Thursday 15th November - Welcome to Summer
I'd like to welcome summer to the Moosey garden (and website) - this is my own personal date, but I feel pretty confident. My first summer sign is the removal of spent forget-me-not plants. Those sticky seeds attach themselves to my socks, my gardening shirt, my dog, and Fluff-Fluff my long-haired ginger gardening cat. Some long apres-gardening grooming sessions will be needed...
Wine Red Iris
Today I just weeded and weeded and weeded some more - stray potatoes, nasty weeds, benign weeds, annual weeds, bits of grass - you name it, I weeded it. The garden is almost ready for the tour by the visiting ladies choir. I'm confident that nothing too ghastly can happen in the next ten days - famous last words.
Keep Going, Irises!
It would be nice if my irises were still going strong. I now have lots of great colours, and the ladies will enjoy them.
My rooster needs a structure upon which he can leap when he needs to feel tall and important in the chicken run. At the moment he hops onto the blue chook-food feeder, which is not hygienic. I'm off now to collect the eggs, so I'll take him over an old house chair.
See, rooster - I do understand the male bird-ego! Remember that next time you chase me through the Hazelnut Orchard with pecking on your mind!
Sorry, Gloire de Dijon
Oops - just remembered. I have a casualty announcement to make. Both Gloire de Dijon roses, always poor doers on their archway in the Hazelnut Orchard, are now both officially, well and truly, dead. I thought they'd like it out there - sun, fresh air, water, good soil... I did all I could... Sorry, Gloire de Dijon. You were just hopeless. RIP.
Friday 16th November
It's a public holiday, so my live-in garden helper is home. Let me see - what do I need him to do first? I've already left a gardening book on water features and bridges casually open at a curved bridge picture. I tried the usual: 'How do you think they built the underneath? He seemed interested...
There's a huge problem with reading water gardening books over breakfast. Their ponds are photographed when all pond side planting is at its luxuriant best. My pond just doesn't cut it. The Gunnera is late to develop, and there are swathes of bare patches where there could be watery irises, flowering Azaleas, marginals, and so on. I need to dress my pond up somehow, and I don't mean a family of fishing gnomes.
I'm furious with my blue Meconopsis. I saw many clumps of this aristocratic flower in my tours of Scottish gardens, and they always politely faced the pathway - encouraging the visitor to 'ooh' and 'aah' and take photographs - as I did. My one Meconopsis has turned its back, and is pointing its flowerhead defiantly towards the septic tank.
Red Weigela Shrub
Today is simple. I am going to do what I'm told. I'm the one doing the telling, so I will pretend there are two of me, and make a stern list. My singing friend is popping out for morning tea - checking that the garden is 'up to standard' for the choir visit? Hee hee. Here's my list:
- Weed and tie in roses in Orchard.
- I must remember to lock up my marauding rooster.
- Plant out remaining annuals.
- There are always remaining annuals, at this time of the year.
- The Pond Garden
- Do something!
- Behind the Pond
- Clean out fallen branches, try and create rustic wilderness area which will appeal to city ladies.
Aargh! I'm off!
I didn't behave. Only the first list item can be ticked off. While escorting my lovely singing friend around I saw many 'pockets' of weeds - where did they come from? I tried to redirect my friend's gaze to nearby apricot foxgloves or stunning pink and red lupins. My friend was not fooled! She is an instinctive 'gatherer', and kept lunging gracefully into the greenery to extract knee-high dandelions and other weeds. Then she started filling her ample pockets with black-spotted rose leaves. Enough! I knew I had serious weeding work to do!
Saturday 17th November
Each day is more colourful and flowery than the last. The Gunnera by the water race is now full leafed, and yesterday I weeded out the remaining apricot irises from the shade and gloom. I am in an iris mood, determined to have good irises flowering in sensible, easily admired places.
PInk Rhododendron Flowering
Quite a lot of my rhododendrons have had the year off, producing masses of new growth and only a few flowers. I'm OK with this. One, a bargain bin Whitney's - Apricot? (it looks more like a pale lemon) is moving out of Middle Garden today, destined for the shady moist spaces of the Driveway Garden. My pots of Renga Renga can be planted out in there, too.
A Garden Surprise!
NGP (Non-Gardening-Partner), bless him, is up to something - he's off with the trailer to collect a garden surprise. Is it timber for the new bridge? Nope. Something for the Waterwheel? Nope again. Hmm... Wonder what it is? I hope it's not boring, like compost...
Today I need to finish yesterday's list - that goes without saying. I will also do a weed patrol, and make several swoops around unsuspecting border edges. Right. I must remember the list. I'm off to woman-handle that rhododendron.
Later, a Bit Grumpy, and I Fibbed About the Rhododendron...
I sort of finished the list, but ended up spending most of my time weeding. Aargh! I am sick of weeding! I am sick of bending over to remove nasty things, and then sitting down to poke and prod, and then struggling to my feet again. I feel so old, and my foot is sore. Sorry to grump.
The garden surprise was a set of beautiful stone covered slabs which will form an all-weather path around the house. NPG has laid them out on the grass, and they look amazing. In fact the garden looks much better with this bold walkable edging. Several cats have already consumer-tested the surface and given it the paws-up. The path will be perfect for Mugsy, who hates getting her feet wet on the grass.
I actually have two rhododendrons to shift - I can do those tomorrow. Perhaps NGP would like to further impress me. Today he has been such a legend! Look - I'm sure that a man of his considerable talents could whip up a Monet-style curved bridge in a weekend...