Spring has sprung a cold, wet weather surprise, so I've been inside resting my gardening hands and digging feet - and plotting my next garden spending spree. Lots of fun...
Wednesday 5th September
Today I'm off to buy some perennial packs of Echinacea and Rudbeckia. A bit lazy, I know, but instant money equals instant plant mass. My summer garden (when summer arrives) deserves some new bright colours, after the beautiful yellows of my daffodils.
Spring - Only Just!
But I'm getting way, way ahead of myself - it's only just spring! Today's plan is to check the lambs (two born so far) in between bursts of glass-house gardening. The borders are wet after yesterday's southerly - we even had five minutes of snow! But luckily today is clearing, and there's no wind. Actually, the sun is just starting to shine through. Phew!
I also need grain and layer pellets for my chooks, more potting mix, and a tough-seed-love plan. Otherwise I'll end up with a hundred and fifty lettuce plants - even the hens, who love their daily greens, can't eat that much!
In a Perennial Mood
I'll slice off some more new lupin and delphinium shoots, too. It's a great way to build my own perennials, and balances the guilt of spending loads of money on ready-mades. Then I'm going off in the other direction to the local library - my perennial mood has germinated from a couple of library books, one on so-called 'antique' perennials. This is a classy and impressive way to describe a species plant, or in some cases (like Lord Robert the blue geranium) a weed - I must remember it!
Last Year's Pet Lamb
There is method in this 'going here, there, and everywhere' madness - every time I drive slowly down the drive I can check the sheep and lambs without crashing through the undergrowth and disturbing them. Sheep mothers are so scary - they wander off, without even bothering to check or to call out to their newborns. Poor little woolly-suited lamb - twice now I've thought the worst, seeing him lying all on his own. So I've plodded over nervously - the poor lamb (very much alive) has woken up, and sprinted like the wind to get away from me. Oops.
Thursday 6th September
Still only two lambs (no photographs as yet), and finally it's a beautiful sunny day for them to warm up (and grow up) a little. I haven't done any gardening yet, but I have my new perennials to plant, and I've promised my seeds one hour of pricking out and potting up in the glass-house. If I am ever going to have that flowery, colourful summer garden of my dreams I need to be oh so well prepared!
Flowers versus Foliage
New Zealand gardeners who use natives are really spoilt for foliage choices - I'm really happy with the style and amount of foliage here in the garden. But as soon as those little spring bulbs start flowering I 'm reminded of the joys of colour, and of the beauty of little blooming things - annuals and perennials.
My cerinthe and lemon calendula seedlings are all pricked out. I've reshaped the bay window garden, shifted logs around, tipped out the cat litter box (in theory used by Mugsy when it's cold and rainy) and checked for lambs (no more). I've planted my new hostas (oops - I forgot to mention those, bought yesterday) in the garden in front of the Sleepout. I am tired and happy - I love spring when it's sunny.
Now I'm going to change, soak my hands in strawberry hand cream, and read my new garden library book - it's another one about 'antique' flowers'. I'm expecting to see beautiful pictures of aquilegias, pulmonarias and cornflowers - and maybe some pansies and poppies. I don't grow poppies...
Friday 7th September
Hee hee - it's the eve of my birthday. I've got ten new hebes in the boot of my car to plant - some are going in the Driveway Border, to form a low informal hedge, and the others are filling in gaps in the new Glass-House Garden. I must shift in the little red Maple before I get any older... Today cat company is compulsory, and there is a prize (raw fish) for the most attentive and loving feline. The dog isn't eligible. Back soon.
The dog wins, since he was the only animal I saw all afternoon. Go Rusty, you fine gardening dog! He's gratefully scoffed the raw fish, which will possibly give him dreadful breath for the rest of the evening. Oops.
I've been weeding the Willow Tree Garden and wondering about some new plants to spruce it up a bit, now that the willow stump has been severely chopped down. Shrubs, maybe? I still haven't decided where to plant my new summer perennials, and at least three garden areas have expressed an interest. Ha! I think the Septic Tank Garden has the best chance - it could do with some fresh, new, flowery ideas, and the colour could be enjoyed from inside the house.
Happy Birthday to Meeeeeeee...
Tomorrow it is my birthday, and my family has been worryingly quiet during these last days. One cannot necessarily rely on man-relatives remembering (but lovely daughter of Moosey will). Dear NGP (Non-Gardening-Partner) is being horribly vague about the waterwheel and the Monet bridge - I think I'd know if he had one or both of these structures up his sleeve. Oh well - there are always nursery vouchers and loads of compost...
For the sake of narrative continuity, I did shift the red Maple, and three of the larger hebes are planted - a pleasing triangle - in the Glass-House Garden. See - I do deliver sometimes! Happy Birthday to meeeeeee for tomorrow.