The sweetest little path...
The Little Path in Winter
Oh dear. The top of the Wattle Woods needs a make-over. New shrubs? Definitely. Soil improvements? Better start barrowing in that horse manure. Shift a straggly rhododendron so the path can be shifted? Yes, for sure. And the continuing saga about the wee Wattle Woods path... It gets decommissioned and recommissioned yearly. One season it's completely blocked, the next I carve my way through with scrapers, nippers, and rakes. When cleared of debris it's the sweetest little path, curving underneath an arc of mature Camellias.
Sunday 17th July
Well, a couple of days ago I did a speedy path-shift late in the gardening day, moving the stone edges some distance. Yeay, I thought. Much more sensible, won't get blocked up, with a nice new wiggle. How shallow I was! I hadn't done any analysis of shape, contour, or function, nor looked at the whole garden area.
Wattle Woods Camellias
The Garden Strikes Back!
This morning the garden struck back at me. I woke up at 5am worrying. That new path route wasn't right! This early, in the darkness, I am a hopeless visualiser. So I tried the direct approach. Sweet little path, where would YOU like to go?
Well, well, well. When we came home from the dog park I trod nervously into the Wattle Woods, breathed deeply, concentrated, and addressed the wee path. What a surprise. Firstly, it liked its new wiggle (thought it was rather sexy). It wouldn't hear of me shifting the rhododendron just to reroute it. How accommodating!
In fact, it had some great suggestions for shrubs already on my property, which it would rather like me to shift in near its edge. How thrifty! The squashed rhododendron, planted in the Apple tree garden too near to a Cream Delight Phormium, was one such. Another suggestion was an old-fashioned shrub rose which I'd plonked thoughtlessly in the Welcome Garden. And would I like to release the Phormium from its pot under the Camellias? You wouldn't think that one simple little path would know so much about other parts of the garden, would you...
- Glechoma :
- Here's green 'Creeping Charlie'. It grows everywhere in the Wattle Woods. And over the adjacent lawns, oops...
I've been digesting these requests while clearing the other Wattle Woods paths, raking up leaves and Creeping Charlie (aargh!) from the lawn, and weeding (Charlie again) underneath the plum tree. Now I have a bonfire to ignite, and then - yes! I'll do it. Garden democracy is a wonderful thing!
Much, Much Later...
Done. New shrubs in, a few nuisance dahlias shifted, heaps of mess burnt, dead wood pruned out of roses (too difficult to tell with the rugosas, so they have to wait until they're budding), the Phormium planted, horse manure scattered around, grasses cut out, large green Astelia tidied up. Such a groovy day. My bonfire and I are both gurgling happily.
Monday 18th July
Ha! I've had a good idea. I go round all the pots, and I look long and hard at the inhabitants. Should a Coprosma or Hebe give even the tiniest hint of boredom, then I release it and plant it in front of the glass-house. A coarse green Carex (there are plenty of self-sown ones around) can then take its place. These carexes are ornamental beauties when young and fresh, but they become scruffy nuisances when mature. Sound familiar?
+10 There will be lots of trundling around today, and to make things easier big brown Escher is out with his parents. His new house build is almost complete - just a few minor details (like the front door) to go. Oh Escher! I get quite tearful thinking about your imminent departure. But then I see sense. Phew! No more bellowing when I find you romping around in next-door's paddock.
A day full of delightful details. Two variegated Hebes and a similarly variegated Coprosma took advantage of my kind offer to release them from captivity. I planted some foxgloves and scrophularia nearby. Then I potted up some basal shoots of lupins, and dug out a sulking rose called Class Act. I can't remember it ever flowering much.
I have also noticed something. A rather large digging hole - or, rather, a tunnel - reaches deep underneath the Miscanthus zebrinus by the glass-house. I suspect Escher has been doing some excavating. So the plan is to remove it and fill the large hole with another grateful potted Phormium. It's possibly a little shady in here for the Miscanthus to show off its lovely stripes, anyway.
Tuesday 19th July
An idea while walking around the garden with the dogs and cats. Finish the garden in front of the glass-house. Actually finish it. Try to finish it? Sort of finish it? Release another variegated Coprosma, dig out the Miscanthus, plant the Phormium? Oops. Just repeating myself, as usual. Aha! Something new. Prune the Buddleia.
Off for a wintry walk
Later - all done. I chopped the Miscanthus into two pieces with the axe and replanted them in the same garden, just a little more out in the open. I trimmed dead canes from the beautiful once-flowering Complicata rose. Then I burnt my rubbish. So is it finished? I think it sort of is! And the little path looks so good now - it makes me smile.