New trees, shrubs, roses, poultry...
New plants - the gift that goes on giving! My new trees are in, my new shrubs are - almost in, my new roses are - next to go in. Our new poultry arrives any day now, and we are still waiting for more new lambs.
Sunday 10th September
It is certainly spring, with all these new things happening! A delicate note regarding the lack of lambs - Charles the Merino Ram is absolutely in no way to blame. He has a small paddock full of offspring lambs down the road. I would hate to suggest that Charles - ahem - no more needs to be said.
Head Gardener, Pet Lamb, and Gardening Cats
Hee hee! I have just answered a survey in my Fine Gardening magazine which gives me a score and tells me what type of gardener I am. Here are my very own gardening adjectives, got from serious scientific analysis (of silly questions).
What Kind of Gardener Am I?
- I'm reserved.
- Oops. Is this a polite word for anti-social?
- I'm practical.
- Another oops, since the other adjective was 'conceptual', and I'd much rather have scored that. 'Practical' makes me sound like a vegetable grower.
- I'm personal.
- Hmm... I like this adjective. Apparently I am unafraid to express my own ideas. Yes!
- I'm relaxed.
- This part talks about my leisurely approach... Hmm...
Early Flowering Rhododendron - Kaponga
Right. Now that I am truly in touch with the gardener inside, I need to take my reserved, practical, personal and relaxed self outside. I have much to do - my plans for planting are spread far and wide. I have some maintenance tasks, too - next winter's firewood management plan requires the collecting of cut logs from the Wattle Woods.
There will be no chocolate cake today to make me feel full and sleepy. I must get the new trees (two cherry blossoms and a Japanese Pagoda tree) planted in my garden before all their blossoming is done in the nursery sawdust pit. And the chooks! Aargh! It's all happening! I'm off to feed the pet lamb.
Monday 11th September
Yesterday was brilliant! Trees planted, new shrubs planted (a pink flowering Cistus and a row of Hidcote Lavenders), logs shifted, paths weeded, rhododendrons lovingly placed in the soil and watered. Haru the pet lamb bounced and ran and slept in the sun.
I had four cats for intensive company - the three youngsters zooming up (and down, carefully backwards) the big cordyline trunk, with the inevitable cat-jam at the top. Jerome the Grey, the wise old gardening cat-woman, just sat and watched.
Echoes of Red
The compulsory red cordyline is in a boring pot, elevated on a piece of wattle tree trunk, where its colours echo the red Camellia, the early red rhododendrons (flowering now), the new red rhododendrons which bloom mid-season, and the weeping Maori Maiden flax, planted at the path junction. That's a huge lot of echoing for one humble plant!
I will be forever reminded of London's red cordyline mania, my big overseas trip there in May, and my lovely, generous son. Aargh! Put a shirt on!
The Chooks Have Arrived
In the late afternoon we went to get the chooks. Details now, photographs later - they are all hen-housebound for a week, to get used to concepts like 'home' and 'roost' and 'lay'. Then they'll be allowed to have indoor-outdoor flow, with their well-constructed netting run. As soon as they're totally settled, discrete daily foraging in the Hazelnut Orchard is allowed. Ha! Do I sound like a firm poultry owner?
We got them home after dark - sleeping hens were pulled out of cardboard boxes and plonked on the perch. Rooster was the only bird awake - oh, that crow! To hear once again the musical crow of a beautiful silver striped cockerel - a chromatic delight!
I'm a little concerned about the self esteem of one of my new Maples, Esk Sunset No. 2. What happened to the first sunset? And I thought the Esk was a grumbling little river in England - can't see how it can possibly be connected with sunsets.
Ha! I have totally completed all my planting. My random birthday purchases have been fun - for example, I can now see two deep pink Azaleas from the house windows. Lovely - a deep pink echo with the tall Camellia! And a red flax is squashed in a pale terracotta pot to complete the effect. I've been running the hoses on the new plants in the Wattle Woods. I have bought my chooks a feeder and a water gadget. Let the egg laying commence!
And by the way, I've discovered a new gardening truth. The only way to successfully find and remove dog turds from lawns is to be showing some special guest (wearing city shoes) around. When one wanders around alone (armed with plastic bags) these small deposits are impossible to find!