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!
I've already made a start. So why did I let things get so messy? First, I need a new dumping place for burnable rubbish (lots of gum leaves, for example). Shouldn't be a problem in a large random garden. Then I need to dig some messy things out - like Fennel clumps growing in the cobblestones, a Miscanthus grass that has split into edge pieces and flopped over weeks ago. Shouldn't be a problem as long as I can find the shovel. And I have to rake up leaves. Shouldn't be a problem as long as I can find the rake.
Seven Hot Hours Later...
Oh yes. I have been good. I have stuck to my system : tipping out potting mix from old pots to boost the soil, watering, and scattering annual seeds (e.g. pansy mulch). I've dug some Anemanthele grasses out, replanting smaller versions in the gaps. It's been too hot, but I've kept going. And there is much more to do. The Flower Carpet roses - I must dead-head them. And all those gum tree leaves. Wouldn't it be amazing if I could scoop up every one? But then, just as I was putting the last five in the wheelbarrow, another fifty would flutter gracefully down from the large gum tree, 'ornamentally' towering over the house lawn. Hmm...
Friday 22nd February
Right. Today has to be another good gardener's day, making up for three weeks of slackness and garden absence. I've decided not even to write a list - there's no need. Everywhere I look I can see something that needs doing, or needed doing weeks ago. More and more gum tree leaves are fluttering down, and some the the garden beds are desperately dry, even though I thought I'd been watering them. So here we go. Hopefully another seven hour day.
Burgundy Iceberg Roses
A day when gardening legends live up to their self-imagined star billing. Hmm...
Three Hours Later...
Well, I've been OK, so far. I've planted dahlias, watered roses, trimmed prunus suckers, and cleared the middle of the Island Bed. My morning session was cut short with a tree issue. A huge part of the Gum tree by the Sleepout creaked slowly, then broke, crashing down to earth. The heaviest bits missed the roof of the house, but now an alarming large piece of broken tree is wedged in by its trunk, up there. Hopefully wedged in firmly enough not to fall further. Not sure I want the Fred kittens investigating. They love to climb, of course.
- That was a seriously noisy crash. Glad that nobody (me, cats, dogs) was underneath.
- Reminder to self - when working under big gum trees in the wind, know in advance where to run to.
- Firewood for next-next winter. Just when I am busy with the log-splitting and stacking firewood for this winter. Blast!
- Another huge mess to clean up. Just when I am trying to clean up everything else. My garden is one huge mess. Blast!
A Climbing frame for Kittens
And a rhetorical question - can trees talk to each other? Seconds before the gum tree broke I was trimming a branch off the Golden Elm in the driveway. Hmm... Decision : I need a wee break and a cup of coffee. And then I'm jolly well going to shift two sad roses. All the others have survived their mid-summer wrenching.
New Dawn Rose
At 12:51 (anniversary of Christchurch earthquake, totally forgot about it last year) I'm going to throw two years' worth of New Dawn rose petals into the water race. Then I'm getting into the water to cut out some coarse green Carexes with a rather grunty serrated kitchen knife. Perfect!
Two Days Later...
Right. Spent the weekend dealing to mess - first, moving the piles of gum leaves raked from the house lawns, then the tree mess. I have a trailer load of smaller branches to (eventually) burn, and there's plenty more. Non-Gardening Partner spend a couple of hours chain-sawing. There's minimal damage to the garden below - a conifer is trashed (but I'm not so fond of conifers), and several Pittosporums and Pseudopanax shrub-trees will yet again be trimmed down to resprout. Not a problem.
Chainsawing up the tree
All pretty much cleaned up. Took ages though. But I like to clean up tree mass as soon as possible. Today, some rain, and some refreshing southerly wind. That means a snuggly duvet in bed in Pond Cottage (to where I am just heading) and my snuggly cottage cat Minimus. Loooovely!