Oh dear. It's already the second week of November - these pre-summer gardening days are rushing by. Many of my roses are starting to flower - I forget how beautiful rose blooms look against the fresh green foliage.
Thursday 8th November
Today I have promised my dog Rusty (who is three years old) I will not be boring. So I'm still inside, typing and tinkering, and it's already ten o'clock in the morning... This is not a good start to the garden day. I have paths to finish laying mulch on, and irises to admire, and sneaky watering to organise. It's a bit overcast - a wonderful day for taking flower photographs. And there are still piles of sawn-up logs to stack.
And, of course, there is weeding to do. Name a style of weeding - light, fussy, serious - and I could happily spend the rest of the day doing it. Well, perhaps not so happily... Right. I'm off outside, and I won't come back inside until I have the longest list ever of gardening accomplishments.
I'm back! It's nearly five o'clock, and I've been - well - sort of good. I've weeded, planted annuals, covered two more paths, cleared one load of logs, wheeled one load of rubbish to the burning heap, and done some cold-feet-in-the-water dog-path maintenance. Rusty the dog thinks I've been jolly good company, and for the last hour he's been on guard down-stream for any escapee weeds.
Hello Mary Rose
More roses are out. Westerland by the house, magnificent Othello, and the first of the Mary roses. Fruhlingsgold by the Apple trees is covered in delicate pale lemon single blooms. Its neighbouring golden leafed Choisya is in flower - they make such a pretty twosome. And I've been so busy I haven't taken any rosy photographs!
Friday 9th November
Good morning to Percy, who with Fluff-Fluff provides the most visible of cat-company at all times. The other cats, particularly tortoiseshell Tiger, are the colour of leaf litter, and thus well camouflaged. When two ginger gardening cats streak across a beautifully green, well-watered lawn...
Flowering Golden Choisya
Yesterday during afternoon tea I decided that my garden would never ever be properly ready for a busload of garden visitors. I keep finding patches of weeds in places I've forgotten about, alongside paths which I rarely walk through. Seats I never sit on are covered in cobwebs and bird-poos. I have found the perfect solution. It will now be compulsory to drink cups of tea/coffee in the garden. I tend to spend my breaks slouching around the house, guaranteeing that the drink is hot, hot, hot. But I'm not 'seeing' all the diverse spots in my garden when at rest.
Yet Another Gardening Resolution
So I have yet another new gardening resolution. Half an hour each day is to be spent resting, reading, or doing mathematics somewhere away from the house. The Wisteria patio and the decking don't count.
Hmm... The trouble is that the cricket season has started, and what better way to rest than to lie on the couch watching Australia batting - on, and on, and on - on the TV. But my gardening efforts have been fine - I've surfaced another path, found stones for its edges, and weeded a hundred gorse seedlings out of the nearby gardens.
Just as I was returning to the garden, Daughter of Moosey rang from Sri Lanka requiring an instant, spiritual, flowery yet meaningfully personal, wedding speech. I tried joining up cute phrases from my South African roses calendar but she wasn't fooled. I will have to stay inside for a wee bit longer, since she's ringing me back. Oops.
Saturday 10th November
Right. We won't talk about the cricket (New Zealand is playing South Africa). We can talk about my well-watered garden, and the Olearia hedge, which is being clipped today. We can check out my latest list of lovely blooming things, spied on the morning walk to feed the hens.
- More and more irises are flowering - deep maroon in the Stables Garden, yellow in the Frisbee Lawn, creamy white in the Hen House Gardens...
- Too many to mention in person...
- I love the dark blues. Not too many have blown over - yet...
- Almost flowering. I'm nice to my foxgloves, letting them choose where to grow. Unless they're in the middle of a path.
- Later ones are flowering, including some blues. Yippee!
Right. We need to stop procrastinating and go outside.
I've been weeding and tinkering in the Wattle Woods. I thought the visiting choir ladies might like to see my little wriggling stream, so I'm running one of the garden hoses into the top to see if there's enough slope for water to get through, and how far down the water gets. If it works I'll hide the hose in the dirt, hee hee.
The Wriggling Stream
After lunch I'll be raking and burning the hedge clippings. I'm not going to feel like doing this - it's a beautiful day for taking photographs and listening to the bellbirds - two! I heard their songs overlapping, musical counterpoint in the garden. At the moment they seem quite excited by the hedge trimmer.
Sunday 11th November
I did return to the garden, spending the whole afternoon pottering around. The wriggling stream works properly, just filling up the pond at the bottom, with one garden hose. So I can have this little feature running when the ladies choir visit. I spent a few hours clearing gum leaves and weeding along it. Then I rewarded myself with some more TV cricket watching, strictly of the Australian variety. The misadventures of the New Zealand cricket team, currently on tour in South Africa, are not to be commented on.
Now today - what shall I do first? And when does late spring turn into early summer? It might have done so already, while I was asleep!
I am a legend. I have helped clear firewood, weeded up the driveway, put the watering drippers on the roses in the orchard, rescued three sad pittosporums (water-wise) by the fence, and carted two loads of rubbish to the burning heap. But the best thing of all - I have found all the tools which I lost yesterday and was too shy to write about. Hand digger, hand scratcher, little shovel, and my brand new edging shears, which got well watered in the big irrigation overnight - all recovered safe and sound. Oops. Such a happy ending!
Now I'm off to find more gardening work. I've had a thought about the visiting ladies choir. It might be comforting for a visitor to see, for example, just a few select weeds. It really all depends on how much 'garden cred' I have, in their eyes.
'Oh, look - M has little bits of grass growing through her Scabious clumps, just like I do. That makes me feel soooo much better'
See what I mean?
I ended the day getting totally wet in the water race weeding the banks. A lot of rubbish (from tree felling, by the look of it) has floated down, become saturated, and sunk to the bottom. I have been righteously scooping it out. I found a lot of new Gunnera seedlings near the proposed site of the new curved bridge (hint). What cute little babies... How foolish am I? Will I leave them to grow? You bet I will...