It's nearly the middle of March and I'm mooching around. Where's the energy to put all my wonderful garden ideas into practice? I blame the cricket (which we keep losing, really badly) - this must de-motivate the staunchest of cricket-loving gardeners.
Monday 14th March
Blast spending a whole Sunday at the cricket watching our team lose! I am a whole day behind, way down on gardening achievement, feeling decidedly sulky. And blast working all morning on a Monday!
Phloxes and Roses in the Vegetable Garden
Plant Those Pittosporums...
Now I'm home, the sun is shining, I am garden-dressed in my shorts, with sale price Pittosporums and hostas to plant - and all I feel like doing is being lazy. Daytime television seems oddly appealing - Aargh! This simply will not do!
I am a gardener. My garden is out there waiting. Both my legs are working. I have rakes and shovels and a new hand digger. There is simply no excuse. I will go outside immediately, and not return until all the remaining sale things are planted properly, watered, and mulched - and possibly photographed with the scary new camera... Aargh!
Humph... I am back. I have spent three hours planting Pittosporums - just nine of them - so why did it take so long? I am very grumpy, simply because I didn't feel like planting Pittosporums - hopeless! However, I have watered and raked and tried to build up the sandy soil. I have looked at the plant placement from many different angles - I have wandered up and down the new path route checking 'the look'. I have also planted the Maple tree right in the middle (please, little Maple, show your appreciation to the nice old-lady gardener who rescued you from the bargain bin).
Animal Report - Hens
Brown hen has finally left the Olearia hedge (after close to three months) and resumed normal hen-transmission. This just leaves Henlet (aka Hamlet) hidden in there, sitting on nothing and croaking horribly at anyone passing. For the Moosey animal record, I have finally changed her hen-name to Hamlet, taking the persistent and extremely annoying advice of my spell-checker.
Kittens Climbing a Cordyline
Animal Report - Puppy, Cats and Kittens
Rusty the puppy has been 'finding' old hen eggs and hiding them in his blankets by the back door, along with the head gardener's favourite blue woollen scarf (which has just been discovered ripped and holey). There is a rather ghastly smell - rotten eggs with tiny dog-teeth marks - Hmm...
Cats and kittens are much more mellow to live with. They don't rip holes in lost scarves, or screech at passing gardeners from deep within the hedge. Nothing to report really, apart from a few claw marks - Tiger kitten still tries to climb up my leg when I am wearing my gardening shorts - ouch.
I found the very first red autumn leaf today. I think I shall quit while I'm ahead.
Tuesday 15th March
Just as well I gardened (even if grumpily) yesterday. Today I am at work nearly all day. Then tomorrow I will be there all morning and lunchtime. I guess I am paying for my new Pittosporum forest, but somehow this doesn't make me feel very inspired! I think a trip to the rose sale might lift the gardening spirits.
There is autumnal ambience - the light is different, the air is crisper, and another of the trees is starting to change colour. It is possible that the house lawn is recovering, too, from the burning and browning effects of hot summer days and the peeing of the puppy. Ha! Slowly, slowly turns the garden wheel, creaking like Hamlet in the hedge...
Well, I am home from work, and after some late lunch I intend to visit a couple of plant nurseries. One will be visited to organise new trees and some Cream Delight flaxes for the Grand Work Garden Plan (i.e. my design for the gardens at my work).
Cream Delight Flax - 2005
Then the rose sale gets a visit - with my Visa card, strictly for me. I reckon I've deserved it - I haven't gone potty and bought in new roses for months now - such restraint! When I return from plant-shopping it will be far too late for any serious gardening - perhaps a gentle stroll with the new (scary) camera would be nice.
Wednesday March 16th
I realise the reason I have not been using the new scary camera is that the last days have been far too sunny! However today is overcast (I am just home from work) and I have taken heaps of hopefully arty shots. It is nearly time I read the manual. Shyness will probably stop me from announcing that a certain photograph has been taken with my new scary camera. However it is reasonable to assume that all images from now on will be (if they don't look any different I will be most distressed). I know garden photography is an art, and real gardeners are not automatically good visual recorders of their gardens. Good gardeners do not necessarily write well about gardening, either...
Striped Canna - New Camera!
I am saving my rose sale trip until later this afternoon - maybe I can get some new David Austins. Yesterday was fabulous - I zoomed around a local plant nursery grabbing trees (flowering cherries, maples, standard olives and so on) as if I had won a competition - fill the nursery trolley in one minute and take the lot home. March is the month for plant bargains. The new work gardens will be planted on Easter Tuesday.
Just Before Tea...
Hee hee hee... I am back from the rose nursery. And I have simultaneously had a brilliant idea for my live-in gourmet cook's thirtieth birthday (ouch - that's old!) - a memorial rose garden! It will be in the Hazel Orchard paddock by the water tank and the new well. This is symbolic, since my gourmet live-in cook is also a hydro-geologist. So far I have bought twelve roses - and I intend to list them now, for the Moosey Archives. What a lovely birthday present...
New Birthday Roses
- 2 Roydon Hybrid Teas - buttery-cream
- 2 Kronenbourg Hybrid Teas - Violent magenta
- 2 Fisherman's Friend - David Austin, dark red
- 1 Agnes - rugosa, lemon yellow
- 1 Emmanuel - David Austin, something pastel
- 2 Jacqueline du Pre - white singles
- 1 Chaucer - David Austin, peachy, tall
- 1 Danae - small lemony flowers
Will I get away with a new Moosey rose garden as a birthday present to someone else? Perhaps if I promised a seat, with a birthday plaque? What a great way to celebrate family history - oddly the soon-to-be birthday girl doesn't seem quite as excited as I am. Oh well...
Toe Toe in the Sun
Thursday 17th March
Hee hee hee... Strictly speaking, for a thirtieth birthday present, there should be thirty rose bushes. Twelve doesn't seem symbolic enough. But will I have the time and energy to dig the new garden and have all the roses planted by Easter? I am still reeling from yesterday's sales frenzy - I haven't stuffed my car full of roses for a very long time, and I should have used gloves (ouch). The birthday-girl is more interested now - asking me if the roses had nice names... hmm...
Standard Olives Would be Nice...
Perhaps there could be a compromise - dig and plant the roses I've got, to be the backbone of the new garden, then get some climbing roses for the water tank, and some small, spreading roses for the edges. For example, Rosy Cushion roses were in the sale, advertised (I reckon wrongly) as ground cover. Then there will have to be other plants - so perhaps I need thirty plants in total? I could include some wee trees, flaxes and grasses. But that's exactly how all the gardens here end up looking the same! Ha! How about some standard olive trees? Now there's an idea... and I've just realised - the water tank is a light olive green!
Rosy Cushion Rose
The thought processes of a random, unrealistic gardener! We have the grab-and-fill method of plant selection, followed by the frenetic plant-as-you-dig technique. Carefully preparing the ground is obviously out.
Hee hee hee... I have arrived home from work via the nursery, where I bought three lovely standard olive trees for the birthday garden. This is symbolic of the birthday-person being a gourmet cook. She is still less than impressed with me. I also bought some bargain bin cordylines (ones which are supposed to sprout from the base) and four normal green flaxes called Emerald Gem. These little toughies are to fill in the gaps in the Pittosporum forest.
- Mathematics Book :
- My rooster seems interested in this Mathematics text book. Hmm...
This morning before work I managed to properly plant and water six variegated carexes and one daisy shrub. It's Mathematics in the garden - if it takes the head-gardener one hour to plant six carexes and a scruffy daisy shrub, how long will it take two gardeners (head gardener plus birthday-girl-gourmet-cook-hydrologist) to plant twelve roses and three standard olives? That is, assuming the other gardener is willing to plant her own birthday garden - this might be stretching the bounds of credibility a little...
I've just had a horrible thought - what about irrigation for the new garden? Eeek! There is a tap right on site, though - maybe the water can come straight out of the water tank (a fairly intelligent idea, since the new garden surrounds the water tank anyway). What excitement! Rusty the puppy can help in the digging - on second thoughts - No! Sensible gardening advice - never ever let a puppy see you digging. Here goes...