Watching the Birds
Gently, gently - a frosty morning gives a compulsive garden 'journalist' time to smile at the birds on the bird feeder, write a few pithy sentences about yesterday's brilliant achievements, make another cup of coffee, then check to see if more birds have arrived.
I don't know how, but 'word' gets around the avian network, and so in five short days of providing food my patio pergola is now alive with fluttering wax eyes. They zoom around in flocks, so maybe it's a case of the ones in the front row knowing where to go.
Thursday 27th June
Anyway, it's too cold to start gardening before about 11am - which is brilliant, considering some gardening folk have to wait for three months of snow. And boy oh boy I was brilliant yesterday! OK, here's what I did.
Rusty by His Garden
First I slightly enlarged Rusty the dog's lavender Garden (it surrounds his dog kennel). I trimmed the flowering Potato vine, replanted clumps of miniature Agapanthus closer together, and planted five very bushy miniature roses in the gaps. I made him come outside and keep me company - after all, it is his garden.
Tea Clipper Rose Label
All that took ages. But did we stop there? No way! Then I shifted two of last year's new David Austin roses out of the garden behind the pond and into the curved brick-edged garden by the herb spiral. So, Strawberry Hill and Tea Clipper, you'll be much more visible in here, you'll get more sun and more irrigation, and lots more personal visits from the Head Gardener. I love pottering around the herb spiral - it's a very spiritual place.
Back I went to the garden behind the pond, where I dug out a huge overgrown Anemanthele grass, and planted four of the new recycled roses. Perfect! I raked up a barrowful of gum tree bark, collected all the fallen leaves from the Cordylines, wandered back to the bonfire, and got it going. Whoosh went the smoke, and the flames warmed me up.
Five glorious hours! And then I washed my hands, changed my shoes, and zoomed off to Jazz Choir. Pity about the smoky hair! Our new song is 'Straighten Up and Fly Right' - it's groovy, a song that we sound immediately good at it. Nice.
This morning I've reverted to classical, listening to Beethoven. When I was a young pianist I adored Beethoven. But I ignored his piano concerti. I never thought to play them, and never needed to listen to them. That seems rather small-minded to me now, when (unfortunately) now the arthritic fingers ensure that it's far too late to make up my Beethoven deficit. I wonder why I didn't aim higher earlier in my piano repertoire? I was sonata-obsessed? Weird.
The Herb Spiral in Winter
Anyway, it's time for me and my dog to visit Lilli-Puss and check on the temperature. Doesn't frost make the grooviest crunching sounds underfoot?
Not So Much Later...
Hmm... I'm waiting another half an hour, and then I'm planting more roses, this time near the herb spiral. The plan is to work around the curved brick border, weeding, and rationalising. This lovely word covers a multitude of tasks, which may or may not include the following:
- Taking divisions of the variegated Scrophularia.
- Shifting the self-sown Aquilegias.
- Rescuing lettuce, calendula, and Layla seedlings.
Hopefully I can make a half-decent job of removing all the creepy grass.
Three Hours Later...
I'm afraid it's been a bit of a 'What I Should Do' day. I should divide and replant the summer phloxes. I should dig up all the Scrophularia to get at the weedy grass, then replant it. I should pay more attention to details, get some potting mix, and pot up divisions of Stachys and blue Scabious. And on it goes, on and on... I came inside to have afternoon tea and stayed inside, reading my book. I should have returned for a final hour. And I am SOOOOOOOOOO cross with myself! I thought I was being really careful, but I trod on, and broke off one of my sprouting Alliums. Blast! Blast! Triple blast! They can certainly do without my heavy gardening boot squashing them. They are my pride and joy!
Friday 28th June
Oops. Oh well, it was fairly bleak this morning. And I wanted to finish my detective story (set on the Fair Isle in the Shetlands). And I've been out pretty much every night this week to different choir rehearsals. And I wanted to watch the wee birdies in the afternoon sunshine from inside my house. Oh well...
But I've Been Thinking...
But I've been thinking. My roses and perennials garden near the herb spiral has always lacked shape. But now, next to the strong design lines of the spiral's brick walls, it's an ill-defined shambles. And so I wonder if I dare dig up and replant everything in two balanced borders, with a central straight path and brick edges? Hmm....
It's a serious thought. And I think it would look seriously good. Blast! One paragraph for twelve plus hours of digging, dividing, and replanting. And will the remaining Alliums survive? Tune in to this weekend's episode of 'Gardening With Moosey', hee hee...