My resident bellbirds are very chirpy after the rain, whistling and chiming their bell-like songs. Rusty the dog is definitely not allowed to spoil this magical ambience by barking at them.
PInk Spring Azalea Flowers
Friday 14th August
Today I'm working in the dripping solitude of the new garden behind the Shrubbery. I have some recycling plans. I'm going to dig up some Agapanthus plants and put them along the path edge, remembering that they like sun. I've got a small honeysuckle which can climb up and over the big pine tree stump. And in the general spirit of tidying all the large pieces of firewood will be shifted via the trailer, and stashed at the side of the Stables. I intend to get muddy, damp, and possibly a bit wet. But, inspired by my bellbirds, I will remain cheerful and chirpy.
The Front of the Shrubbery
Listen to the following soundscape. A small, muddy radio crackling out CCR (Credence Clearwater Revival), a muddy, aged rocker-gardener singing along, in between telling off the dog, who barks at anything that flies... The bellbirds, sensibly, stayed overhead for about ten minutes and then flew off to the Wattle Woods - much more natural.
- Blue Agapanthus:
- Agapanthus grow well in my garden, though their leaves get frosted in the winters.
I've planted roses, hebes, tussocks, agapanthus, and flaxes in the new garden. I've watered everything and spread around rotted horse manure and home-made compost. I've recovered three gardening tools with bright purple handles - loppers, secateurs, and a scratcher - from the heap. Regardless of how luminous the colour, some gardeners are simply fated to compost their hand tools.
But... I haven't shifted the trailer and burnt the rubbish. Can I pass on this? Please? I've worked for three and a half hours, and everything is damp. I promise to take Rusty for a cycle ride as penance. Penance?
Ha! I have compromised with myself. I've cleared out the trailer - all the rubbish is on the burning heap, but it's not burnt yet. The weather has gone very misty.
Saturday 15th August
Right. This morning is still misty, and drizzling. What shall I do first? Maybe clear out more wood from the Hump. Am I prepared to get really wet? Yes. Handling old firewood logs is a grubby job anyway. And there's plenty of old branches to clean up - it won't be romantic or creative gardening work but it will certainly keep me warm.
Magical in the Mist
Anyway, I remind myself that the Hump is magical in the mist. Purple Honesty is starting to flower, and the Pittosporums grow a little bushier each year. I'm going outside to check the density of precipitation...
Rain - hmm... Light rain silently tickles the face, and flicks so easily off the clothes. It's oh so gentle. Heavy rain is really blobby, drops crash and bounce onto the nose and into the eyes (eek!), and it's really noisy. Then the birds stop singing - time to retreat inside, as I did, after only an hour and a half. But yes - good progress has been made. The Great Moosey Clean-Up Machine, manned (?) by an old gardening nymph in striped thermal long-johns, is now working its way slowly along the Hump.
This is all never-before-gardened territory. I've uncovered three more beautiful Olearia shrubs - they were draped in old gum tree branches. I've trimmed all overhanging stuff away so they can see the sun. I have enough piles of rubbish for another trailer load, and I've bagged up some grubby firewood logs (these I will swap for fresh eggs). Yum. I miss my hens!
Sunday 16th August
Yippee! It's the middle of August, and the days are so noticeably longer. Today is another drizzle day, and Non-Gardening Partner (lolling on the couch) is casting doubts on my ability to work in wetness. I'll show him. Well, I'll show him for an hour or two, at least. More likely he is worried that a) it's the weekend and b) he seems to have nothing to do.
Winter Choisya Shrub
My plan is to start right at the other end of the Hump by the driveway curve, using the two-teams-tunnelling principle. Eventually I should meet myself working from the other end, that sort of thing. I can do this. The bellbirds enjoy me gardening in the Hump - they fly about above me singing (probably telling me off, but never mind).
Hopefully I'll get good cat company - Fluff-Fluff is my old stalwart, and young Minimus is training up really well. Hopefully, also, the wasp's nest which my dog stuck his nose into last summer will be - dormant? My only dilemma is where to put my rubbish, since my burning heap is full. I'll bag up the firewood as per usual.
Right. This all seems to be sorted. It's a great time of year for planting new shrubs, too - hello, new five-dollar Pittosporums, and rugosa roses...
I write about my plans for the garden. Then I work madly in my garden for three hours in dripping drizzle. Then I zoom inside to eat and warm up, and immediately write about what I've done in my garden. People-wise I am a rather obsessive, boring person.
Diverse, Amazing, Really Interesting...
Ha! But catwise I am diverse, amazing, and really interesting. I do odd things in the pine trees (Minimus the kitten has been scampering up and down the trunks while I've been sawing). I kneel down in the middle of wet greenery (Minimus has been leaping out from underneath tussock grasses while I've been weeding). And I bend down for nose-smooches (I'm only retying my shoe-laces, which are always coming loose - but Minimus doesn't know that).
MInimus the Grey Kitten-Cat
Brr... I'm quite cold in my damp clothes. And I seem to have been poking at the surface, rather than doing deep and meaningful gardening. But I've been really, really good! I'm off into the orchard to take NGP some lunch. When he is mid-mouthful I might ask (in a tiny, pleasant voice) about him burning my rubbish with the help of Mr. Diesel.