The official month of yellow flowers...
September starts off as the official month of yellow flowers, from the citrus yellow blossoms of the fence-line Wattle trees to the bright yellow miniature daffodils and the creamy primroses. By the end there will be blue and red flowers, and lambs, as spring takes over.
flowering wattle and spring blossom
Saturday 1st September
Spring!! (the first day thereof). In anticipation, Stephen and I took a long morning walk yesterday to view all the daffodils now flowering. The mood was idyllic, calm and reflective, as we wandered around looking at the new clumps. A brief moment of reality came when admiring the plantings on the roadside fence, the dog deciding to run towards a passing car. Nothing destroys the gentle early morning ambience more than harsh shouting to save a dog from certain death (Taj-dog, though seemingly penitent, had of course absolutely no idea that he had almost become road kill).
Later That Day...
Now I am ready to advance and weed in a 'sinister' fashion for 2 hours. My right forearm (still giving me trouble) is in a protective sling, off limits to trowels, secateurs or shovels. To combat older-lady-knees syndrome I will take my padded kneeling device. The gardener will triumph over these minor body problems!
- Bergenias :
- Bergenias are brilliant foliage and flowery perennials.
I've weeded past some beautiful colours. The red rhododendron in the JAM Garden is bursting into bloom, so is the deep pink camellia near the glass-house, in front of the lighter fluffier pink one. There are designer bergenias underneath pushing up their pink flower heads, tiny yellow daffodils almost lost underneath bulky flaxes (oops), pink and purple flowers on the small spreading patches of violets... And there are the strangest grass weeds everywhere - perhaps a faded version of Bowles Golden Grass has become an alarming overnight nuisance. I could weed for 24 hours non-stop and still not be finished.
Sunday 2nd September
Weeding is exactly what I've been doing for the last three hours, left-handed, and I have carted away three wheelbarrowfuls of the smallest weeds imaginable. My mind, like the spring garden, is slowly awakening, and I have some serious questions.
- How come in garden books people's paths look great without any edging?
- How come in garden books stylish areas of stones look completely natural?
- How come in garden books grasses always look well proportioned?
- How come in garden books that no-one ever complains about phloxes taking over?
Humph... I have three specimens of what I call mountain grass to plant. I have so far had six totally different great ideas as to the perfect place. My grasshopper mind refuses to rationalise all the sun/ wind/ height/ width/ colour/ neighbours factors.
I have got some humpy Raoulia plants (larger specimens are known in New Zealand as vegetable sheep). They would look great planted in with some stylish stones for company. Then I have some clumps of phloxes that I need to relocate - carefully, lest they too become a complete menace (trashing them is out of the question, as they are a designer's dream - a great magenta colour with darker toned leaves). Oh well - back to the reality of weeding.
red rhododendrons in the JAM Garden
Two hours later and the weeding queen has to go to work (I think some time off is definitely needed). By mistake I wandered over the water race to check if the rhododendrons and the daffodils were yet flowering.
Weeds, weeds, weeds... little weeds, big weeds, dock weeds, grass weeds... all happily peeping through the mulch. Humph... I will try to write up a weeding regime for this coming week. I reckon I could do an hour a day, frost permitting, before and after work. Will try.
Saturday 8th September
It's my birthday and I have to spend all day at work. Humph.
The garden is on the move, and each day this last week more and more spring bulbs are flowering. The large pink azalea in the Island Bed is in flower. The rhododendrons over the water race are getting fatter and fatter buds, ready to burst. There is one lamb so far, born a week earlier than expected but healthy and happy. This is an inspiring time of year. My seed order has arrived, along with the new season's mail order catalogues. I have many optimistic plans, and so many things I want to do. I love my new job (I have transformed into the music teacher) but I want my weekends back!! Holidays soon.
There are lots of spring photos to take this month anyway, and weeds are not welcome in these. I will do some token weeding on my way to the car.
The house side garden in spring
Sunday 9th September
Again I have only one hour before I head off to my job. I am reasonably grumpy.
More of the camellias are beautiful in flower and since yesterday there are more clumps of daffodils of varying colours. The fresh new season's growth of the variegated sedums near the front of the Septic tank border looks great, as does the variegated purple honesty (not quite in flower) and the variegated white honesty (ditto). I am trying to encourage each to self-seed - looks like this is the first successful year. I am very sorry not to be able to be in the garden each and every day. This is such an inspiring part of the year.
Friday 14th September
I have an official day off today, and soon I will gather up a hot steaming cup of tea and wander outside. Here in New Zealand this week has been completely dominated by the tragedy in the USA. It is an unbelievable outrage and everyone feels an overwhelming sense of grief. I can't comprehend such an evil act. I plan to weed gently and catch my breath.
Many hours have passed and I've cleared the beds by the glass-house. The new growth of the aquilegias looks delicately beautiful, and the variegated honesty leaves are a real treat underneath the old apple trees. There is freshness and hope in the garden. I've been surprised by patches of grape hyacinths in unlikely places, and seedlings of my favourite (well-behaved) grass are most suitably placed near their parent plants. I've checked the new lambs - we have so far one set of twins and three singles - and we are thankful that there have been no bad weather days.
variegated honesty in Apple Tree Border
Saturday 15th September
I'm up early and off outside with the first cup of tea. The USA tragedy is still very much in my mind. I have exchanged seeds with a friend in Iowa and we will both plant them in our respective spring seasons in memory of those lost. The world is a very small place for gardeners.
What shall I do first today? It's nearly 8am, already light and mild, and there are many weeds waiting. Pity that I've 'lost' my secateurs... I hope that the lawnmower doesn't 'find' them before I do. I will return boasting a list of accomplishments longer than the long-handled shovel.
I have planted a new rose called Golden Tribute in Jeremy's border to remember the events of this last week. Also I have done some major weeding and edges. The lawns are newly mown, and we have a new set of twin lambs who are enjoying their first day in mild sunshine.
Sunday 16th September
I have weeded the border which goes along the back fence, both sides (underneath the Mermaid roses). Hmm... what I should have done is to plant my seeds. I will do this tomorrow after work. Today there is another set of twins. The weather stayed kind and warm, and I read my book in the afternoon sunshine, falling slightly asleep. Now I am inside, and each window that I look out of has the soft glowing yellow colours of spring, with fresh green plant growth.