My September resolutions...
Hello, September, springy month. To show appreciation of my lovely egg-laying hens, I have started having a morning egg for breakfast - the first of my September resolutions. Power packed with protein, my gardening days should be even more amazing...
Sunday 2nd September
Every morning after breakfast I wander over to the Hen House with five cats and the dog to feed the chooks. As one who gardens alone, I'm not afraid of madness-connotations associated with talking to animals. Anyway, there's no-one except animals to hear me! So after crossing Rooster Bridge my habit is to call out a cheery 'Hello birds'.
Immediately the high gum and wattle trees start squeaking, as a thousand happy sparrows, starlings, finches and blackbirds answer me - after all, they are birds too! Moosey the fearless Feeder of the Avian Masses has arrived. Surprisingly, there is little interaction between my cat/dog companions and the twittering, fluttering creatures overhead. The kittens and cats go straight into Henworld, my circular hen theme garden, and leap out at each other from underneath the tussock grasses. The dog escorts any greedy pigeons out of Moosey airspace.
Henworld - Winter 2007
I can't think of a nicer way to continue the day, after my new eggy breakfast regime...
Hello, spring! September feels different - it is, after all, my birthday month, and I have high hopes of being given certain structures as birthday presents (specifically a waterwheel and a bridge). I still have to get the garden properly organised, though. Yesterday I pottered around, weeding and digging out loads of compost. I love my compost! Slicing through one of the irrigation pipes was a minor blemish on a productive day. Whew - thank you to Non-Gardening Partner who fixed the problem in five minutes.
What a wonderful man! We took a load of old rubbish, including the late lamented flat screen TV (the one that a cat - ahem - broke) to the dump. Then I lurched back into the Wattle Woods to weed more. There is much blossom starting - white and pink, so delicate in the strong sunlight that it's easily missed. Not so those brilliant red rhododendrons - they're show stoppers!
Today I want to start a watering regime, so the new plantings in the Glass-House Garden have a good start. Then I will continue weeding. When I return to my journal I will have a list of accomplishments as long as my last seed list. That sentence sounds familiar...
Oh dear - weeding is so small-minded! But I've done lots, and I've watered my new gardens, and I've enjoyed a beautifully warm day in the sunshine. I've had good cat-company, if a little inconsistent. I have also been mass producing new plants in my glass-house - potting up rooted Pelargonium, Penstemon and Daisy cuttings, and divisions of variegated Scrophularia and Lupin. I've checked the sheep a few times, with three bouncing kittens, B-Puss the thoughtful and Fluff-Fluff the show-off accompanying me. No lambs yet - a watched ewe never lambs, as I've said before.
Some of my seeds are ready for pricking out. I have identified lots and lots of garden gaps where soon they can all be carefully planted. I'm also extremely happy to have so much home-made compost, even if it proves to be weedy and spuddy. Such a sense of achievement, building one's own, doing it oneself...
Monday 3rd September
Ooh - I've got lots of non-gardening things to do today, like choir, and swimming, and a tiny bit of teaching work (eek - clean fingernails are required). These things are insignificant when compared with the gardening tasks I intend to do, though. Good morning to purring Percy who has climbed up and over the roof to find an open window and his indoor favourite person (me).
Firstly, some general garden comments and reminders. Yesterday I had to leave the bright pink Flower Carpet Rose by the house and take the collapsed wine barrel to bits around it. So now I have firewood, a rose stranded in the lawn, and a brand new replacement wine barrel with nothing, as yet, in it. Ha! It can go on the Septic Tank cover, filled with my spare variegated cordyline. I will alter, ever so slightly, the curve of the bay window border, so that the rose belongs. Task identified, solution formulated. Nice.
I still haven't shifted those old standard roses. I've found a stack of firewood logs perfect for edging the Glass-House Garden. I need to buy some bags of potting mix, and some minced chicken for my nine-isn't-too-many cats.
Ha! The first lamb is born, a single, in the lull before the southerly storm which is due tomorrow. Bad timing, weather! I've pricked out lettuce, omphalodes and cornflower seedlings, and more pelargonium cuttings which have formed strong clumps of roots. A rogue cattle beast has been plodding around the orchard paddock all day (having jumped the fence) - imagine if he wandered further, through the gardens, and took a fancy to Camellia flowers and daffodils. I have shut all the gates.
On this note, I'm off to choir. I do not fancy herding a lone cattle beast off the property.
Tuesday 4th September
We've put a woolly lamb cover on the first lamb - today's weather storm is supposed to be short and nasty. I have to go into work for an hour (don't ask - but I must remember to brush hair and clean fingernails), and then I'll pick up more potting mix - yesterday I used up 40 litres. I will check for lambs each hour - all the cats now follow me into the Hump where I peep through the fence. Even Stumpy the Grey joins in, with her old lady's saggy belly scraping the ground as she runs.
Histeria the Tabby
Suddenly, at the same time, I have excessive amounts of cat food - a huge carton of chicken mince from the factory, and fresh fish pieces from the local fish man. Of all my cats, Histeria the kitten will eat anything put in front of her. Moosey humans are advised not to eat any fish chowders or chicken pies served up in the next few days...
Today would be a good time to do a thorough theoretical check of the state of my garden. I could even do it in a spreadsheet - how boring! Aargh - now it's lightly snowing! Spring, get yourself organised! I'm happy to be inside, and I like the idea of natural watering, but this is very mean on the sheep.
Garden Club Trip to Rhododendron Festival
Exciting news - I have put my name down and paid my deposit to go to a big Rhododendron festival at the end of October. It makes me realise the length of the flowering season for rhododendrons - that's two months away!
- Graham the Rhododendron :
- Size isn't everything, and gardens need to have interesting things at ankle-level, as well as head-high. I hope my two Graham rhododendrons don't get a complex.
Some rhododendrons in my garden seem to be blooming early. My big red has now been joined by one of the President Roosevelts, with the little pink pair of Grahams bravely flowering at ankle height across the path. Go, you two - be confident! Actually you probably need to get out more!
Ha! Not only am I now vastly more experienced at writing about other people's gardens, but I can look even more professional by carrying the Moosey laptop.