So how was your day? Non-Gardening Partner reckons that every day I spend in the garden is a wonderful day. And he's right. Even a trudge-around day like today is really, really lovely, and nice, and - oh all right - wonderful.
Tuesday 11th March
Today I've been continuing my early autumn clean-up, choosing to work near the house. My house gardens are super-colourful, particularly the dahlias. I love all the reds and yellows. So I've been shouting encouragement to those slack patio tomatoes. Ripen, you lot, go on - ripen! Go red amd/or yellow, just for meeeeeeeee!
Deep Pink Dahlias
I've been thinking, too, about the impossibility of me having a well-manicured garden (as well as well-manicured hands and finger-nails, hee hee). I picked up so many gum leaves today, and gum trees are supposed to be evergreen (well, ever-blue-green). I've also dead-headed more roses and dahlias (I so love their colourful flowers), trimmed Phormiums, and weeded. I've collected and barrowed eight loads over to my temporary dumping pile. But whatever I do, I always leave some of the mess behind. And my gardening gloves, quite new, have finger-tip holes, so you can imagine the state of my nails. Perhaps better not to!
My gardening has kept its steady, gentle andante tempo, but an unknown pianist on my gardening Ipod has been playing some sparkling allegro Ravel. I've tried to play Ravel, but my best efforts are the slow, chunky pieces - Le Gibet from Gaspard de la Nuit is stunning, and La Vallee des Cloches so quirky. Le Tombeau de Couperin, if I want to get most of the notes right, has to plod very sedately. Mild arthritis just won't allow any sparkly tinkling any more, and I can't even play one page of Scarbo to save myself. Blast! Those were the days, my friend...
So would I like to have a well-manicured garden? Not really, but I wouldn't mind employing an enthusiastic raker. Right. Time for a final trudge around with dog and camera. Now this should be the best part of the day. I hope I don't see anything too worrisome, like scary weeds that have already dropped thousands of seeds. Aargh!
Two Logs at Once!
Wednesday 12th March
Next-door's mad machine is supposed to be ripping out the thirty stumps on the other side of my boundary. So far it's just managed three, leaving the biggest a gaping mess of a hole in my garden. My dilemma is as follows.
I'm an impatient gardener, and I've decided to plant a row of Viburnum tinus shrubs near the boundary. They are fast-growing evergreens which do well in semi-drought (in other words, if neglected by me, they don't die). And they have pretty pink-white flowers in autumn-winter.
I've watched this mad machine in action - it gets easily bored. Thankfully it hasn't got a hooter, or I'd be hearing big 'toot toots' all day as it lurches and clatters around trying to look busy. Yesterday I saw it pecking at a big log like a metal dinosaur bird. I grabbed my camera, it went all shy on me, revved up, and roared off out of sight. Oh dear...
Being amused by its antics is fine and dandy, but there's a plant sale on. So I'm off to get my Viburnums. Then I will be rational and long-sighted. I won't do anything to endanger my new plants, don't worry. But I've love to know whether those other stumps are staying or going.
A Pretty Penstemon
Oh, by the way, I also have to weed in the Island Bed. Last night's sleepy meander around it was - enlightening? Eek. Such a pretty red penstemon grows in here. Aha! Penstemon cuttings! I googled it :
'Take cuttings in late summer or early autumn as an insurance policy.' So that's why my spring ones hardly ever take root. Thank you for reminding me. Will do.
And a word on garden gnomes. They've been really short on the ground this year (aren't they always, hee hee). There've been few if any retro chaps needing a new home. Great excitement this morning - four 'adorable' chaps advertised online for sale. Wait. 'Adorable?' No-one calls a good, solid, retro garden gnome adorable. Yes, as I suspected - Disney dwarves again! Aargh!
It's now much later in the day and I have purchased the following :
- 5 Viburnums ('tinus')
- 3Viburnums ('sterile'? That can't be right.)
- 5 Pittosporums ('supreme', sounds promising)
- 2 White Icebergs
Well, I couldn't leave the poor little roses in the bargain bin, abandoned, no-one wanting to take them home, could I? And since they cost less than the 'adorables' (see above), my rose rescue has saved me money. Hmm...
Very odd - the daft yellow machine has now gone AWOL, leaving the stumps behind. But an unknown bloke (in man-shorts far too small for him) has spent hours and hours slowly wandering up and down, raking next-door's driveway. Raking a driveway, when there is so much tree mess all around? Hey - I need a raker! Over here!
A Very Shy Gardener...
I am a very shy gardener, so I've been ducking in and out of the foliage whenever the man has wandered too close, or the neighbour has zoomed past, high-viz lord of the manor, on his four-wheeler (he seems to do this a lot). When the coast has been clear I've further built up the new stone wall, shovelled in topsoil, and planted two Pittosporums and the Iceberg roses. I've also added horse manure and leaf mould. I did that weeding around the Island Bed, too. It was completely cosmetic, and took about fifteen minutes. Ha!
Sleepy Dog Rusty
It's been a funny day, but still lovely. Wonderful - yes, with much to giggle at, and my dog being such good, attentive company. Thanks, Rusty. S'wonderful... Just like you, dear dog.