faintly of kitty-litter) around, laying newspaper down to stop the weeds. I've stacked all the loose firewood and rolled all the huge log rounds into place on the garden's edge. I have half a trailerful of rubbish.
The Island Bed
The following are ready to be planted tomorrow: 3 little red-leafed Chinese Fringe Flower shrubs, 2 Rainbow Sunset flaxes, 6 Tussocks, 2 little Yew trees, and 3 Hebes. I also have a brand new Lilac called Stringa x josiflexa 'Bellicent' which I left in the car layby and almost ran over. Tough shrub - and it's not even planted!
Thursday 13th August
Now the Mother Moosey lurking inside me has just rescued some five dollar roses from the supermarket - two Phantoms (red ground cover roses) and a Paul's Scarlet Climber. I think it's the same Paul (or William Paul?) with the Himalayan musk rambler. All three roses do well in 'poor soil' and 'half shade' - excellent, excellent. I can thus pat self on back for choosing them wisely for the new garden (in truth it was more of a grab-and-run moment).
It's raining. The garden is shining and clean. I've already gone for a swim, and now I'm inside relaxing with my cats. Histeria - cut the claws! Hissy is not a mellow lap-sitter - she wriggles with delight and those paws with claws go everywhere. Ouch!
Spare a thought for poor geriatric Jerome upstairs. She vacates her heated pet-bed for an instant, Percy pops up from nowhere and piles into it. Percy, my big floppy ginger cat, is everyone's friend and he's now decided to 'live' upstairs too. Hmm... Back to the pet store to buy seven more heated pet-beds? Aargh!