Uber-Wormy...

 Yes!
Wormy Manure

I have dispatched Non-Gardening Partner to pick up lots of bags of local horse manure for me. It is the wormiest, rottenest, sweetest-smelling horse manure I've ever had, and let's hope it also turns out to be the least weediest!

Saturday 19th August

Late winter - the wrong time to apply manure? Too bad. It's just around the corner, two dollars a bag, uber-wormy. I looooove it! I am adding life to the garden. I must tell my gardening friends. No, wait! Maybe I want it all for myself? Anyway, today I've been working really hard spreading it around.

I've spread six bags ('laced' with topsoil) around the new rugosa roses in the Willow Tree garden, where I planted an Apricot Scentasia standard donated by a friend. Colourbreak has died, and I also pulled out two unhealthy recycled roses - a bright pink Flower Carpet standard, and a white Iceberg. Easy come, easy go, for these two. After each load I'd rake up oak leaves and fill the barrow for the bonfire. Just one load of hedge trimmings today, with lots of attendant smoke.

 Wet daffodils!
Shy Daffodils

Daffodils...

The Willow Tree Garden looks (and surely it feels) so much better. And its daffodil clumps are starting to flower - nice. But that's all I've done today. And all that gentle trundling took five hours? I must have been dawdling. A glass of House Merlot is almost deserved.

The House Merlot...

Regarding the House Merlot - a friend once told me that Merlot was gentle on older ladies' tummies. So I buy the cheapest bottle on the supermarket shelf. Initially this can be a bit of a shock, but after a few sips the drinker is none the wiser. Especially this drinker, who has another head-cold (where did that come from?), and is spluttering into a tissue every five minutes. Anything expensive would be a waste, hee hee...

Sunday 20th August

I've worked for three hours and now all my wormy manure is spread, with soil and wet leaves added to it. Now I need more! And I need more river stones (I pinched the path edges to build up a stone retaining wall by the water). Non-Gardening Partner has been shredding - gradually my piles of hedge trimmings are disappearing. It's times like this I wonder what it would be like to have a full-time gardening handyman (AKA handyperson). Imagine how good everything would look!

 Different colours and shapes.
Phormiums in the Willow Tree garden

This warmer light makes the Phormiums look very photogenic, I reckon. And they provide a wonderful contrast with the early flowering Camellias, and the very first rhododendrons. Particularly the clean green spikes with the fluffy pink flowers. Nice! Daffodils are starting to flower, too.

Iris Confusa :
It's a messy plant, but a very pretty blue!

Yet another thing I didn't know : the old stems of Iris Confusa die off, look unsightly, and need trimming. Well, well, well. And something I've checked out - the name of the blue-green spiky plant I've just thrown out. Beschorneria yuccoides. Oops?

And now, on to my afternoon gardening session. What to do? Some potting? Do the cute wee Gunnera seedlings I dug out yesterday deserve nurturing for the future? Yes? No? Maybe?

 President Roosevelt
The First Rhododendron

Later...

Only two hours, because it was raining, but all the bags of oak leaves (destined to make leaf mould for me) are now dumped out of sight underneath the big gum tree. Then I helped shred another pile of trimmings. Bits of me were just getting too wet and cold, so I've stopped for the day a little early. Yeay for me, though, for I have kept going in damp conditions.

My head cold is - ahem - drier, my cut finger (opening a can of peaches in syrup for the birds) is cleaner, and I am warmer (in big sloppy mohair sweater and Ugg boots). A good time to curl up on the dog couch with one of my gardening library books, I reckon.