Normally I am happy with my feet. They are sweetly shaped, modest in size, and fit snugly into my gardening boots. But for delicate spring weeding they turn into super-sized clown feet. I tread on this, I squash that - my boots are way too big!
These Boots are Made for Weeding?
Desperate to avoid an emerging Trillium I trip over and crash into some daffodils. Blast! I've just broken all the stems.
Monday 19th August
Today it's quite wet to work in the garden - all the foliage is really drippy, and the ground water-logged. It's too windy for the bonfire. I know - I'll do a little light weeding (cross fingers and toes I don't do too much damage). And take my dog for a walk. I need to 'unstick' myself from the house.
Ivors Pink Japonica
Pink Camellia Time
It's time to take more photographs of more Camellias. It's the week of the deeper, brighter pinks - two shrubs behind the Stables bred by my plantsman friend, a fluffy frilly pale pink in the Wattle Woods, and the original deep pink which I can see from the house. Back sometime soon, hopefully dry...
I pruned more of the roses. Fact of gardening life: there is always one more rose to prune! Then I fiddled around ineffectually doing some bend-over weeding. The results were pretty shabby, really. I was in a bearded iris patch, and my gardening boots (and feet therein) turned into enormous stomping monsters. They then took great delight in squashing many of the fresh new iris shoots. Aargh!
Tuesday 20th August
Today's plan is to weed carefully all day. Barefoot, perhaps? Some mornings I wonder (optimistically) if I could ever finish all the weeding in one huge hit. That would be amazing. I'll be better organised - two wheelbarrows, one for compostables and one for burnables, plus my little bucket for the depths of the interiors. A cheery heart, the gardening Ipod (I fancy weeding to Rachmaminov's piano concerti), my dog and the cat de jour for company. Fluff-Fluff, is that you?
View from the Middle of a Garden Border
OK. There's no time for dithering. Today I WILL WEED PROPERLY!!!!!!!
Later, After Six Hours of Weeding...
Aha! The Stables Garden, the Pergola Garden, the Herb Spiral, and the Vegetable Garden are all done. "Done' means weeded. I've had a brilliant day, with little that is worth writing about. Weeding is not sexy, or inspiring in any spiritual kind of way. But every weed pulled out is one less to spoil the garden. Some weeds have the prettiest little leaves, too.
+5Young Minimus was the cat de jour, by the way. She played underneath the Olearia hedge, popping out to chirp encouragement at me whenever I moved position. Thank you, Minimus, your company was a great help.
Ivors Pink Sasasqua
Yippee for the pink Camellias! Beautiful colours, lovely glossy leaves, healthy and happy. I love them. I would much rather show you photographs of Camellias that weeds!
Wednesday 21st August
It's such a beautiful spring day, and it seems a pity to spoil it by burning the rose prunings. Alas, this task is high priority on my busy schedule (after a Chamber Music rehearsal). I guess that weeding won't spoil the feeling of spring in the air...
Aha! I have a new technique, which minimises the impact my clodhopping has on the garden, but introduces a slightly wobbly element. I plan my footfalls, then in I go, I fill the bucket with weeds, then I come out of the border totally backwards. So I point in one direction throughout the whole manoeuvre. Inelegant it may be, but today's only casualty has been one Lupin seedling (and a scratched bottom from a rose cane).
I've just thought of something. A small hovering platform would be a brilliant spring gardening accessory, to deliver the weeder (me) safely into the middle of the border, whence she would gently step down onto the earth.
Thursday 22nd August
I've done more weeding, this time crawling into the garden from a central path. Nimble knees! The forget-me-nots are almost flowering - so nice. Then I decided to prune the oldest, messiest Hydrangeas. OK. I obviously don't understand how Hydrangeas grow and what their pruning requirements are. These ones seem to have heaps of dead canes and I can't find any of the 'double buds' that I thought marked the pruning spot.
- Banksia Lutea :
- The beautiful once-flowering rose Banksia Lutea blooms early, and reaches for the sky!
Fast losing confidence, I moved on to the Banksia Lutea. Dead canes would be obvious pruning targets on this giant climbing rose. Oh yes - a complete tangle of brown canes was holding the rose up from the ground. My washing line was swamped again, and the poor old Apricot tree which provides some support was dead. Ouch, ouch, ouch... But really - what gardener in her right mind prunes a huge rose with the thinnest latex gloves on? And how can she manage to lose the brightest, gaudiest yellow ratchet pruners? Please don't answer either of these questions.
But amidst all this aggression and hopelessness, the gentlest touches of beauty. Gentle showers of little white blossom petals were falling from the big plum tree above, with beautiful wafts of fragrance from the nearby Daphne.
White Flowering Daphne
I know there are far fewer weeds in my garden than there were last week. And, as a result of constant practice, my gardening boots seem to have shrunk back to appropriate feminine proportions. It's a miracle! Happy feet! Hmm... I sound like a penguin...