Older-lady gardener loses mojo...

After two impressive, intrepid cycling and walking days I am back as a full-time gardener. I have huge plans in my head, but I'll need to get my energy back. Hmm... Older-lady gardener loses mojo...

 Money isn't everything, but...
Prosperity Rose

Friday 22nd February

Ha! Great piano news - as well as getting spam mail from Schubert and Brahms (how terribly kind) I've started another Albeniz piece, and, for light relief, Gershwin's three piano preludes. The second prelude would make a brilliant encore piece for my (family only) first recital - like Eric Satie's Gnossiennes, little treasures.

What Shall I Do First?

Today the garden, the piano, and slim-line food are my priorities. What shall I do first? There are lush green weeds in the pergola garden, summer flowering phloxes to cut back, and lawn edges to trim along the water race. This sounds like a good beginning.

 And not a drop of mildew on the leaves, either!
Rich Pink Phlox Flowers


Except that I am really quite tired today, and after an hour of lunge-and-reach arabesques in the vegetable garden I've retired for some gentle recovery. I've pulled out the sweet peas, and collected their seed pods. Some potatoes need digging up, and the bean harvest is nearly finished. The tomatoes are working this year - must be all that irrigation!

So I've come inside to write tomorrow's first list, before gliding gracefully to my piano. It's the weekend, and I have a Non-Gardening Partner to organise. Nice!

List for Tomorrow Morning

  1. Visit Farmers' Market.
  2. Visit recycled timber yard for rustic garden furniture wood.
  3. Buy netting to repair the hen house run.

Guess who keeps making nose-sized holes in the chicken wire, trying to pinch my hens' mouldy old bread? Could it possibly be Rusty the dieting dog? Hmm... Desperate Dieting Dog Devours Dodgy Dough...

Saturday 23rd February

Good morning to Percy the purring ginger cat, whose body seems to be stretching, getting longer and longer by the day. Percy's back feet are huge, too, like a cat-kangaroo. If the Head Gardener keeps on shrinking (hee hee) we will be an ill-fitting pair!

 Under the gum trees.
The New Wattle Woods Pond

There's a reason I'm chipping in before all items on the above list are done and dusted. Nothing's changed, but I've remembered spying lots of little ornamental grass and tussock seedlings, buried deep in the weeds in the pergola garden. So I'll need to grab a couple of bags of potting mix on the way home. It's a little detail, but these grasses will be perfect planted along my Wattle Woods stream and pond.

Sad Roses

And sometime later today I must sort out the sad roses before they get any sadder. A compulsive rescuer at the nursery sale table and bargain bin, I then use the dump-and-forget planting policy in my garden. This will not do.

My day ends with a singing engagement. Ha! Wonder if my choir uniform will be a little more free-flowing than usual? I'd be better off wondering if I've done enough practice (nope), if I can be disciplined enough to breathe in the right places (nope), and produce half-decent vowel sounds (maybe). Tra la la...

 What beautiful tail feathers!
My Rooster

Much Later...

I did a couple of hot weeding hours - there's much clover on the sloping water race edges. Rooster cackled and crowed through the hedge - keeping me distant company. I now have - oops - thirty bags of horse manure to get away from the house and garage and onto the garden. The fire ban has been lifted, so there's a fence-line of dry rubbish (gum trees, flax leaves, and so on) to start burning. Hmm... There's so much more to do. I didn't even start my rose rescue.

Sunday 24th February

Six and a half hours of sunny gardening - what a summer legend! Nothing has been particularly inspiring - general garden maintenance rarely is - but it's been interesting. I've found two sad roses by the wood-shed smothered in perennial cornflowers - they're in a water bucket. I've watered my Choisya pieces and two variegated Euonymus shrublets, all destined for the Hump Garden. I've shifted some Nicotiana Sylvestris plants from the edge of the burning heap into the Wattle Woods. I've wheeled horse manure around and dug and spread ash. The last two hours have been spent in the water race weeding.

 See if you can spot any weeds I've missed!
The Water Race is Weeded

NGP (Non-Gardening Partner) started off being really helpful, fixing the hen house and stacking firewood. Then there were two fire callouts to which he gleefully escaped. It was too windy for me to burn my rubbish, and too hot to plant anything. I bought two nice flaxes at the Farmers' Market, and my variegated Scrophularias are ready to place near the pond - I'll place them all tomorrow.

Tadpole News

The old bathtub in the Dog Kennel garden is alive with pear-shaped tadpoles - I counted at least twenty, as long as my little finger. NGP thinks it might be the wrong time of year for them to be growing towards froghood. Hmm... I hope they're tree frogs. And please, don't let my cats don't find their bathtub. Percy and Fluff-Fluff are often found lurking by the pond, staring into the water - mentally fishing?

 Well, he thinks he is!
Fluff-Fluff Hiding in the Grass

I Love My Garden

I've had such a great day, working hard. I haven't actually finished anything, but I don't care. My garden will always be a work in progress, and I love it.

Monday 25th February

Right. I seem to be having a relatively lazy day - why is this? Too sunny? Too windy? Yes to both - I've only done two hours regulation weeding, and I'm ready to burn some rubbish. So until the wind dies down, it's piano practice time! Yippee! Yet another Albeniz piece that I'll be able to play in my head and in my dreams, and my moochy Gershwin prelude - so understated that it makes me tingle.

 These plants have self-seeded.
Evening Primrose Flowers

Actually there weren't all that many weeds, except the tall yellow - Onoethera? They're self-sown flowers, anyway. And I've done a recount of the tadpole population - closer to fifty fat brown bodies, squirming around in the bathtub. A few have already got their bendy back legs.

Fifty Tree Frogs?

Fifty tree frogs hopping around in the Moosey shrubs and trees? Hmm... I will be quite disappointed if they turn out to be bright boring green! Until there is some definite frog-action the bathtub is out of bounds for scooping out buckets of water.