A new winter garden project?

 Sorry about this gloomy look!
Grumpy Gardener's Bonfire

Do I really need a new winter garden project? So my garden isn't already far too big for one woman (me) with ancient knees and absolutely no system of sensible seasonal management? Just because things slow down a bit after autumn...

Sunday 22nd May

Non-Gardening Partner blames Pond Cottage for my mood. This big project was started a year ago (last winter) and is now completed. But I can't just order in a new structure a year later, merely for something to do. And I cannot have a second pond (I've already asked, and NGP just laughed at me).

You know, all this needs is a bit of a PR spin. I'm comparing it to New Zealand's outrageous bid for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, citing 'a stadium which holds four million people' - the actual population of the country. So they talked big, won, and got away with staying the same - small. Could I deal with my garden expansion blues in the same way? I'll definitely need a super-slogan...

 Sister and brother.
Cats Histeria and Percy

Anyway, I can ponder the state of my pre-winter garden very nicely as I continue to trim and wheel rubbish to the bonfire. I'm working my way along the water race, where the big green Gunnera leaves are still standing - not for long, as the proper frosts will be arriving soon. If I want a bigger challenge I could clean out all the rubbish from behind the pond.

Mid Afternoon, Five Hours later...

How about this for my winter gardening slogan? 'Small is Sensible'. Aargh! Anyway, Stu lamb's memorial tree is now reverently planted in the orchard, to the gentle strains of my silly Stu lamb song, (where he sounds not unlike a meat casserole).

 With Rusty the dog.
Stu Lamb's Memorial Peach Tree

I've spent a delightful day doing small things well - planting the winter lettuces in patio pots, dividing spent chrysanthemums, trimming catmint, and cutting a beautiful purple-black Aeonium into smaller pieces to winter over in the glasshouse.

 Thanks to artist Avril from South Africa for her generosity.
Camellia and Sifter's Cat Portrait

Sifter the Cat

The memorial Camellia for Sifter the cat has been popped lovingly in a large pot. Only now I realise that all later late Moosey cats have trees, the earlier ones have roses, but Sifter missed out. This is Sifter's first garden memorial, placed symbolically where he used to stash his 'kill', dumping the unfortunate rodent or bird by the patio door.

I've also cleared the dry leaves from the Driveway, trimmed bronze fennel, summer phloxes, and autumn asters. My bonfire has been further fuelled by some barrowfuls of rubbish from the paths behind the pond. I should get some Pittosporums for this area, near the fence, to screen the neighbours. There are some visual gaps - Visual Gaps! between the pine and gum trees.

Garden Gnome Reward...

Hee hee hee. Five hours of hard, small work has been rewarded. I have just won three more garden gnomes in an online auction. Well, well, well. So the gnome market is depressed and/or has slowed down for winter? I was the only bidder...

Monday 23rd May

Today promises the last of the good weather for a while. So when I get back from swimming (and the optometrist) I need to work hard. Already the path from the house to Pond Cottage is covered in leaves, and though scuffing though dead autumn leaves is delightful I need to get them raked off the grass and into bags.

Pittosporum Leaves :
Pittosporums are brilliant foliage evergreens. They'll allow pruning. They'll grow underneath gum and pine trees...

What else? Behind the pond there are great swathes of gum bark to take out and burn, and clumps of self-seeded Anemanthele grasses to organise (many are in the middle of the path, and I'll move them over to the edge). I'm buying some Pittosporums to 'hedge' one side of the path. See how easy it is to plan yet another lovely gardening day! No drama, no fuss - just gentle self-pressure, a clean blue gardening shirt for a new week, and a grasshopper mind that can take in all the garden at once.

Three Gardening Hours Later...

I've only raked and burnt six barrowfuls of rubbish, but that's OK. I decided to finish a bit early and enjoy the late afternoon sun inside the house. Hmm - I forgot the time of year, only four weeks to the winter solstice, nearly dark by five.

 Not a particularly coral colour, to me.
Coral Flower Carpet Roses

I have three more gnomes to pick up for the garden, plus the small-leafed variegated Pittosporums. Suddenly there is a flurry of small scale garden spending, hee hee, which is rather more satisfying than getting new spectacles, a semi-waste of good gardening money. Anyway, I never wear my glasses in the garden - the flaws are far too visible!