Garden Journal 2022

Ooh goodie. Another year in my lovely garden. So what will grow well? How much taller will the trees get? And how many more roses can I fit in? There'll be lots of gardening joy to look forward to in 2022.

Happy New Year for 2022Happy New Year for 2022...
Happy New Year! I have a New Year's Resolution for 2022. It's not at all complicated. It has two parts. Short and sweet. Keeping it simple.
Attitude, platitude...Attitude, platitude......
Have a new attitude - and a new platitude? Oops. Here it is. Nothing in my garden that is finite can ever be too much trouble. Because finite can be finished.
Cats, Dogs, Jigsaw, Garden...Cats, Dogs, Jigsaw, Garden......
Time for some cat and dog news first, before I mention the summer garden. I've forgiven the Fred cats for destroying my 2000 piece Christmas jigsaw, now that it's finally finished. Black Fred is even allowed to curl up in the (empty) jigsaw box...
Summer in the garden...Summer in the garden......
I love summer in the garden - the bright flower colours, the beautiful shady trees, the pond and the water race. But I forget how hot and sticky it can be trying to actually do some gardening in mid-summer. Eek! Too hot!
Paths...Paths......
Oops. Path problems in the Hump Gardens. What am I? I am a path. Where am I? In a lovely garden. Why am I? To give the lovely gardener gentle access to stuff. Am I important? Not as important as the plants and trees. Oh. That explains it, then.
I am a gardener...I am a gardener......
I am a gardener. Not a swimmer, or a reader, or a doer of jigsaws. Definitely not a shopper, or a cafe coffee drinker (have already done a bit of all the above, hee hee).
Rediscover...Rediscover......
It's time to rediscover my new, energetic, go-gardening 2022 attitude (which didn't last very long, methinks). I will modify it to be weather related. Go gardening according to the 'pleasantness' of the weather. Do inside stuff when the weather is dodgy - too hot, too wet, etc. Makes sense.
Good morning, February...Good morning, February......
Good morning, February. So what have I done so far this month? Trimmed garden borders (mainly Lychnis) and chopped down tree suckers (Prunus and Gleditsia). Measure the success of my achievements by the number of barrow loads dumped? An average of only four a day. But as the saying goes, four is better than none.
Good morning again, February...Good morning again, February......
Good morning, February. Let's start again, shall we? Thanks for all the rain. Please try not to flop over all the dahlias and the gladioli flowers. Am looking forward to being outside, working away in you again. Yeay!
My 2022 motto...My 2022 motto......
Having fun trying to do my best. That's my 2022 motto, easy to apply, a one-size-fits-all motto. Whether it be the piano or the garden or my personal fitness regime. Or my mind-expansion programme. Hang on a minute? Do I actually have a mind expansion programme? Does reading old-school British detective stories count?
Dodging the drizzle...Dodging the drizzle......
Have spent the last few days dodging the drizzle and rain. Sneaking outside to do some gardening, keeping a low profile, hoping that the weather gremlins doesn't notice me and decide to drench me with water.
Wealth and styleWealth and style...
Something silly on my Facebook feed this morning. Apparently dahlias are a sign of wealth and style. Oh really? So the plan was to feel wealthy and stylish and trim off all the dahlia dead-heads. But things didn't quite work out.
Being brutal...Being brutal......
The Hump Garden is a mess. It has over-planted itself - definitely not the gardener's fault, hee hee. At least two days of brutal gardening are needed : heavy boots, large shovels and spades, big intentions, brutal decisions.
One of those funny moods...One of those funny moods......
Am in one of those funny moods where I feel small and my trees and garden feel really big. There's been so much growth, with so much rain and summer warmth. So I start feeling a bit unsettled, slightly out of sorts. Even my piano practice doesn't go as well as usual (left hand thumb keeps forgetting to go under). Oh dear, dear, dear me.
Roses and hugsRoses and hugs...
This week I have been hard at work balancing my social life with my gardening duties. When times are a little unsettled one needs both.
So beautiful...So beautiful......
Taking stock - my garden is so beautiful. It's also so big, so full with growth, so alive. So many wonderful colours, thanks mainly to the dahlias. I should never get cross with the dahlias for flopping around or self-seeding. They make a huge contribution in late summer.
March...March......
Eek. The first day of March. The last day of the cricket test match. The morning is quite cool, already feels like autumn. Have just taken the dogs (and one of the Freds) for a walk. I sometimes wander around the garden without seeing anything, far too caught up with the thoughts in my head.
Tidying up...Tidying up......
Good morning. Today's plan is simple. Fully clothed (please don't get the wrong idea) I'm going to weed and tidy around the pond and behind the cottage. I will be extremely mobile. I will be capped and gloved, wearing everything except a face net (there are lots of mosquitos about). Wish me luck.
A new technique!A new technique!...
Have perfected a new technique for cleaning up the edges of the garden borders (and the lawn). It's called bottom-dragging. It minimises the need for kneeling (ouch - sore knees) and bending over (ouch - sore back) and bobbing up and down (ouch - sore hips). As long as the grass isn't too wet, then the bottom doesn't get too wet. It is inelegant but highly effective. And rather relaxing...
A Four Piece Dog PackA Four Piece Dog Pack...
The brown dogs are coming for an afternoon in the country. Eek! Haven't told my two Collies just yet. It will be the most exciting thing that's happened to them all week! And what's the most exciting thing that's happened to me? Finding the beautiful David Austin rose Lichfield Angel flowering again...
Firewood and cats...Firewood and cats......
Have been having fun with the firewood and the cats. Wood stacking news first - I finished off the stacking in the cool of this morning. It's not an unpleasant task - in fact I quite like making the stack cohesive and stable. Am not saying I spend ages choosing just the right place for the next piece of wood, but...
Great excitement...Great excitement......
Great excitement - have only just discovered that Val McDermid is a woman author, so am back from the local library with some of her crime stories. Usually only read women authors, oops (showing a bit of gender bias here). Thought that Val was a man's name? Pretty silly, me, sometimes...
Watering the dandelions?Watering the dandelions?...
Serve me right! Like to pretend that I don't use weed killer. Have just spent ages secretly squirting unmentionable stuff on the all the dandelions in all the garden borders. Very thorough, I was. Non-Gardening Partner has just told me the bottle was filled with water.
Phormiums and PittosporumsPhormiums and Pittosporums...
I love having new, exciting hand tools to try out - especially when they're two dollar specials from the Charity Shop. I have bought (at minimal expense, hee hee) an assortment of sturdy, serrated bread knives, with which I have removed an annoying Phormium.
Standards of dress...Standards of dress......
Aha! Sitting down in the dirt and dragging myself along - the easiest way for me to sort out the edges of the gardens. And, ridiculous this, I start off each day with a clean pair of gardening jeans. One has to maintain high standards of dress, after all.
How long?How long?...
Another pair of gardening jeans soaking in the tub. When will this end? Ha ha. When will my garden clean-up be finished? Ha ha. And when will Speckles (the stray cat I'm feeding) realise that I'm actually really nice, and let me touch him? Ha ha. How long is a piece of string?
Gum tree messGum tree mess...
I can't remember having so much gum tree mess on my gardens, lawns, and paths before. Huge pieces of bark, clumps of leaves, branches big and small... I need some help to do a massive clean up. I'm actually not sure I can do this on my own...
An experience...An experience......
A few days ago one of my lovely singing friends visited to 'experience' my garden. And what an experience - we were swinging legs over trip-you-up grasses, ducking underneath tree branches, fighting our way through huge strips of gum bark hanging from the trees like vines in an impenetrable jungle. Oops.
Bonfire preparation...Bonfire preparation......
Have spent the last few days doing bonfire preparation. Better to condense these smoky days, rather than burn every single afternoon, I reckon. Don't enjoy it at all - but have little alternative. Hello, gum tree leaves and bark. Nice of you to drop by. Or, should I say, drop down...
Talkative knees!Talkative knees!...
A gently aging gardener (e.g. me) has to remember to bend and stretch more slowly. My knees are becoming quite 'talkative', and my back is having a few minor niggles. Even have to be careful when tying shoelaces or pulling on socks! Sad, this.
Autumn glory...Autumn glory......
Good morning to yet another gloriously golden autumn gardening week. Put it this way - you've started off being glorious, so please stay that way. Crisp, but not cold. Wonderful blue sky. Leaves changing colour, fluttering slowly down. A golden glow everywhere. Autumn loveliness all around. So inspiring.
Pick up your toys...Pick up your toys......
Sometimes gardeners spend hours and hours making a huge mess, then leave it exactly where it is, blocking a path or scattered all over the lawn. Whenever I do this (and it happens rather too often) I sneak back into the house feeling a bit guilty. Naughty gardener! Pick up your toys before you go to bed!
My silly catsMy silly cats...
My silly, silly cats. Oh boy. Early morning in Pond Cottage : Speckles and Minimus had already had their respective breakfasts and cuddles. Sitting on the verandah drinking my cup of tea and having my own breakfast, I could see one of the Fred cats perched high on a nearby tree branch, keeping a discrete watch on proceedings...
Chain-sawing...Chain-sawing......
Successfully negotiated : Non-Gardening Partner is going to chainsaw 'things' for me. He promises not to moan or ask the question 'Why'? It will take him all of ten minutes, with me pointing at this and that. For example, one particularly large Pittosporum is blocking sunlight from the rhododendrons in the circular Driveway Garden. It really has got too big. I hope he understands...
Autumn beautyAutumn beauty...
Oh, autumn, you are so beautiful. I love your trees. No - I love MY trees! They are MINE! Am so glad I planted them. The Dogwoods, Oaks, Maples, and Prunuses are beautiful. These autumn trees always surprise me - I forget how memorable their fleeting, fiery colours are. Yeay! Showtime!
Sorry, Pyracantha...Sorry, Pyracantha......
I have discovered yet more unwanted trees in my messy garden. Namely, Pyracantha which have repsrouted from trunks cut down years ago. A confusing shrub-tree : a nasty critter with stunning red berries.
Silly...Silly......
So how silly am I? Woke up about 4am puzzling about the network of paths in the Hump Garden. Logic hardly prevails while lying in bed in the small hours. I tried visualising alternatives. I mind-blocked a path I never use and mind-planted Phormiums to block it off...
No need...No need......
No need for my gardening days to follow the same old pattern. It's quite amusing when they don't (am lucky I am not a subsistence farmer).
Such a trickster!Such a trickster!...
Am sulking. Covid has ripped through one of my choirs and, alas, I have tested positive for it. Blast those pesky sopranos! No - just kidding, honestly! I thought I was being oh so careful, masking, distancing... Such a trickster virus.
Recovery?Recovery?...
Have just raked up three bags of nicely damp autumn leaves from the Pond Paddock. Didn't I do this yesterday? And the day before? Yes, but not before breakfast! I think my recovery from catching Covid might have kicked in...
The perfect go-to garden activity...The perfect go-to garden activity......
What to do today? Am officially allowed out of self-isolation. Aha! I know just the thing. Weeding, that perfect go-to gardening activity, with a variety of styles to complement all moods : from gentle scratching to rough and tough attacking. That's settled then.
A weekend wish...A weekend wish......
It's the weekend, the perfect time for doing some chain-sawing - namely, bringing down the huge Pittosporum by the Koru courtyard. Have suggested this, but Non-Gardening Partner (recovering from Covid) has just snorted at me from his chair. Not quite the response I was after. So I am off outside alone...
Wet work!Wet work!...
It's been raining constantly for the last two days, and silly me has been worrying about Speckles the stray cat. Would he have the sense to leave his wee nest in the paddock grass and seek shelter? Silly, silly me. Of course he did! He popped out from underneath the cottage this morning for breakfast, totally dry.