637 stones...

I've finally got my oomph back, after quite a few lazy days spent reading books and dodging all garden work. Mind you, I've only just finished building the new stone wall, which took hours - and 637 stones...

 On the house decking.
Angel with Pelargoniums

Saturday 5th April

Today, for example, I filled the trailer twice with rubbish to be burnt on the burning heap, as well as wheeling in four or five wheelbarrow loads. All that stored sunshine, up in smoke and down to ash! It's all gum tree rubbish that won't shred or mulch. I've also been shifting and stacking firewood, aware that oh too soon I'll be needing it to warm the house.

 Check out that green lawn - it needs mowing, though...
Percy the Ginger Gardening Cat

So it's been a rugged, raking, carting sort of day - nothing frivolous. Percy my ginger gardening cat has been keeping me silent company - he sits like a cat-statue on the wet grass and stares into the garden.

Lovely Lawns

Yippee - now all the lawns have been mown. The Frisbee Lawn looks lovely and green, its border plants (like the Astelias) now clearly visible. The back lawn looks equally lovely. See how easy it is to make a lawn-and-borders gardener happy?

 It looks so much better at this time of the year.
The Frisbee Lawn Apres-Mowing

I've also started clearing and cutting back in the perennial garden by the Pergola. The Aquilegia foliage looks scruffy, and I usually cut back the big daylilies. There are a lot of seedling Carexes and green ornamental grasses which I'll pot up tomorrow.

Phloxes :
I love my pink coloured phloxes - I'm not so keen on the weedy lilac ones!

My summer phloxes are finished flowering now. I would like them to spread a little more - the pink colour waves are beautiful, and they don't show a speck of mildew.

Looking around for pink colours - only the dahlias are left, and they'll die down naturally soon in the first mini-frost. I've pulled a lot of Nicotiana Sylvestris plants out of the vegetable patch. And - oh dear - there are many weeds, which need scraping out before they take over completely.

The Seriousness of Stone Walls

Good news regarding a little sideways expansion of the new shrubbery. I am allowed to shift the sheep fence about five meters. This is a major breakthrough - I've been trying to get this fence moved for years, for many, varied reasons. My latest reason is to finish the stone wall. Stone walls are obviously a sign of seriousness, and gardeners who build them are listened to.

 Rusty the dog loves the smells from the compost and manure!
My Stone Wall - Not Finished Yet!

The stone wall can continue curving gently and end more naturally, thus being more aesthetically pleasing. I'll try and get the digging etc. done tomorrow, so the fence-line shelter Pittosporums can be shifted while they're new in the soil. I love this new garden area.

Tadpole News

My tree-frog tadpoles are a bit of a worry - they aren't getting much bigger, and still there are fifty or more of them jammed into the bathtub by the old dog kennel. I've just googled my very first question: What do tadpoles eat? And it seems that I can feed them boiled lettuce and fish food. I must make sure they have enough to eat or they will - ahem - start eating each other. I must not fail them - fish food tomorrow it is. I'm concerned they are going to run out of time, if that makes any sense. It's five or six weeks to winter! Eek!

Sunday 6th April

  1. Priority One. Organise Non-Gardening Partner before he escapes with the dog. Three things - the shrubbery extension, the waterwheel, and sawing half a plum tree down.
  2. Priority Two. Organise myself. What do I feel like doing? Need to do? Want to finish doing? Hmm... My head's gone rather quiet.

I'm not really in the mood for collecting and stacking firewood - that feels like the last rites of pleasant, warm outdoor gardening. Summer is gone - the night-times are now longer than the day-times. Gardening shorts have been lovingly packed away, and thermal merino tops have come out of the closet.

 One of the last annuals to bloom.
Cosmos Flower

Still Flowering

But wait - there are still lots of flowering annuals, dahlias, and roses to enjoy. Beautiful colours, beautiful fragrances - all is not lost!

That plum tree, by the way, is ridiculously large, drops far too many small yellow plums down in early spring, and blocks the sun from the washing line and the yellow Banksia climbing rose. Surely NGP can realise that it must be trimmed, and that this is a good time to do it? I'm sensing some obstruction here...

Much Later, Apres Gardening...

This has been one of the very best April gardening days ever! Not only has NGP behaved, but he has gone that extra mile - or kilometer? So large parts of the plum tree are down, and they are also chainsawn into pieces, and the smaller branches have all been shredded. There is no mess left. And the sheep fence has been shifted without any grumping.

I've already dug half the new lawn area out, and shifted three of the four shelter Pittosporums. An old post is left in the new garden, perfect for a rose to lean on. I've tipped the plum tree shreddings all over the soil, and the hoses are going. Hee hee - there's room for more roses...

 Graham Thomas roses.
Late Yellow Roses

Thinking of the more mundane, I've done a small firewood collection - there's enough wood for a week of evening fires stacked just outside the back door. Also I have two bags of pine cones ready for kindling. Aargh! These are extremely wintry details...

Turn, Turn, Turn...

The last thing I did was to remove trousers, shoes, and socks, and stand in the water race investigating the stuck waterwheel. Easy! Several large sodden tree branches had floated in and jammed it. Now they're on my burning heap and the wheel turns again.

 Turning round, and round, and round...
The Moosey Waterwheel

Then I sat on the small bench at the back of the glass-house, Fluff-Fluff and Histeria the tabby on my lap - just listening to the whooshing noises and thinking peaceful thoughts. Lilli-Puss then made a dramatic entrance, leaping and landing with a crack in the middle of a huge Gunnera leaf. Ouch! Exit two flying cats from the Head Gardener's knees - so glad I put on my trousers again!

What a grand day! Even my Albeniz piano pieces sounded good - out loud, as well as in my head. And I'm looking forward to my four day walking trip on the Cape Campbell Walkway. Ha! I am taking my own personal gourmet cook - Daughter of Moosey. At morning tea time she appeared, a true professional, with notebook and pen in hand. Were there any favourites I'd like to see in the menu? Yes - bananas and smoked salmon. Not very helpful, I guess...