Exciting horticultural (and gastronomical) news. My plant breeder friend around the corner has given me two huge pots of Trilliums in exchange for a hot, hand-delivered roast pork meal. This seems a very fair trade to me! And he breeds double whites. Oooh - goodie!
I so admire these plants, which I've always thought to be quite classy. And I prefer the whites to the dull reds. I'll plant them next to the lone one I've already got.
Saturday 28th July
Hmm... I've been busy all morning with swimming and singing rehearsals. Quick, drink this coffee and find a decent goal for this afternoon. But what? Three hours of daylight left... Eek! Just zoom outside and something will pop up, I'm sure.
I've been doing some more cleaning up in the Shrubbery, and I'd like to say how pleasant an area this is. I'm ashamed that I don't visit it very much. In fact, sometimes I've secretly wondered if it was silly of me to plant a garden in here. Foolish woman! I loooooove this garden! Me and my Shrubbery, friends forever.
Green Leaves Shrubbery
There's a gorgeous variety of greenery, with small, feather-light Pittosporum leaves contrasting with glossy Aralias and Pseudopanax. The Green Goddess Cordylines look spectacularly healthy. And the network of paths is so delightfully natural. And, what's more, now they are nicely raked and weeded, with all overhanging branches trimmed. Gush, gush...
Sunday 29th July
Oops. I did web-gardening all morning, then the quickest scooping up of wet leaves for mulch in the Shrubbery. I spread horse manure over the gaps, took a few photographs, and hey presto! Off I went to sing in my choir concert. Tra-la-la... Oh, I remembered to wash my hands and get the twigs out of my hair...
Monday 30th July
Rain is forecast for the whole week, and this might work well with the Olympics on the TV. But this morning it's still fine, though there's a damp, grey look to the skies. Aargh! Garden first, talk later I think.
Four Hours Later...
I've had one of those virtuous mornings, paying attention to details and tying up loose ends (except I haven't actually tied up anything). More like a gardener's version of 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth' - a barrow of compost for a barrow of firewood, a barrow of mulch for a barrow of weeds. Yes, there has been much barrowing...
House Gardens in Winter
Remembering the rule of successfully placing a crowd on stage (different levels, different levels) - a number of my garden gnomes now stand up higher, on little platforms by the pond. My dog had better not knock any of them over! I've picked up nearby firewood logs, and planted a Miscanthus 'Morning Light', two Dianthus 'Lynette', and three of my spare English Lavenders near the pond path.
- Magenta Dahlias :
- I've tried to separate all the pink-magenta coloured dahlias from the scarlet ones. A bit of colour control was needed...
The Shrubbery has also felt my deft, loving touch. The path is now clear, Rock Lilies on its edge have been divided and replanted, and a host of Magenta dahlias are planted in a sunny space. I've also redirected just a few firewood logs for the path edges. There are some lovely individual plants in here, too - like a red flowering Grevillia, and a little striped Carex.
Wanted: Experienced Path-Raker for Country Garden. Apply Within.
And I've had a thought. If I had a path-raker (sounds faintly colonial) they could be busily employed every day. Gum leaves are always falling on the paths - they do this all year, not just in winter. I love my paths, but I like them to look - well, informally raked, I suppose.
Cricket in the Rain?
It hasn't rained yet, but my bellbirds are chiming and whistling madly at each other across the tree tops - a sure sign that something's up. OK. I'm going back outside to work until one of the following occurs:
- 1. My feet get too cold.
- 2. My fringe starts to drip water on my face.
- 3. I get - ahem, shouldn't really say this - a bit bored.
Oops. A waste of a list! As I wrote it the rain started - big splodgy drops are now bouncing off the patio tiles. Goodbye, dear garden, that's it for today. I'm going to go apres-gardening, wash my hair, find some dry, warm socks, have the hottest cup of coffee, and become an Olympic TV-watcher. I deserve this!
Tuesday 31st July
Blast. July is indeed finishing with loads of rain, and therefore lots of time for garden reflections - in the puddles, hee hee. I'm a bit cross with myself. I wish I'd spread more compost yesterday, and planted the last roses, and the new Trilliums, and... I wish it wasn't raining. Oh dear. Sounds a bit like the grumps.
- Waxeyes :
- The birds I'm feeding are all wax-eyes.
There's positive feedback from my patio birds, though - all squeaky and excited with a new seed ball, a thick slab of pineapple and some kiwifruit. Such a yummy, balanced diet.
I think they've decided that I'm nice, too. I always shout out 'Hello, you birds. You're beautiful!' as I wander past, and lately they've not been flying away in fright. Hmm...
More Polyanthus Flowers
I don't want my last gardening day of July to be hands-off, so I'm going out now to get some bags of potting mix. I'll also check out the Ecostore (where I found my concrete cricketers) for cheap pots and gnomes needing rescuing. I'm not really in the mood for morning Olympics. Some mud-gardening, perhaps?