A Warm Gardener's Welcome to October
Path Behind the Cottage
Aha! Good morning, and a warm gardener's welcome to October, a month where my garden zooms off with me tagging along after it, usually at least one and a half steps behind. It's the month to enjoy the seedlings extravaganza and the real rhododendron festival. I must faithfully absorb all those daily energetic weeding frenzies, served with lashings of general garden maintenance. All without moaning.
So much will need doing. Will I have time to enjoy the garden itself? Of course I will - I will make time. Exclamation mark (invisible) for emphasis. I'm going to make it perfectly clear to myself - now where's that bold button? Ah, here...
I will make time this month to enjoy the garden.
Already today I've trimmed all the lawn edges for the Pond Paddock borders. There are heaps of gaps where I can plant my flowering annuals, and my seedling production needs to be stepped up a notch. So this afternoon I did a whole lot more cuttings of penstemons and purple sage (I love this plant). I pricked out the Strawflower seedlings, and potted up some rooted white daisy cuttings.
Tuesday 2nd October
It's already the second day of October and I've decided to - bite the bullet? - begin my bricklaying of the raised vegetable beds and the herb spiral. This cannot be put off any longer, considering it's almost the vegetable planting season. So biting the bullet means facing something unpleasant because it cannot be avoided. Seems harsh. I mean, they are only bricks.
Camellia and Crabapple Blossom
All So Easy...
It all seemed so easy, sitting up in bed in the cottage, visualising slopping the mortar and tickling the bricks into their level places. Upon reaching the kitchen I experienced a minor crisis of confidence. But the best way to get started is to start, right? First things first. I will read the instructions on the mortar packet, get my gloves, my spirit level, and my slopper tool, and then - ha! I may only be a gardener, but I can do this! And the first couple of courses (a real bricklaying word) will be beneath ground level, anyway.
Am feeling rather despondent and inadequate. No wonder bricklaying courses are offered at technical colleges - at Levels One, Two, and Three, I might add. My initial bricklaying results are (in my eyes) quite hopeless - Level Minus Five, maybe? And definitely Not Level!
Anyway, I charged on blindly and used up all the mortar, laying about thirty bricks in a curve. I thought that bricks would knit together in a squidgy, sticky way, so I could tap and wriggle them into proper position. Well, mine don't. And there are huge holes where there should be visible mortar. Aargh!
Spring in the Wattle Woods
So I've come inside to console myself with lunch and coffee, and then I'm going to change back into being a gardener. Now this I can do.
Canary Bird Rose
Feeling sorry for myself is silly and unnecessary, so I've been outside for three hours seriously weeding and shifting my watering hoses around. There are lots of new things to notice: the Aquilegias now have flower stalks and are almost ready to bloom, the pale blue Forget-Me-Nots are fluffing up the borders nicely, the species hostas are quite leafy, and all the Crab-Apples, plus the weeping Silver Pear trees, are in blossom.
But the most exciting thing of all is this: the very first rose, Canary Bird, is flowering. Yippee! Such a beautiful rose, a species rose, once flowering, with beautiful ferny foliage. It grows in the Jelly Bean Border where I can see it from the house. I love this rose with a grand passion. Of course, being the first rose is very, very special! And it's certainly cheered me up from being down in the bricklaying dumps.