Time to think BIG!
Pale Pink Prunus Blossom
And now for something completely different. Forget weeding miniscule bits of greenery and nipping tiny pieces off roses. Time to think BIG! The Dog-Path Garden is getting a surprise make-over. This is 'spur of the sensible moment stuff', and I'm really excited about it.
Sunday 10th August
About 10 o'clock this morning, thwarted in my plan to plant the garlic, I stood on my frosty back lawn and peered over the water at the Dog-Path Garden. Yes, the Viburnum tinus was flowering - such a pretty winter shrub - and yes, the water-side Yellow Wave Phormium looked nice and green. But nothing else looked right.
An Indistinct Mess?
It was all a bit of an indistinct mess. I screwed up my eyes to get an even more fuzzy, over-all impression. Ha! And in a flash I knew exactly what I needed to do.
The dog-path by the water was completely blocked with rough vegetation, mainly overgrown ferns. Not good. The original little stone retaining wall couldn't be seen. Shocking! Hebes above it had grown tall and leggy, and I couldn't see through to the rhododendrons. Out, out, damned Hebes!
A large Pittosporum was rudely pushing up into the Dogwood's air-space, and the oak leaved Hydrangea and the golden-leafed Choisya were completely invisible. These are pretty shrubs, two of my favourites. Some serious shrub pruning (and tree chain-sawing from Non-Gardening Partner) was needed. Plus a load of top-soil and compost to rejuvenate everything.
Action! Just like that!
Monday 11th August
Yippee! The dog-path is cleared, and all the Pittosporum branches etc. are cleared ready for the shredder and/or the bonfire. There's just a pile of firewood logs left to shift. I've dug out a self-sown Phormium tenax and replanted it a bit further down the water race where the bank has subsided. I even took the axe to a willow root to remove it.
The little stone wall is rebuilt. Best of all I adore building little stone walls. Mine are nothing as technical as the drystone walls of Yorkshire, just rounded river stones balanced together as their shape dictates. I've tipped top-soil/compost behind them, and now I can have a think about what to plant in this beautifully sunny spot.
First Rhododendron to Bloom
Seriously, the collection of shrubs in the Dog-Path Garden are rather lovely, and I'm thrilled that they now have more space and light, and I'll be able to see and admire through the seasons. The early spring rhododendrons, the spiky Berberis and the variegated Weigelas, the Dogwoods and the red Maple - now I'll be able to see and admire them all. Nice.
General Garden Thanks
While I remember - general garden thanks must go to the early Prunus trees for covering themselves beautifully with pretty little flowers. And thanks to the big pink Camellia shrubs, which seem so much taller and fatter this year than last.
And the first rhododendron, which this year is President Roosevelt, is blooming. You're pretty early, Mister President. Welcome to my humble country garden, and have a nice day - week? Whatever!
White Prunus Blossom
I've had yet another wonderful winter gardening day. All I need now are stones for a path surface, and then Rusty can consumer test the new improved dog-path.
The Dog-Path Garden
And, thanks to my superb strength of character and extraordinary stamina (and modesty?), I've finished something reasonably big garden-wise inside two days. Legend!