Getting ready for THE SNOW.
Right. What am I doing for the next two days? I am getting ready for THE SNOW. The weather forecasters are daring to call it a storm. Bah! It had better not storm around my garden. I will begrudgingly accept small snow, and long may it not last!
Tuesday 18th June
As far as house-bound snow activities go, I am quite well organised. I have loads of detective books to read (to trick myself that I am on holiday). I am sewing patchwork in the colours of the tropical Samoan seas (to trick myself that it's summer). I have another series of Midsomer Murders with the new Barnaby to watch on TV.
The torches, the house lanterns, and the little gas cooker are all ready, in case we get a power outage (we usually do). And there's heaps of food for people and animals.
The wise gardener gets the garden (as well as the house) ready for this sort of weather event, I guess. That means, for me, the following tasks to be done today:
- Move any half-hardy pots into glasshouse. Cross fingers for the big Aeonium.
- Dig out daisies and pelargoniums from ground, pop into glasshouse.
- Finish raking leaves off lawns.
And then tomorrow I will make a serious start putting down horse manure and pea-straw on the shrubby gardens, starting at the bend in the driveway. I will work until I drop. And then the southerly can zoom up the back paddock and do its worst.
Winter Hebe Flower
Phew. All the half-hardy daisies and variegated pelargoniums are in pots in the glasshouse. That took me ages. Then I took some photographs of the garden, but I suspect everything will look rather colourless. I still need to keep a record, though. I've decided the Aeonium can stay on the patio - I can cover it with something light, if there's any trouble.
There's still a bit of bright flower colour to ogle at. I'm most thankful for the bright orange Calendulas in my vegetable garden - dear things! And I've found a silly purple Hebe flowering, just three days before the mid-winter solstice. And, of course, all the evergreens look as lovely as usual. I am so lucky I can still walk around my garden and enjoy so much greenery.
Just as it was getting dark I collected loads and loads of dry firewood and stacked it up just by the back door. I'm ready!
Pea Straw on the Garden
Wednesday 19th June
Now here's something I really, really, really like about dogs. Well, my dog Rusty, to be more precise. He doesn't think I'm mad spending an hour and a half outside in cold winter rain. Oh no. He comes out with me, and, using dog-initiative, finds an ancient stinky bone to chew, and settles down in the wet grass.
I quickly weed, and then spread horse manure (fifteen bags) and pea-straw (three small bales) around the shrubs in the Driveway Garden. The pea-straw breaks apart beautifully, and so I can make sure that it's loosely covering the sprouting daffodil clumps. I'm putting the garden to bed, like a good gardening-mother. Ooh, I feel good...
+10Rusty and I both get really grubby, but at least I manage to keep my undercarriage clean. Rusty is a long-haired, furry dog, so his gets all wet and muddy. I decide not to try and clean him by immersing him in the pond - I'll wash the throw on his dog-chair instead. After all, it is winter!
Wet Gardener and Dog
Back inside, after I've changed into dry clean clothes, I'm amazed how cold the surfaces of my legs are. My house is toasty warm, and I'm suddenly looking forward to a hot cup of coffee. Being a somewhat reluctant hibernator, I'm so glad I've given this rotten weather the gardening fingers. Oddly, I'd much rather go back outside to do some more gardening this afternoon than reading, patch-working, or watching TV. But first I'm going out to have lunch with Non-Gardening Partner.
Blast! It was wetter and colder when I got home, and I chickened out. Midsomer Murders won.
Thursday 20th June
Good news (she said, holding her breath). No snow yet. This morning started off in the semi-darkness being two degrees Celsius. And now, nearly two hours later, the temperature has doubled! My weather sense tells me that it needs to drop for the drizzly rain to turn to snow.
Anyway, Rusty the dog and I are off outside to visit Lilli (my grey cat) in the hay barn, then we will wander down to the road and bring the wheelie bins in. And we will have a look at spreading more pea-straw. I reckon I could do an hour's work, if I kept moving!
Well, maybe not at the moment. The rain has been rejuvenated and is bucketing down. And maybe not even for the rest of today, because of wind chill. Brr.... Intrepid winter gardeners do need to show some common sense. And my dog won't think any less of me if I slouch around inside. By the way, Moosey birds, I've just put out your very first bird-feeder of the season. Spread the word - spread the chirp? Take care in this nasty weather, don't use up too much energy, and eat lots!
Footnote: The weather-people changed their forecast to a 'rain-event'. Apparently there is now little likelihood of snow falling on my garden. Phew! Sorry to disappoint any romantics out there, but I am not a snow-sympathetic person.