Doing battle with the weeds...
Yippee! October, you've arrived! That was quick. Welcome to the Moosey Garden, where the Head Gardener is ready to - do battle with your weedy side? Enjoy your flowery shrubby side? Whatever it takes to enjoy the garden...
Saturday 1st October
I'm having a really quick break - my bread will be ready in ten minute's time, I am in mid-garden stride, and can hopefully retain momentum as I wait for the pinger to ping. Then I'm off outside to sit on Pond Cottage's verandah and drink my cup of tea. In three or four hours' time I'll be finished, and then I can race in and tell you all about it...
Frilly Apricot Daffodils
Well, more like plod in slowly, grab a cool drink, and then stand vacantly in the shower for ages before telling anything. I am tired, but nicely so - however, nobody wants to read tired writing. Hmm... But I've done lots of great gardening. I've cleared paths and planted the last Agapanthus clump in the Wattle Woods, lengthened the path alongside the pond from the cottage, weeded and trimmed edges of some freshly mown lawns, and burnt my rubbish on the bonfire.
Camellia Gay Baby
I enjoyed a late cup of coffee with some visiting friends in the Shrubbery's little courtyard - a fortuitous choice of seats, because this garden was obviously starting to dry out, and a cover of self-sown Lychnis were protesting by curling their leaves at me. Oh dear! There are some rather nice roses planted in the Shrubbery, so I've shifted in the hose. This wee garden will need a lot of well-directed watering.
Showing visitors around is nice for my gardening self-esteem. The garden looks beautiful with its newly mown lawns, blossom trees, pansy colour, and new clumps of daffodils flowering. A few more rhododendrons are flowering, as is the giant Camellia called 'Gay Baby' - it's no baby, let me tell you! Visitors like to see colours, I've decided. Green can get taken for granted in a garden.
Garden Bench and Daffodils
Sunday 2nd October
I've got a trailer load of path mulch - there's not so much point in having sparklingly clear paths in the Wattle Woods just for the weeds to regrow. My new pond path is a success, according to little Minimus my Pond Cottage cat. She's been having dust baths and battles with leaf monsters on it. And when I call her she trots obediently around the path to me, rather than taking a grassy short cut. Ha!
Sitting in the Garden
I'm rescuing the Shrubbery today, waterwise, and so I stumbled dutifully out of Pond Cottage at first light to turn on the pump for the hoses. Phew! How important it is to sit in different garden places. Forget any excess weeds one might see - the needs of the plants come first. I'm going to sit in a different place today.
What else is on today's list? I've found another rose to plant in the Cottage's garden, I've got pots of deep purple Heuchera divisions to replant somewhere (on an edge, not too sunny), and the blue-green Stachys ready to go in the ground somewhere.
This is going to be a bit difficult to write. It should be hard to feel grumpy while surrounded by beautiful garden things, but I am. I've been slicing up turf to build my new cottage path, and then loading the wheelbarrow with path mulch with the long-handled shovel. Then I finish with tipping and raking. My puny arms and shoulders just don't like this, even my knees are sore in sympathy, and I'm feeling really fed up.
I'll give myself five good reasons to get cheerful again.
- I'm a gardener and I'm lucky enough to even sleep in my garden.
- Forget arms, shoulders and knees - my eyes still work OK.
- More blossom trees are out, including Smoocher the cat's flowering cherry and Stu Lamb's Golden Queen peach tree.
- I still have new ideas for my garden.
- And I've got water - a pond, a stream, pumps for the hoses, clear aquifer water for drinking, and so on.
There. Better? Absolutely. And my bread is ready in five minutes, so I can munch some with a cup of tea in the garden.
Driveway Garden Seats and Bench
Ha! It's two hours later, and I am redeemed! I felt oddly better after writing that list (very powerful, lists), and returned to do my compulsory weeding session. The Jester Phormium in the house garden is again in trouble - flattened by the snowsorm, it's now being munched mercilessly by the lawn mower. I've half-trimmed it.
Mount Fuji Cherry Blossom
Then I pricked out my purple Cornflower and the pink Lavatera seeds and burnt my rubbish. The hoses are still going, and I will hobble outside in another hour to shift them around again. But it will be a happy hobble, I promise.
Monday 3rd October
What a brilliant day for the garden - it's gently raining, and should do so all day. So this must be the perfect day for some indoors work like washing the kitchen floor and finishing the vacuuming? Hey, I could even find something to dust! That might be a bit extreme...
I woke up with a head-full of gardening thoughts. For example, when sitting up in bed in Pond Cottage sipping my early cup of tea, how would I like more visions of seasonal loveliness to see through the windows? Perhaps a brightly flowering pink rhododendron in the Apple Tree Garden - the tiny flowers of the pink Camellia Gay Baby in this border need long range spectacles to be visible.
- 'Round and round the colour wheel I go, but I still love seeing green..'
- -Moosey Words of Wisdom.
But then those daffodils by the Pond Paddock's garden bench look brilliant - my old eyes can so easily pick up bright yellow, and I love it as a colour. So what about some bright yellow flowering things? Because of the distance involved (and the old eyes) I'm thinking shrubs here. And just when I am going crazy with colour choices I spy the green weeping Phormium, relax, and beam with happiness. Round and round the colour wheel I go, but I still love seeing green...
I Won't Be Chattering About the Rugby...
Anyway, I can lurk inside and think about such choices all day. And I definitely won't be chattering about the Rugby World Cup, since you-know-who (the best you-know-what in the rugby world) is now injured, as well as the other you-know-who (our captain), and this probably means that we'll lose, maybe in the quarter-finals, again! Aargh!
- Robinson Gnome :
- He's named after the wonderful R'n'B singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson.
Gnome confession time - five large retro concrete garden gnomes have popped up in an online auction, and I want them all. They include a brother for my pipe-smoking Robinson gnome, and two fishing gnomes (solid, serious chaps) to keep my Rupert gnome company.
Oh dear... I honestly thought I'd finished acquiring gnomes. Right. Enough semi-senile nonsense. Housework calls...
Later, Mid-Afternoon - Conversation With a Gardener
- And so, Madame Moosey, Head Gardener, what exactly have you accomplished today? It stopped raining at lunchtime, by the way...
Answer: I've read a book. I've washed my hair. I've re-checked the gnomes in that auction - they're gorgeous. I've thought about spreading some compost.
- You have an excessively large garden, not to mention an excessively large garden website. Surely you could have done more than think about gnomes and compost?
No, wait! I've just pulled one hundred and twelve weeds out of the garden, while walking down to the the mailbox. I know - I counted them!