I didn't plant it
Pretty Blue Delphinium
I think it works like this. It's the 'But I didn't plant it' syndrome. Something I didn't plant is too big, or too much of a nuisance, simply ugly, weedy, invasive, ridiculously placed, spoils the view, or wrecks the neighbouring shrubs.
And so the gardener (me) ignores it, maybe ineffectually lops at the lower bits, or re-routes the path around it and shifts out sad shrub neighbours. And all the while, over the years, thinks smugly to self : 'Well, I didn't plant it!'.
And then, one year...
And then, one year, I just have to take action, because things have got way out of control. I'm talking about a couple of trees - a plum and a Cotoneaster.
Of course there are lots of garden developments that I'm very proud of. Plantings that I really like, paths that are a joy to wander on, trees I've planted whose look and location inspire me. Sitting on the cottage verandah this morning, the Pittosporums around the back of the pond and the distant Esk Sunset No.2 looked just lovely.
Ha! Well, Misters Weedy Cotoneaster and Hopeless Plum Tree (whose little yellow plums are underwhelming and whose seedlings pop up everywhere) - it's all over. OK, you may sprout defiantly from your ankle-high stumps. Go on - I dare you! Your bulky branches, an eyesore for twenty years, are now cut into pieces. Painfully (thanks for the spikes), but definitively. Two loads of you have gone to the dump. The trailer is ready to refill.
Dodgy Orange Alstroemeria
And now - my second 'afternoon library book reading' session of the summer. A hot cup of coffee, a shady seat, and cherries to munch.... Nice!
Wednesday 28th December
Today we are going for a short walk in the hills. Poor dogs! They will be bored in their kennels. But it's not a terribly hot day, so they can just comfortably snooze and watch the Frisbee lawn. Lots of us are going - friends, old ladies, children, babies...
Yeay for the Rod Donald Hut, to which all the children (and older ladies) in our party walked happily. The baby (eleven months) loved his trip in the backpack on Non-Gardening Partner's back. I love the 'silly trees' up there - stunted totaras so windblown they are completely crooked.
Hiking on the Peninsula Hills
The cats (feed me!) and the dogs (throw the ball!) are happy to see us home, but there's no time to fill the trailer with Cotoneaster pieces. Phew! A hot bath, a glass of wine, a meal, and then bed (my friend has given me a good book about Mary Queen of Scots to read). Yeay!
Thursday 29th December
Aargh! So the trailer is empty, ready to re-fill. So we are going swimming (avoidance) and then sushi-ing and coffee-ing (indulgence). There's another cricket match to listen to (New Zealand playing Bangladesh), and it's drizzling, a little chilly. All reasons not to do any gardening today? I think not.
I am strong! I am invincible! I am gardener! I've done nearly three hours of serious sit-down weeding in the Welcome Garden. The sun came out for me. The cricket has been on the radio, and Winnie the dog has kept me company. Throw the ball! Throw the ball! I've been throwing weeds for her to catch as well, hee hee...
During the cricket's lunch break between innings, I'm checking in for some positive self-affirmation, an afternoon cup of coffee, and the wee-est of rests. Then a wander with the camera and the final dismantling of the Cotoneaster.
Winnie is already bored with me being inside - throw the ball! A thought - one can remove quite a lot of weeds in 'nearly three hours'. It isn't difficult, just a bit repetitive. Just imagine if one (i.e. me) did this every afternoon...
A chicken pasta bake is gurgling in the oven and I await two arrivals : Non-Gardening Partner, out flying, and big brown Escher's parents. Escher, too, is coming for a country visit, and I need NGP to stomp down on the cotoneaster in the trailer (it's full again). You might enjoy seeing a photograph of this gross tree in pieces. Yes? No?
Aargh! Enough of the bad and the ugly. Good things that I like in the garden at the moment (and pictured on this page) are :
- The orange Alstroemeria.
- The blues - delphiniums and cornflowers.
- The rose Elina - a rescued hybrid tea.
There, there! I did plant these beauties. OK, the Alstroemeria is slightly dodgy, but such a striking colour.