I am a prime again! I am referring to my recent semi-mature birthday, which I am still celebrating. How time slinks on by! Just a couple of days ago I was divisible by eleven. Small thought - I hope it's at least twenty more years before my fascination with numbers fades and I just start thinking 'old'.
Friday 9th September
OK. So what should a gardener in her prime (hee hee) do in the garden today? It's still windy cold from yesterday's southerly blast. How tough am I? Tough enough to wander around the dog park in the hail? Absolutely. It's all rather simple. Three things - clothing and attitude, plus a warm, dry 'afterwards'. And good dogs for company. The cats have more sense when the weather outside is inclement and the log-burner is going.
My spring month started off rather benignly, the garden beaming, silent and calm. Nothing too dramatic happened until yesterday, which was my birthday. Luckily no lambs were born during the bad stuff (four ewes are in the orchard, ready to go - so to speak). It's too early for the fancy blossom trees, and nothing fell over, crashed down, or blew off. Some wee daffodils face-planted, so I'll pick them for the house. Little specks of dirt - the natural look!
More Japanese Irises
Continue the serious overhaul of the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden, that's what I'll try and do today. One can get really warm hands pulling out messy iris confusa and warm legs trudging around with loads of horse manure. Eek! A subversive little thought has just popped up : watch my TV soap The Bill with cups of hot coffee and little tasty snacks on hand... I am up to New Years Day, 2009 - a wee way to go yet.
Stumpy Garden Daffodils
Oops. But I've been to the nursery to get pansies, lobelias, and petunias. I also exchanged my Birthday Galoshes (I think that's what I'll call them) for a bigger, bluer pair. Ans a visiting friend has presented me with some violas. My patio will soon be awash with annual colour.
Saturday 10th September
I only managed four hours today, during which I pulled and scraped and got all the remaining iris confusa out. I'm very pleased that I decided to do this. Tomorrow morning Non-Gardening Partner is getting my birthday present (a load of top-soil and compost), and it can all be dumped and spread where the irises were. Nice work today, by the way. Difficult on the hands, but staying on task, and not stopping until it was finished.
Aargh! Did I use the word 'finished'? Because I've just remembered more patches of messy irises. But these are on the shady side. So perhaps they could stay? Actually, have just had the most brilliant idea - to shift the rhododendrons out of the sunny wind-exposed part of this garden, and tuck them in round the back.
Deep Pink Camellia
And then - hee hee! There will be room for roses! And we could go to the rose nursery tomorrow. Maybe NGP will be feeling generous. Roses love sun and fresh air, right?
Sunday 11th September
Aha! The rose nursery opens at 10am - NGP has just checked. This might mean I can score some birthday roses... Oooh! I'm thinking rugosas like Agnes, the gangly pale lemon beauty. Would that be naughty? No such thing as naughty, when you're having a Birthday Week. I am also getting a trailer load of top soil and compost. Please let the weed content be minimal.
Gardening today will be cut short - I have an afternoon concert to sing in. And the weather is just gorgeous. I'd rather be experiencing spring than singing about it.
Monday 12th September
Yesterday... All my roses seemed so far away... Now it looks as if they're here to stay... I'd like to welcome four newcomers : rugosas Belle de Poitevin, Ann Endt, and Rugspin, plus the beautiful custard and raspberries Claude Monet. They are all planted and watered.
The Japanese Irises Gone
First the slightly not so good. Ouch! A bee sting (or bite) right on the knuckle - a very sore, stiff, throbbing left hand. I didn't notice it when I was - the amazingly good bit - gardening ferociously! Such a great day. As well as weed, clear excess leaves, and spread top-soil and compost, I've also done some planting - Foxgloves and a Berberis. And more Stumpy Garden cleaning up. A sprouting Pittosporum chopped down. Dead leaves trimmed from underneath Phormiums, roses shifted over from the shady side, two sun-baked rhododendrons taking their place. More iris confusa ejected. From a garden maintenance point of view it's been the very best sort of day, because I also burnt loads and loads of dry rubbish.
But ouch! Being one-handed isn't all that pleasant, and I can't really play the piano properly. I remember seeing a bumble bee right at the end of the gardening day, and I'm sad that it felt the need to sting me. So sorry, dear bee. There's room in my garden for both of us.