Slow down, September!
Slow down, September! It only takes a few warm days and the Moosey garden turns into a combined Daffodil and Weed Festival. This week I am determined to find the hoe - and use it!
Looking Up at the Deep Pink Camellia
Sunday September 12th
There are so many daffodils out now it's a joy to walk around the gardens. Every day I pick huge bunches of the drooping ones for the house - I am running out of rooms! And vases! The first tulip buds are opening, and the Magnolia Stellata has a few white flowers. Every morning I peep out the window at the large pink Azalea - how could I ever have missed this shrub flowering before? Thank goodness for the gardener sanity of semi-retirement! And for the health and energy to want to check spring flowers at least twice every day!
Today I am determined not to get grumpy with the garden (yesterday I got cross and tired). Why didn't I finish the Great Winter Clean-Up in winter? Perhaps my standards are higher, though... I will not make a list - I am responsible and mature enough to know what need doing out there.
Hopeless - I've just come in for lunch and already I'm really tired. Where's that lively spring spirit gone? Perhaps lively spring spirits don't have to load wheelbarrows with wet ash and shovel it onto gardens. However there is no cause for despondency - paths in the Wattle Woods are now cleared and yet more roses pruned (eek!), while the Olearia hedge has been trimmed (the trimmings are awaiting raking and burning, but that task will keep for this afternoon). I am really hoping that the lawns over the water race will be mown.
I'm going to buy a small Maple for the space at the back of the Pond Paddock side garden. I've shifted in some hostas, and moved around the dahlias. As a result of my serious rose pruning (and earlier cutting down of Pittosporums) this border looks really bare - I'm sure it's an illusion.
I am really pleased with my day, which has lasted from 9 am to 5:30 pm. I have just come in from burning the hedge clippings and doing the edges over the water race. I think parts of the garden are starting to look really beautiful - it's impossible to ignore the spring daffodils - and the first red rhododendron is flowering. Tomorrow I will be home all day - yippee! - to continue my spring gardening progress.
A couple more comments before I stop rambling on... I'm not sure about the hoe - still, one has to learn new methods - and weeding while standing up is quite an appealing concept. And if I promise to create new plants or seeds absolutely every weekend in the glass-house (see the above picture for proof) I should have enough for summer planting - shouldn't I?
The Head Gardener in the Glass-House
Monday 13th September
What a beautiful spring day it has been! I've done a lot of weeding - strangely enjoyable. The back fence border by the Dog Kennel Garden is now looking good - rather a lot of bare soil, but ready for planting. And speaking of planting I went to the nursery (not the Moosey one!) and bought some non-bargain plants - my late birthday present to me for being such a hard working gardener.
They are a small weeping Maple, a small yellow Rhododendron, and two coloured flaxes (one has the impressive name Phormium Merlot, a rich wine red colour according to the very glossy wine-bottle-shaped label). Four plants for ninety six dollars - ouch! Bring on the Moosey Nursery with its mass production of much needed free perennials and annuals!
The brown hen has hatched one creamy lemon fluffy chick - adding to the already delightful rural ambience with squeaky cheeping sounds. Naturally the chooks have been following my weeding efforts along the back fence. What should I plant in here? Maybe loads of hostas - it's not super sunny.
OK - Enough chatter - I am allowed a short lunchtime rest - then I plan to return to achieve more gardening greatness.
Wednesday 15th September
Oops - Yesterday I worked for 4 hours in the garden and amazingly DIDN'T write up this diary - Shock! Horror! Am I running out of things to say?
Spring Daffodils in the Moosey Garden
I had a positively uplifting day - I spent most of it replanting the side garden in the Pond Paddock, adding more stones to the new rock garden by the Dog Kennel, and transplanting some Stachys plants. It's a long time since I've spent ages planting new perennials and shrubs. Have I really been doing garden maintenance for the last two years?
Small Leafed Hebe
Today will be better - I will probably finish weeding along the back house fence, and then I have a plan to transplant in some common Angelica (I've found some small-enough seedlings by the Pump House). It is another gorgeous day. Then later this afternoon I am going to visit (with camera and my walking friend) a large public Azalea-Rhododendron garden owned by Canterbury University. It's a little early in the season, but I plan to transform into Moosey the Roving Garden Reporter - and get some compulsory socialisation (important for a potential gardener-recluse).
I've finished weeding the newest parts of the Willow Tree garden over the water race. There is a lot of bare earth - I think I might need to buy some more new plants!
Thursday 16th September
Our bad weather (a southerly) usually barges in with dramatic rolling grey clouds, sudden temperature drops, wind from out of nowhere. Today's predicted afternoon southerly is obviously embarrassed at disturbing such a hardworking gardener - it's spitting, the flaxes are waving around a bit, and nothing much else is happening. Never-the-less I'm feeling a bit lazy today so I've watered the glass-house seeds (all madly germinating), put other hoses on the Wattle Woods, taken a squillion more close-up photographs (sorry! - The London Team will rue the day I discovered the close-up button, hee hee), and picked yet more daffodils for the house (I'm running out of vases and rooms). If that is the sum total of my gardening day then let it be!
Daffodil Close-Up #45
Hmm... fifteen minutes later and it is properly raining. Oh well! I deserve some reflecting time. I have a new magazine to read, and a mail-order catalogue to write long lists from. And I've decided that I want a row of medium-small hydrangeas along the back house lawn. So many ideas!