Join some clubs...

I don't have to go in to work ever again. What will I do if it rains for a week? I am going to join the local garden club, and the local walking club, and...

 Toe Toe, Miscanthus, Calamagrostis and Carexes in my grasses garden.
The New Stables Garden full of Grasses

Sunday 5th March

Aargh! I need a system. And what immediately springs into my freshly-retired school teacher mind? A timetable! Eek! Tick boxes on a wall planner! Aargh! Lying snug in bed doing my mental gardening preparation I wondered if a garden shed might help. For example - where do I store my garden tools? And my seeds? Oops - try the garage and the kitchen, in the glasses cupboard.

 Still life!
Flowers, Foliage, Secateurs

A Proper Gardener

Not good enough, now I am a proper gardener. To make a horticulturalist plantswoman (that's what all good lady gardeners are called in the magazines) out of a random potterer who loses secateurs, and floats around plan-less, stopping on a whim to dig this and weed that... the challenge for 2006!

I thought I should make a little write-on calendar for each month, and display it on the wall of the Moosey Office (whose garden credibility needs a serious upgrade). This would help my organisational skills. Why do I never have decent lawns? Apart from not mowing them myself, I never remember in time to re-sow the dodgy patches. Why do I never have sweet peas? Because I never remember to sow the seeds in autumn. And my haphazard weeding of the water race edges doesn't work - if I was reminded to do it every three weeks think of the improvement!

Right. Before all the above garden things are tackled I am going on my morning bicycle ride with Rusty Dog. Then a coffee, a light breakfast, pick some roses for the house, and action!

 This should be William Shakespeare, but it looks far too pink in this photograph.
David Austin Rose

Much, Much Later...

Hnmm... I ended up being totally random. I decided to return to the nursery sale and get some cheap rhododendrons (pink ones) for the edge of the Hump at the driveway corner. Then I decided to plant them and clean up the first gardens alongside the drive. Rake, rake, dig, dig, weed, weed, plant, plant. Tomorrow I will water, water. I hope the new rhododendrons like it in here. They are named (in no particular order) Anna Rose Whitney (two plants), the Countess of - Haddington? - and Bob's Blue (five plants, because Bob's Blues were really cheap).

Retirement action number one - I am going to join the local gardening club. Then an attitude make-over - though I suspect that reforming my gardening style might take a little more than a cute custom-made wall-planner. How can I get to be more consistent without losing that heady feeling of free choice?

Monday 6th March

Right. My very first proper retirement morning. Ha! The hedge trimmer is whirring and splattering mess along the shelter trees over the water race. Beige Puss is playing manically with Jerome's mouse (deceased) on the carpet by my feet. Charming! Stumpy - warm, furry, sedately normal - is sitting on my lap. My first cup of tea is delightful. I don't have to do six things at once before 8:30 am. I can even linger over my morning mail!

As Yet, No Garden Plan...

Right. There's no wall-planner, no this-month-in-the-garden poster, no bossy calendar - not as yet, anyway. Today's plan is easy - I will go back over the water race, clean up the tree mess, and continue my border clearing and trimming. There will also be reading, swimming, piano playing, and bicycling with the dog. Only one concern - I have lost the phone number for the local gardening club. Perhaps this is a sign - they may not like me! Aargh! I think I will be Moosey-Anonymous - internet garden websites might put the country ladies off.

 Pass with care - you bet!
The Hedge Trimmer

Later, Apres Gardening

I have been serious all day, clearing the hedge trimmings along the water race. It has been hot, fragrant work, and I have nearly finished, getting along as far as Duck Lawn. If I am to be a serious gardener then sometimes I will need to start and finish one thing, even if it's in the sun, or is annoying, or takes me ages. Hee hee - just as a small diversion I enlarged the curved garden right underneath the Willow tree. More room for more hostas!

+10+10My kitten company was extremely acrobatic - B-Puss and Fluff-Fluff were very keen to stay close, while zooming up the Willow tree and leaping down into the rhododendrons. Both missed the final journey over Car Bridge back to the house for lunch, so they decided to jump the water race. Aargh! I can remember the Moosey rooster launching himself over, but none of the other cats have ever done this. And of course the dog just gets wet and sloshes through. Scary to watch - but success! Beige Puss's parabolic jumping arc was higher than Fluff-Fluff's, whose wobbly flight ended in a slightly wet bottom and tail. Oops.

 And well named!
Brilliant Pink Iceberg

I am satisfied with my day. I have been sensible and focused. The gardens over the water race look great when lawns are mowed and the trees are trimmed - they are almost visitable. The Golden Elm shines luminously in the sunshine and the roses look nice - Pink Iceberg in particular.

Tuesday 7th March

Part One of my scary retirement socialisation plan - joining something! Not only have I joined the local Garden Club, but I am going on an outing with them next Tuesday. I am to meet Lynn in the Community Hall car park at 8:45 am, carrying a mug and a plate (with food attached), and some cafe money. Hee hee!

Today I have proved yet again that I can be a serious gardener - not only by finishing cleaning up the tree mess on the water race lawns (including raking), but also by vigorously weeding the last three archway climbing roses in the Hazelnut Orchard. I am now relaxing in a blue splodgy apres gardening shirt (freshly ironed, naturally) - drinking tea brewed in my new retirement infuser-style teapot (which doesn't leak). I thought I would have lots to say, but I've sort of said it all! What a lucky, lucky person I am!