A fresh start to August

 Red and green - nice!
Phormium and Coprosma

Hello, August. A fresh start - I promise not to be a lazybones and lurk in the house writing music, reading, or playing my piano. I can do all of these things after I've had a good gardening day. If you throw up any cold, wet weather, I'll just dress in merino, go outside, and do my best. There's so much garden maintenance that needs doing.

Five dry weeks!

And so many nice little things that I want to do. I've been alcohol-free for five weeks now, and that means I'm allowed to spend the money I've saved and buy five new plants from the nursery. Perhaps a load of garden mix to enlarge my rose garden in The Hump. A friend has given me four more recycled roses to plant therein.

Today I worked really hard for four hours. I started raking leaves in the Willow Tree Garden. Then I saw a green species Phormium which had great wadges of dead leaves throughout, lots of dead flower stems, and fans which were flopping down everywhere. Easy decision - I should chop it up into smaller pieces. Garden recycling at its best...

 The best tool to use is a sharp kitchen steak knife.
Flax Cutting Knife

Easier said than done...

Humph. Easier said than done. Took me three hours plus. One little Phormium! Chop with the spade didn't work, neither did swiping i sideways with the axe - couldn't get a good enough swing at it. Tried the little secateurs (ouch), the big loppers (no way), and the wee saw. Hopeless. So I sneaked into the kitchen and brought out three serrated edged steak knives. One of them was perfect. Might be a bit blunt for cutting steak, now. Oops.

I have lots of pieces ready for replanting, and the left-overs (lots) have been disposed of. They can't be 'green-wasted', so to speak, because the fibres in the leaves are so tough.

Wonderful plants...

In so many ways, Phormiums are wonderful plants - shrubs? - not sure what to call them. But they certainly age disgracefully. Snow (no, that's not a inter weather hint) flattens them. Any gardener who demands even the smallest element of tidiness will be forever trimming off dead leaves. In my garden, many grow far too big for their position.

 Amazing colours!
Selection of Coloured Striped Phormiums

And often those with beautiful striped leaves (see the photograph above) revert to the species. Those kitchen steak knives are always in use, hee hee.

Monday 5th August

Oops. Not much gardening today. But the dogs and I have walked - and walked - and walked again around the orchard, and I've inspected Non-Gardening Partner's top-pruning of the archway roses. Well done that man! I've found suitable locations for the Phormium divisions, and as soon as I find the shovel they can be reunited with the good earth.

 Round we go again...
Dogs in the Orchard