Garden Journal 2019

Another year in the garden. Aargh! No - let's start this again. Another lovely year in my lovely garden. And 2019 is divisible by three. That means that each gardening day can be broken down into three parts - weeding, weeding, and then weeding. Aargh!

Happy New Year for 2019Happy New Year for 2019...
Happy New Year for 2019. So how has my gardening year started? Aha! With some jolly sensible weeding, followed by mulching. Because mulch stops the next batch of weeds from growing. My New Year's Resolution for this week is to get the weeds in The Hump under control...
Harmony...Harmony......
2019 has started, touch wood, with wonderful house animal harmony. Woof, woof, woof, sniff, a couple of squeaks, and a miaow from the adult cats, two new identical kittens (both called Fred), and three dogs (Escher the big brown dog is staying). Most of us seem to like each other.
Poem for 2019Poem for 2019...
Based on my experience so far this year (hee hee) here's my version of one of those cute Facebook poems : 'Plant dreams... Pull weeds... Mulch, mulch... Mulch some more... Then grow a happy life.'
Lovely summer!Lovely summer!...
Lovely summer. The garden is thriving, the kittens are growing, Tiger the cat is doing well on her new thyroid pills, the dogs are behaving, the new roses in The Hump are gloriously blooming...
By hand...By hand......
When a random gardener with great intentions (me) has a large garden, it's easy to forget to slow down. Hand-watering the roses - aargh! No time! But the little, slow things are sooooo important. Like stopping writing one's gardening journal to cuddle the kittens...
DonDon't look back......
Silly really. This morning I woke up in the cottage feeling a bit sad and sentimental. Why? Because I wanted today to be as nice as yesterday. Was this possible? Probably not. Blast. Yesterday was THE BEST. Well, this mood was just too silly for words...
Mundane...Mundane......
Some days a deeply spiritual gardener (me, for example) just has to tackle the mundane and the physical. Drag heavy things around, fill the barrow over and over again... Nothing dreamy about grunty gardening!
Cat and dog fun...Cat and dog fun......
Early morning cat and dog fun. Minimus and I are enjoying some quality time on the verandah, with the first cup of tea of the day. Growl. Black Buster has appeared, and is tease-dancing on the table. So that sacred moment comes (wisely) to a halt...
Love LychnisLove Lychnis...
I love Lychnis. Honestly, I really do love it. I love how generously it self-seeds and fills my borders with flowers. I love the colours - white, magenta, and all the pinks in between. But...
Love those daisies...Love those daisies......
Guess what. The lovely Shasta daisies are in bloom. Of course, I love them lots. But guess what? I have about four weeks to finish trimming the Lychnis. Why? Because then all my time will be spent 'sorting out' the Shastas. Aargh! One thing after another!
Ouch!Ouch!...
Humph. A silly hand injury. This morning I stabbed my right hand with a thorn from the Gleditsia tree. In it went, the large, nasty thing, a long way in. Pulled it straight out and continued working for two hours - as one does. Came inside, played some fast Bach on the piano for an hour. Hand started hurting. Hmm. Now there was a problem. The Bach?
A problem with weeding...A problem with weeding......
A couple of days ago I was in the garden with my notebook, trying to clear my head about the weeds in The Hump. It's funny how difficult a task weeding can be, mentally. And so I explained in detail why it was so weedy. I wrote lists filled with alarming question marks. I wrote dozens of droopy sentences, trying to clear a pathway through the problem...
Wonder-Woman?Wonder-Woman?...
Oops. I've had quite a few garden-lazy days in a row. The garden needs some 'w's : watering, weeding, and Wonder-Woman. She seems to be missing in action. The hot temperatures might have deterred her from putting on her costume... Wonder if it still fits?
To travel?To travel?...
Oh dear. I have been sooooo slow to catch on about what's 'out there' on Youtube. No, I haven't discovered real time weeding videos (though I'm sure they exist). It's much, much worse, hee hee. I have discovered a huge library of Real Time Driver's Eye View Train Journeys. Alternatively, called 'cabview'. So I can spend hours, couch-travelling in trains the length and breadth of countries I will never visit.
Inspiration and more firewood...Inspiration and more firewood......
Inspiration to do garden maintenance comes from the oddest sources. First thing this morning I read my latest Fine Gardening Magazine. I put it down, finished my cup of tea, and vowed to clean up my patio garden and the driveway. Just like that!
Relationship difficulties...Relationship difficulties......
My garden and I are having relationship difficulties. We haven't really been communicating. I'm trying my very best - I've asked it really nicely not to be so messy. It hasn't taken the slightest bit of notice of me. Humph. We need counselling? No, just some solid, hard work (from me), and less wind...
Messy MarchMessy March...
Messy March. A very messy fact of my gardening life. Autumnal? I think I'd rather like that. Cooler temperatures on the evenings. I'm liking this! The first of the autumn bonfires? Welcome to the March Clean-Up? Not quite liking this as much.
Never apologise...Never apologise......
Never apologise, right? So a garden visitor from England appears out of the blue, and much of my garden is uber-messy. Eucalyptus leaves cover the gardens, lawns and paths, so walking anywhere is 'crackle and crunch' noisy. My March mess is out of control, and I spend an uncomfortable hour apologising. Aargh!
Working together...Working together......
I've been working really hard these last days, trying to reclaim gentle control over my messy garden. Co-operation is in both our interests. I'm happy looking at pretty things. My garden is happy when it's looked after and nurtured. This should be a win-win situation, us two working together in blessed harmony.
Words, then no words...Words, then no words......
It's early morning, the 15th March, and I've written a good things list, which I have cleverly disguised in some sentences. Firstly, nothing hurts. Phew! And all my choirs are singing well. Overnight irrigation (plus early morning rain) has blessed my garden with plenty of water. It breathes a sigh of relief.
Thoughtful times...Thoughtful times......
Thoughtful times processing the nasty events in my city, puzzling over what happened, worrying about why, then feeling sad. I'm very thankful to my garden for keeping me company - and my daft dogs, cats, and kittens. And Non-Gardening Partner for doing some chain-sawing and (oops) weed killing (just the driveway) for me.
Off days...Off days......
Gardeners are allowed - just sometimes - to be uninspired. It's OK to have a few 'off' days, particularly when shrubs are being eaten by opportunist caterpillars, and Eucalpytus tree leaves keep fluttering down, covering lawns and borders, making everything look scruffy.
Subtle?Subtle?...
Early autumn is subtle. Tiny changes - the mood of the garden, the angle of the sun, the yellowing of the first leaves. I wonder if I'm imagining things. But no - the shrubs and trees do look different. More reflective? Well, perhaps my mood is. Don't think a shrub can be reflective...
Too scary!Too scary!...
Oh dear me. A very scary thing has happened. Last night, home late after my choir rehearsal - where was Red Fred? Non-Gardening Partner and I wandered around with torches, calling him. Couldn't find him. I went to look behind the cottage, just in case he'd got lost over there. I could definitely hear a cat crying...
Obsessive and repetitive?Obsessive and repetitive?...
Over the next days and weeks this gardening journal just might become obsessive and repetitive. It's open fire season. So cleaning up my burnable messes is pretty much all I can think of to do, each day. Or not, like today - yeay! It's too windy. Am thrilled.
Cleaning up the ViburnumsCleaning up the Viburnums...
My early autumn bonfire continues, and my Jelly Bean Border clean-up has started in earnest. This was the first garden I dug in the Pond Paddock, and is providing much burnable mess (Viburnum branches, dead leaves, prunings from overgrown shrubs)...
More bonfiring...More bonfiring......
I am going to tell you all about today's six-hour bonfire. It's a spin-off from yesterday's four-hour one, which was itself a continuation... Yes, yes. I think the point is made. I've been burning a lot of rubbish. Now let's see if I can make this journal page interesting, hee hee...
Sneaky!Sneaky!...
Oh, sneaky, sneaky autumn! You're starting to colour up rather nicely. But oh so subtle are your changes, at this early stage. And no frosts as yet, so the dahlias bloom on. The Silver Birch by the cottage has gone golden. Leaves are starting to flutter down. I love autumn.
More meaningful...More meaningful......
Today I've been clearing the wilderness edge of the Wattle Woods, enjoying very much being in this leafy green place. And the resulting bonfire seems happier and more meaningful, in the grand scheme of garden things. Does that make any sense? Well, it was certainly less smoky than usual...
Great excitement...Great excitement......
Great excitement. Well, possibly great excitement. A garden is being enlarged! I'm taking Non-Gardening Partner out for his expert opinion. The Pond Paddock lawn isn't coping with the heavy shade in summer. Maybe parts of it could join the garden border?
Accelerando...Accelerando......
My goodness, how autumn can accelerate. That same Silver Birch that was turning golden last week is now naked. I've taken as many photographs as possible, before the wind sends lots of autumn leaves plopping noisily down to earth, and everything loses everything, if you know what I mean.
No Jedi gardening...No Jedi gardening......
Oops. I'm getting way behind, May-wise. Even 'May the Force' has passed me by - with very little Jedi gardening being done. But I have done some scribbling. That must count for something? AT least I've been thinking about my garden. Here's how May began...
Blog-busted...Blog-busted......
Aargh! I've been blog-busted? Lots of online ads for seniors' socks are suddenly popping up, offering me relief. Compression socks to get me back on my feet. Whatever! I must have blog-moaned (once) about an aching toe... My gardening feet do the business very well, thanks.
Regrets?Regrets?...
Regrets? I have a few?... Not me. The tiddly ones don't count - for example, wishing that I'd staked the dahlias. I'm talking about those deeply heart-felt regrets, which would have changed and enriched my life. Got none. Or so I thought. ..
How lucky?How lucky?...
How lucky am I? I share my life with two lovely dogs (except they've just had a scary dog-fight, spilling over onto my chair). And five lovely cats (except mean Minimus the cottage cat chases the Freds up trees, and Tiger has been pee-ing behind the TV).
Bonfire of choice...Bonfire of choice......
What to choose to do in the garden? Yesterday I chose to have a slow, gentle, all-day bonfire - a barrowful of this, a barrowful of that, no need to rush. I would rake up the driveway leaves, and clean up underneath some of Cordylines...
The hedges are trimmed...The hedges are trimmed......
Huge thanks to the hedge trimmer, who wiggled and jiggled his machine past my garden borders and around my ornamental trees (planted rather too close to the shelter hedge). Nothing trashed, damage pretty much zero (a couple of squashed Renga Renga and one small Oak tree branch don't count).
Planting versus Burning?Planting versus Burning?...
Planting versus burning? Planting wins, hands down! Though planting thing properly is a very slow process, taking almost as long as a day of bonfiring. But so much more rewarding, environmentally speaking. Giving new life to the land, creating new joys and expectations, keeping the air clean, those sorts of things...
Winter welcome...Winter welcome......
Hello, winter! My garden tells me that you have arrived. Most of my deciduous trees are winter-bare, with just a few lingering flashes of red from Berberis and Maples. The dahlias have succumbed to frost. The cats have noticed you. The dogs? They are far too furry to notice.
Buster gets stuck...Buster gets stuck......
I'm not happy. It's my temporary dog-fence (about one hundred meters long), which deters my dogs from going next-door. The one that took me three days to build from old wire netting and broken posts, feeling rather 'hard done by' because nobody else seemed to think it necessary. You get the picture...
Eight or above, please...Eight or above, please......
Might have been a little too warm in my recent welcoming words to winter. I'm sorry, but a top temperature of four degrees Celsius on a clear winter's day is just too cold for my digital dexterity - a requirement of good gardening. Eight or above, please. Nothing less.
Barking Friday...Barking Friday......
Yeay! It's Barking Friday! Nothing to do with dogs, everything to do with playing Bach's chamber music. And a special treat this morning - Non-Gardening Partner joined me and my flute friend to play Bach Trio Sonatas. He plays the violin, I play the piano (which I sometimes misspell as 'paino', hee hee).
Little me!Little me!...
I've been asked to give a talk at a local garden club in September. Wow! Little me! The topic is 'Things I need to do in the garden in different months'. So I have been chattering inanely to my bonfire. And my dogs. And so far I've sounded REALLY boring.
Great timing...Great timing......
Yet another oops. I remembered, after two days of light drizzle, that I'd left my camera outside. Half an hour after shamefully retrieving it, the rain started pelting down. And - yeay! My camera, though a bit confused (different screens keep flashing on and off), still works. Lucky me. Great timing...
A sniffing maiden...A sniffing maiden......
Nice news - my Weeping Maiden Camellia is flowering now, her blooms not frost damaged. She must appreciate her winter location. Not so nice - alas, I am a sniffing maiden. I have a head cold. I always get a head cold sometime during winter. Perhaps I hug too many other people with colds? Whatever.
Just plain mad.Just plain mad....
Forget barking mad. Gardening mad! Have just been for frosty morning walk in orchard with dogs. Am ill-clad for outdoor activity, wearing pyjamas, gumboots, and the woolliest of old-lady shawls. The orchard roses desperately need pruning, so I start doing just that. My shawl tangles in the thorns. Am not wearing gloves...
Good morning, mid-winter.Good morning, mid-winter....
Good morning, mid-winter. You're behaving - by lunchtime, beautifully pleasant gardening weather, blue sky, shining sunshine. But your early mornings are a bit bleak, particularly for someone (me) who has been sleeping fitfully (suspect because of drinking too much wine).
Dry July...Dry July......
Since I last wrote in my journal I have said farewell to June, and hello to Dry July. I am very much looking forward to the lengthening of the gardening days. More daylight in which to prune all my roses. Undrunk House Merlot money to spend on plants...
Pruning climbing roses...Pruning climbing roses......
July is my rose pruning month. So do I actually know how to prune roses correctly? Sort of. But what about daft ones like the Gerbe rose, which die back dreadfully? I do not understand this rose at all. So I've shortened everything that's green and cut off everything else at the base. This may not work...
Little and often...Little and often......
'Little and often', a great recipe for winter gardening. It all helps, of course it does, no matter how insignificant the results. One wheelbarrow of rose prunings does make a difference? Half an hour of leaf raking, ditto? Oh yes. Please, yes!