A new summer's day, a new sensible list - new plans, new plants to buy, new ideas... What shall I do first in my garden today? There's no wind - lovely!
Sunday 10th February
Yesterday at the nursery I saw a set of chunky, rustic wooden furniture - two two-seater benches, and a coffee table, arranged at right angles. Apart from the fact that I never have enough friends or relations in my garden to need all those seat spaces in one place, I'm very tempted.
I can see a small oblong paved area with herbs and shrubs spilling around the edges. In the pond paddock, but where exactly? My wallet is twitching in anticipation...
I had another silly idea about the proposed gazebo-on-a-bridge for my water race. I saw what looked like a lynch gate for an old church in my gardening book. So I have been googling madly. The best garden ideas often have to survive a bit of transplanting, and pruning...
Wattle Woods Stream
The New Stream
NGP (Non-Gardening Partner) is off buying more heavy plastic buckets for the waterwheel. This new water feature has taken over my gardening thoughts. Will it still be turning? Will the new stream it feeds be wide enough? Can I keep the area tidy enough, clear of weeds and gum tree leaves and bark?
I've tripped (almost) over Rooster Bridge to feed the hens and check the waterwheel. Last night's welcome rain has left foliage drooping and dripping over the paths, and the longish grass is very wet underfoot. Sometimes I wonder about having stepping stones which lead to middle bridge, and a dry-feet path along the side of the water race to the glass-house and beyond. I'm not sure. Dry feet - tempting...
So - back to the original question - what shall I do first? Stop thinking and start doing. Make a cup of hot coffee, and then write a sensible list. Here goes.
- 1. The Pond Paddock Gardens
- Weed, clear gum tree rubbish, trim hebes which have flowered.
- 2. The New Stream
- Build small retaining wall, consider planting Jasmine to climb up ugly tree stump, taking inspiration from Gertrude Jekyll.
That'll do for now. I also have to pick up the Azalea and the hebes that are retiring to the country. Moosey's Country Garden - where old plants come to die - this phrase rudely suggested by Daughter of Moosey, who, apart from reorganising my vegetable garden (and my fridge), has so far escaped from any garden duties.
I must do something about the Hump Garden tomorrow - put on the watering hoses, rake mess, weed. And think about the paths - do I want them? I never ever use them. What's the point? Stones (edges) could be redirected into the Wattle Woods. Does a potential Pittosporum forest need paths? No. I think it's sensible to grab stones from the Hump - a sort of internal recycling.
Pale Green Hosta
Most of today was spent weeding out a creepy green ground cover from the Wattle Woods. The stream has been flowing - though it's filled its bottom pond, and there is a slight flood. Today has been great. Each hen laid an egg. I'm inside, full of smoked salmon and salad, and I feel very virtuous.
Monday 11th February
Monday, Monday... Gym day, swimming day, morning tea with my friend day, book day, piano playing day, afternoon tea with another friend day, choir practice day... And hen feeding, flax propagating, rustic furniture buying, hose watering, general weeding, gum leaf raking, pelargonium and succulent potting, stone shifting, rose dead-heading, azalea planting, horse manure fetching day...
Well, I'm home - and I've put the hoses on, hung the washing out, and checked the waterwheel (it's still going round). Now I'm going to have a cup of tea and do some of my holiday jigsaw. I may ignore that second paragraph up there. After all, I worked extremely hard in the garden all weekend.
Calendulas in the Vegetable Garden
Hee hee - Earlier this morning I read some more of my Gertrude Jekyll book. She has such interesting, quotable things to say. For example, if one is planning to build a large pond or lake, she recommends a promontory rather than an island. This is something to remember when I get that second large pond excavated!
Gertrude Jekyll's Words of Wisdom
Other words of wise-woman-gardener wisdom concern dahlias. 'One does not want to be every other day tinkering at the Dahlias'. A very fair point. And she has a wonderful article on the vagaries of flower colour adjectives. She doesn't like 'flame-coloured' - too inexact - or 'snow white' - actual snow is bluish white, she argues.
'Sage green' is a good descriptor as sage leaves don't change their colour from summer to winter. And as for 'malignant magenta'... Oh dear! My poor Lychnis plants - they are the best, most vibrant magenta I've ever seen in my garden, and I love them.
Tuesday 12th February
It's drizzling, but I've already fed the hens and checked the waterwheel. Hmm... It had stopped turning, and the water in the race is the colour of milky coffee. There has been some serious rainfall in the mountains, and the Arthur's Pass road was closed by flooding.
Today feels ominous - I'm already in my apres-gardening clothes and it's just morning tea time. I should do some work shifting stones into the Wattle Woods.
I've been very productive. I shifted stones from the path through the Hump and built a small retaining wall. I dug the house-end of the Hump Garden border to make it bigger. I've decided that the area inside the Hump is doomed to be messy, and there is no point in providing a path to walk through mess. Anyway, I haven't walked on this path for over a year. How silly!
The edge of the Hump visible from inside the house will be further planted with screening shrubs and flaxes. See how sensible these plans are. I also may have found the perfect spot for those rustic benches and coffee table I liked. Mind you, the resident engineer is pretty handy at woodworking, and the nursery has those rustic furniture items grossly overpriced...