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.
Burning the trimmings
This challenging topic is a little removed from someone with a random, reactive style of garden maintenance (me). Because it is a maintenance issue, and I'm a bit of a 'should have done that last month' gardener. That could be because my garden is big. Please note that I didn't say 'too big'.
So what am I doing today? I am burning my hedge trimmings bonfire. And what did I do yesterday afternoon? Ditto. And what have I been doing all month? Ditto. I've already cleared the lawn on one side of the biggest hedge. Slowly I'm picking up the scrappy, messy pieces from the other side. Larger pieces (and there aren't so many this time) go in piles for the shredder.
The Winter Rose Catalogues
Should have been...
And what should I have been doing? Probably copper spraying everything. Definitely weeding. Trimming my herbs. Here's a nice one - I should have been ordering my new roses. And raking up the leaves, cutting dead wood out of trees, and starting the huge rose prune (I have over three hundred, oops). And what about my two poorly performing apple trees? Aargh. I probably should have done things to them months ago...
So processing my hedge trimmings are definitely the task of the present, top of this month's list. The lawns and paddocks have to be cleared quite quickly, and the small scrappy stuff burnt. Mess cannot safely be piled up under the hedge to mulch - the resulting fire danger in summer would be too much. The hedge trimmer comes every two years, and pretty much takes out three to four weeks of my gardening maintenance time. That's almost a month! Bad luck, weeds, herbs, trees, and rose order. Sincere apologies to the apple trees, and good luck to any fungal spores lurking underneath the shrubs, planning to sit out the winter...
Change the title?
Those urban garden club ladies won't be impressed with me burning all through winter - that's more of a large country garden habit, after all. Best not to mention the bonfire. Actually, I do wonder about changing the title of my talk to : 'Things I should have done in the garden last month but didn't cos I forgot, but definitely not burning'. Too long-winded?