Summer Gardening in 2001
Hen House Sprinklers
Summer means lots of different things to me - greenness, growth, roses, hot winds, books, sneaky watering, cushions in the shade of the big gum tree...
It's simply the best time of the year, because I am on holiday for six weeks. Yippee!
My dream of being a full-time gardener can become a reality. I can write long impossible lists. I can give myself boredom tests and confirm that my personality would be suitable for retirement.
Water is really pivotal to enjoying summer in my garden. The big irrigation runs at night, and I can hear the sprinklers in my dreams. The water race burbles and gurgles and makes soothing water noises.
My pot watering system (fill the plastic watering can whenever I am at the kitchen sink) kicks in. I try to become a responsible pot gardener and water at least once a day. And whenever I can I turn on my pump and carefully hide the hoses in the undergrowth of needy borders - sneaky watering in the daytime is naughty but nice.
A Little Long White Cloud
The pond helps cool off feet and legs and occasionally whole bodies, though the water in it, being fresh from the river, is often quite cold. There is a definite etiquette to successful pond swimming - never let the feet touch the bottom (slimy mud), steer clear of the underwater weeds (the pond monster), keep body high in water (so as not to worry the trout) - and dogpaddle contentedly around in a circle. The tall gums rustle and creak, the dragon flies buzz around on the surface. I prefer this to a swimming pool any day!
Phlox is a summer flower, and I vow to clear 90% of it, in order to have a little more variety in the borders. I brought a lilac variety from my old garden, and it is determined to take over. By Autumn I've forgotten how annoying it is, and so each year it spreads a little more.
The roses bloom and droop and bloom again. I love the way that Iceberg starts later then the rest. I peer at the blackspot on the David Austins and wonder why he claims they're healthy. Perhaps my minimalist approach to spraying is to blame. I make resolutions to always have vases of roses in the house rooms.
Daylilies for Summer Days
My favourite daylilies start to show off. I decide that I don't like the penstemons (unfairly, since Purple Passion is such a great performer), and wonder why the Bowles mauve wallflower always dies off.
Throughout the summer the flaxes and grasses stand strong, looking good, stylish. They seem to shine in the sunlight. I love foliage plants.
My most favourite flowers are Nicotianas, and summer is their time. I grow the tall Nicotiana Sylvestris, the subtle Nicotiana Llansdorf, and I collect seed from the best coloured ones and grow my own. There are many annuals, too, of varying degrees of floppiness.
Floppy Summer Dahlias
Never Bored with the Garden
And I never never get bored or gardened-out. I sometimes get a bit lonely for people, but never bored. I can follow the shade around as a summer weeder, or sit with book, cushion and cats by the water.
I usually miss a little of February because I go back to work. Suddenly all I have is weekends, and things start racing by.
This is usually time when the dahlias all flop over because I've forgotten to stake them. I start deadheading seriously - even the daisies and the cosmos.
By late summer I am wondering what my next big project will be....but that's another seasonal story...