Beth Chatto wouldn't be silly enough...
The wind blows, the gum leaves, bark strips (and the odd branch) descend. So the major shedding season for gum trees begins. I'm certain Beth Chatto wouldn't be silly enough to have flowery gardens and lawns underneath huge inherited gum trees.
Gumboots on the Patio
Tuesday 1st February
After being re-inspired reading about the Moosey London Team's English Garden visits I've been re-reading Beth Chatto's famous dry garden book. In mid-summer I do wonder why I grow roses and green and lush things two meters away from a big gum tree. But I can't imagine the house lawn without this lovely, noisy tree.
I can, however, imagine lush green summer lawns (which would require serious raking after every windy day). And I do have help - blessed are the big irrigation sprinklers, which I listened to last night whooshing and swooshing.
Today there will be gardening - somewhere - perhaps I will be inspired (and sensible) in the dry shade of the Wattle Woods. Imagine a garden with no large gum trees at all...Hmm...
Later... I've trimmed old leaves off the big bronze flax and cleaned up the decking pots. The big terracotta pot of assorted succulents looks amazing. The Pineapple Lilies are almost flowering, and the pink Corokia has fully recovered from drought and severe pruning.
And there's more! The aloe has a stalk, and the sedums are looking very geometric. My medium pot of fancy Japanese grass rescued from the bargain bin is lush and feathery. It seems so easy to spend a satisfying morning doing very little!
Summer Pond Decking
I've been thinking about money, and the fact that I don't seem to have much (I wonder if this matters). Do gardeners actually need 'big' money? I've made a list.
Things That Don't Require 'Big' Money
- Taking the puppy for a walk.
- Getting a drink of refreshing pure aquifer water.
- Reading a book, or a garden magazine.
- Weeding, raking, clearing, pruning, doing edges.
- Listening to cricket on the cricket radio.
- Dressing elegantly apres-gardening.
Hmm... I do lots of those things every day...
Blue Hydrangeas by the Laundry
Wednesday February 2nd
No excuses today - it's warm, there's cloud cover, and absolutely no wind. Bach's double violin concerto is tootling on the stereo, and the cats, kittens and puppy are relaxing after breakfast. I am about to get the first cup of coffee and glide out onto my decking (my goodness the pots look beautiful! What stylish decking pots! And the plants in the pots are so nicely looked after, too...). I will write more when I have more to say of decent gardening substance.
I'm back. Just some gentle gardening exercise this morning, with kitten-company! And a small hedgehog with a wiggly nose. I found another path (the Laundry Path, by the big blue hydrangea) which was blocked by vegetation - so I've been trimming the lavenders and the Banksia. Garden visitors can now safely glide through, accompanied by a modest bunch of mellow bees.
Thursday February 3rd
Even though it's summer, this morning I am spring-cleaning the web-site - weeding the older pages, raking up all the debris of the last seven years. Ha! Just a good excuse not to exert the real gardening-self too much, I reckon! I hope I haven't been too ruthless ripping out the (real) Lychnis though - shouldn't remove absolutely all the plants - perhaps just clip off the old flowering stalks? I've been having a bit of a Lychnis purge.
Whereas those smelly Shasta daisies get away with long life - they of course are more strongly rooted to the ground, and I only like them, at a distance, for a few weeks. But do they get a wholesale banishment to the compost heaps on the far fence-line? No!
Aargh! Having has a very lazy real-gardening day, I decided to wander out along the back lawn gardens - there's a mahogany Coreopsis I've grown from seed which I thought might be flowering. Oh yes, it certainly was. And the hugest daylily was happily blooming with two different phloxes (light pink and cherry pink) which I can't remember ever buying or planting. But the weeds! Aargh! They are waist high!
Tomorrow I will drop everything and sort this garden out. I think I have been concentrating too much on clearing paths and not enough on the flowering bits. I don't understand how a large area of my garden can get away with this sort of thing!
Friday February 4th
I am relaxing apres-gardening after two hard-working gardening sessions. I have been weeding only, and my hands are sore. The Elm Tree Garden is now clear, as are the gardens by the Pergola. The size of the lush green weed growth was spectacular - oops! There's a lot of bright flower colour that I don't remember seeing (pink phoxes and annual Lavateras) and the pergola rose Crepuscule is flowering again.
I had low-impact animal-company - just the brown hen (scratching solo), and Jerome lounging underneath the Olearia hedge. The high-impact puppy spent the day snoozing in the shade by his Dog-Motel. The others were in Cat Lounge - where I've since found an alarming number of rooster feathers. Don't worry - rooster is alive and very well - but which animal is collecting his surplus tail feathers? I suspect the kittens.