Planting versus Burning?
Sexy Rexy Rose
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...
Yesterday I spent ages in the Hump's new rose garden, planting - you guessed - roses. But not new roses - shrubs which I'd dug up from less favourable sites in my garden, plus the dubiously named Sexy Rexy, a family gift. Please be careful when Google searching for this rose - best to use its official name, 'Macrexy'. Apologies to any Rexes out there who feel slighted.
At the same time I remodeled some of the original wiggling pathways (created less than a year ago), trimmed and shifted dahlias out of the way, and weeded. I spread more horse manure around. Several of the nearby recycled hybrid teas are still blooming merrily, and Just Joey is at his most magnificent - absolutely stunning at this time of the year.
Just Joey Rose
Further path thoughts : last year, when the tree felling mess in The Hump was finally cleared, I built a long sweeping path through the lower part of this new garden area. I overlaid it with mulch and edged it with wood logs. I was so proud - a properly constructed path. But since then I've only walked on it a couple of times, and then only to pull weeds out. Hmm.. Too soon to decommission it, methinks, because the shrubs I planned to plant alongside are still in my head, if you know what I mean.
Bags of Horse Manure
In the meantime I've planted a short row of species Agapanthus - to lead the eye along the path, hopefully followed by someone's feet. This suggests a 'Winter Planting Project'. A local trees and shrubs nursery is having a relocation sale, which sounds promising. The shrubs will need to be toughies, though. Possibly New Zealand natives, to go with the large striped Phormiums I've already installed therein - that would be nice.
I've also planted a new row of Anemanthele grasses along the driveway. These ornamental grasses are wonderful, but after three or four years they become oversized and underwhelming. They're easy to scoop out with the shovel, having generously provided seedling offspring. And they burn brilliantly.
The burning issue...
Which brings me back to the burning issue. Today it's raining solidly. Over a month's worth of rain fell overnight (it was so noisy, clattering down on Pond Cottage's roof). There are pools of water on my lawns, and the masses of hedge trimmings still needing to be burnt are wetter than wet.
Old Master Roses in the Hump
So what I should have been doing yesterday was raking and bonfiring (and spreading all the horse manure, so the rain could drench the garden with goodness). I should have prioritised my garden tasks according to the weather - yesterday was rainless, and windless. But I didn't burn. Oh well. It is winter, after all. And planting roses is much more fun than poking at a smoky bonfire.