My seed catalogue has arrived!
Seedlings Waiting to be Planted
Yippee - my seed catalogue has arrived! I have ticked lots and lots of yellow flowers, some interesting new perennials, and organic heirloom vegetables. This is the easy part.
Sunday 15th July
Last year I forgot to order my new seeds until it was too late. And each year my glass-house standards slip and slide, as I get bored (oops) with seedling care.
This year I promise I will be a constant seed and seedling companion. In memory of the most beautiful gardens I saw in North America I'm going to grow lots of mid-summer yellows. Blue flowers - ho hum. Apart from pansies and violas, you've all been down-graded.
I also have a plan for my lavender plants. Last summer season I bought lots of cheap lavenders, and planted them in silly little rows in quite the wrong places. Provided that they've survived the frosts we've had, I'm going to dig them all out and plant them around Rusty's dog kennel. I will thus create a lavender garden under the gum tree, frost sheltered and furiously hot and dry in summer. And I'm sure Rusty will love the fragrance.
Next time I want a little hedge out in the open I will plant hebes. Then at least they'll look good in winter.
Tuesday 17th July
Today is a gardening day. Yesterday was for the three big S's - shopping, swimming and singing. This is an extremely civilised (and warm) start to a winter's morning - the log burner is going, and I am downstairs in my puffy blue dressing gown using the New Moosey Laptop Computer.
Since the downstairs is much more expansive than the little Moosey office, so should my gardening thoughts be. Naturally I have big plans for today. Firstly, here is a list for the Pond Paddock gardens.
The Pond Paddock
- Leaf Management
- The Pond Paddock lawn needs all old leaves raked up, bagged, and either stored or thrown back onto a needy garden border.
- Rose Placement
- Some roses can be shifted over the grass to the sunny side where the big wattle trees came down last winter.
- Goodbye Lavenders
- There is no place for a ridiculous little lavender row in the Wattle Woods.
- Goodbye Big Pittosporum
- This is a thorny one - well, thornless actually, but...
Non-gardening partner, sensing a threat to his lazy weekend, decided that he really liked the Pittosporum growing in the middle of the Pond Paddock lawn. Why didn't I like it? He thought I liked trees. I explained that it was self sown, and grown too big for the lawn trees - and it was seriously blocking the view from the Pond Paddock garden bench. What view? Hmm...
I will try with the bow saw and hopefully I won't get too tired and too sulky. Gardeners with six house cats who are looking after three extra kittens cannot afford to lose goodwill. And the kittens play in the Pond Paddock, so they can get some important training in as gardening cats.
Me! The Winter Gardener
A Few Hours Later...
Well, well, well. Lilli-Puss has been great cat-company, watching with Uncle B-Puss. Percy and Histeria, those two wild kittens from the paddock colony, have turned into miniature fireside cats. I've removed a variegated cordyline (into a pot he goes), shifted and pruned roses, and raked leaves. I've attacked the Pittosporum sensibly - limbed it up to see if this might fix the space and view problems, before any major surgery. I've filled the wheelbarrow once with wet weeds for the compost.
That's long enough to be drizzled on for one winter's day.
Saturday 21st July
Oops. No gardening, not even any garden shopping to report, though I have ordered my new seasons seeds on-line. The weather has been wintry and drizzly, though I've still been walking on the peninsula, and in the local Botanic gardens, where all is calm and still. There huge drifts of Hellebores are flowering, but after the amazing summer gardens I've been privileged to visit there's a bareness and bleakness, and the lack of colour is disappointing. And everything is so flat!
Good News Regarding the Cat Colony
Yesterday I went to visit the cat-colony that friend Judith feeds. It was such a pleasure to see the cats, all beautifully groomed in their winter fur, all looking healthy and well-fed. I saw ten or more of them at the feeding station - gingers, whites with spots, blacks, one sultry smoky grey, and tabbies. They are in such good condition, happy and settled - all have been neutered, and now they can live long, healthy, outdoor lives without creating more feral cat problems (kittens). Judith is now feeding them away out of sight of the road, and has built a shelter filled with straw. We can see quite a number of sleeping 'nests'.
My three foster kittens are the last, hopefully, to be born from this colony. I saw their mother, Fluff-Fluff's mother, and at least five white-based cats who could be the mother of B-Puss. It was good not to see any colony kittens, and to know that all those trapped have found good homes.
My Foster Kittens
Today I must do some gardening. I am suitably dressed in gardening jersey and jeans, so what's stopping me? Perhaps the loss of my secateurs from my last rose pruning session. Blast! Anyway, I'm off outside to make a start - one doesn't need secateurs to dig out Lavenders.
I seem to have cheered up. I've bought new secateurs and seed raising mix, and my seeds have arrived in the post! I have heaps of extra packets (perhaps I was a little too clicky in the web-site catalogue). For example, I have three Hyacinth Beans, two carrots and two of each cosmos. I am hoping that the Hyacinth Bean vine is the same as my friend in Alabama grows - and that it doesn't turn into a menace!
Fluff-Fluff by the Fireside
So I have pruned the Frisbee Garden roses - the Icebergs aren't looking very happy, but I remember them flowering madly, so I guess all is well. I had a selection of cats for company - Fluff-Fluff shows off dreadfully in front of the kittens, as he thunders over the ground and up the fattest, tallest tree, stopping in a cat-starfish position, as if he's attached with velcro. 'Any tree you can climb - I can climb higher...'
- 'There is more to a foliage garden than heaps of hostas.'
- -Moosey's Advice to Self.
During garden breaks I've been re-reading my travel journals and writing up my visits to Scottish gardens, and am nostalgically inspired. My favourite, Arduaine, reinforces an important fact - that there is more to a foliage garden than heaps of hostas! I would do well to remember this.
I have spied another Pittosporum who is far too big, and is spoiling my view of two fence-line roses. After sawing for some minutes I have decided to book non-gardening partner with the chain-saw for tomorrow. It's his birthday, and what male wouldn't like a bit of strong-arm birthday chain-sawing? And birthday shredding? I could push my luck and suggest some birthday barrow-wheeling...
Now, since the winter sun is weakly trying to shine, I will return, grateful, for one more pruning session.