Balancing the real gardening with the virtual...

 Another dahlia which grows neaer the house.
Soft Yellow Dahlias

Autumn in the garden and my new interests (Facebook and Twitter) in the house. Balancing the real gardening with the virtual is going to be interesting. There may come a day when I'll do all my garden work at the computer?

Thursday 24th May

No way! I'm off to dig holes and plant two more clumps of Agapanthus.

Three Hours Later...

It's nice to be out there in the real world, fantails my only twittering companions, with lots of noise from Rusty the barking dog. These sweet little birdies seem to torment him, and they wouldn't hurt a fly. Well - that'a not strictly true, as they eat flying insects...

Today's Agapanthus story - dug out in two minutes, divided and replanted in one hour, making the process thirty times as long! But I have also been 'sorting out' the Hen House Gardens, making them appropriately well-mannered enough for garden visitors. Please don't ask if I've possibly planted the Agapanthus too close to the path edges. I've also planted some pots of dark blue bearded irises out in the middle.

 Each clump is rather large!
One Agapanthus Clump. Just One.

I like the Hen House Gardens. When I had live hens I'd wander over here twice a day, every day. Now I only have the ornamental hens of Henworld to enjoy (who look whimsical amidst the new Agapanthus, by the way). The Autumn Joy Sedums are flowering (they haven't flopped yet) and there are bright red hips on the rugosa roses.

Green Phormium :
Here's a photograph of the big green Phormium taken in autumn a couple of years ago.

And the big shiny green Phormium looks nice. No, that's far too passive - it makes a strong architectural textural statement, it is a dark green spiky drama, even though I've spent ages trimming dead flax leaves off and removing ones that flop dangerously over the path. I think the stones of the path edge really need re-aligning yet again. Do you know - I'm certain that I was thinner when I first made the Hen House paths, hee hee...

 A pretty colour combination.
Cordyline and Daisies

Friday 25th March

Eek! The garden visit and choir concert is really, really soon, and I have experienced my first morning of general panic, so much so that I've cancelled a day's hiking in the mountains. This is unprecedented. But my friend and I are meeting with our thermosses (?) and packed lunches - in the benign Botanical Gardens. I might even wear my hiking boots and take my camera, hee hee.

Today I really need to get garden-serious. So I'm going to work my way along from the Hen House Gardens, doing absolutely everything that needs doing. I will be paying sharp attention to small details, like paths I've been meaning to widen for ages, shrubs that I've forgotten to trim, and so on...

For every hour I spend in the depths of the garden I'll spent one in the immediate house area - that means patios and house windows, pots, and the immediate house borders. Often a garden visitor will lose confidence in the wilderness and gravitate back to the house, where spiders' webs (and organic dog messes on the lawns) can then be very off-putting. Hmm...

So Much To Do...

So much to do. But I rather do enjoy the challenge of 'getting the garden ready'. Retired gardeners can drift from week to week (and month to month) in a state of smiling timelessness - which the weeds in the garden are quick to take advantage of.

 With sedums and that large green Phormium.
Hen House Garden Path


Blast. Stung by a bee while making good progress shifting paths and bluebell bulbs underneath the oak trees. Said bee got stuck in my hair and panicked, so did I, making a dash for the house and the shower. A calming cup of coffee, I think, with icepack on neck. Ouch! Silly bee! I've said it before - I'm the nice person who plants your food, so to speak.

Much Later...

I've done a good day's work, and I reckon the Hen House Gardens and Middle Garden are just about done - for the visitors, that is. I just have to edge the path in Middle Garden which curves around the Golden Hop - maybe the visitors will never have met a rampant Golden Hop before. It might impress someone.

And now I'm going delightfully apres-gardening - a beeless shower, fresh clothes, a cup of tea, and a quiet sit down at the jigsaw table, I think. But first, some small thoughts regarding today's car journey to the Botanical Gardens:

  1. Traffic. So much traffic. Slow, slow. Being a courteous driver I must have let thirty cars into the traffic flow.
  2. The Botanical Gardens. Lots of that orange tape flapping in the breeze, blocking off unsafe areas where tree-felling is being done. Reminding me of cordon tape seen on the TV. Empty of people - no little old ladies wandering around. No working toilets.
  3. Birdlife. My friend and I fed one friendly mallard duck, one little black duck with a verandah breast, and a sleek, functional looking grey and white sea bird. All other ducks ignored us, and pairs of honking paradise ducks flew around controlling the airspace overhead.

This is the closest I've been to the city centre since the earthquake. I live a small, sheltered life, in my beautifully green and pleasant garden cocoon, for which I am very thankful, even if the lawns desperately need mowing.