Be very impressed...

A brisk, non-procrastinating hello to the month of July. Boy oh boy - do I have a Grand Gardening Plan for you! Be very impressed...

Wednesday 2nd July

First of all, congratulations to the Moosey striped dahlia for representing all that's good in my summer garden. You are a beautiful flower.

Striped Dahlia :
This bee-created hybrid features with the song-of-the-month on a Canadian website.

I guess it's nothing hugely major to crow about, but like a doting mother I'm super-proud. And I am a compulsive recycler - photographs included!

I made up the word 'non-procrastinating', and gave it full impact by using it in the introduction to July. But before I start my gardening day I do need to make a full analysis. Stuff that I need to do? Stuff I need to gently nag (!) Non-Gardening Partner to do? Expectations? Goals, signposts, scaffolding? Not to mention budget, hee hee...

'In any quarter-decent garden soil enrichment comes first.'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

In any quarter-decent garden soil enrichment comes first. I have a brilliant scheme going, swapping firewood logs with loads of rotted horse manure and sawdust. There are also those smelly fresh poo-bags I pick up from the horse farm - a line of them are sitting by the house patio. Country garden ambience, hee hee...

Soil Goal

Every single July day I will spread some of the above organic matter on a garden somewhere. The trailer should never be empty. I will borrow Daughter of Moosey's car (which has a tow bar) and learn to back the trailer so I can get the manure myself. I will become an empowered, fully independent poo-gatherer!

 Check out that winter sunshine!
Miscanthus Seedheads

That's enough for now. I'm off to the river with Rusty the dog to get stones for more path edges. Morning energy is for doing, not writing about it. Later this afternoon when the sun goes down I can twitter on and make huge journal lists.


I'm allowed a really short lunch break, and I can't resist a chance for journal-twittering. So far this morning I've collected stones, and driven a car with trailer (ha! us older girls can do anything!) for a load of horse manure, and collected a load of firewood with my friend.

 This perennial always looks neat and tidy in winter.
Variegated Scrophularia

There is much to do all over the winter garden - where to begin? I'm tempted to wander willy-nilly, doing little things all over the place, but this is not terribly satisfying. So I'll stick to my soil enrichment focus, start in the Willow Tree Garden, and work my way along the water towards the distant hen house.

 Fluff-Fluff lurking in the greenery.
Ginger Gardening Cat

'P' is for Plan

Today's garden plan is brought to you by the letter 'P'. There will be pottering pleasantly with plants, paths, pruning, and poos! The Head Gardener will be purposeful and powerful - and end up proud and poo-less!


I'm afraid my output hasn't quite been up to my own high standards. I've 'organised' approximately four meters of garden in four hours, not a rate set to stun the gardening world.

Never Too Old!

I'm either too fussy, too slow, or perhaps just too much of a perfectionist! I don't like to think that I'm too old...

Anyway, I've built more of the small stone retaining wall by the water race, ripped out straggly Iris confusa plants, divided and replanted Heuchera, given the brown tussocks bowl hair-cuts, trimmed all the Mignonette and Salvias, spread manure, laid stone edging, and pruned three roses... And all of this without once treading on and squashing any emerging spring daffodils, or slicing through any hostas.

And then I burnt the rubbish heap while Fluff-Fluff the ginger gardening cat sat atop the rose pergola and watched. He has been ever faithful, a daring cat-companion, often coming dangerously close to my nipping secateurs. And he squeaks so pathetically whenever he gets left behind.

 The cats can always find me here.
Breakfast Bench

Thursday 3rd July

This may take some time! I've been extremely busy today, gardening for at least five hours. I am so lucky to be able to do this in the middle of winter! But first - breakfast! My day started with a balmy al fresco breakfast, sitting on the rustic bench by the Shrubbery with Rusty the dog and my ginger gardening cats Percy and Fluff-Fluff.

Perfect Start

It was the perfect start to a perfect day - hot coffee, great company, a bit of spot weeding, a couple of shrubs (an Australian mint bush and a little green hebe) changing position...

Then I cleared and weeded the house gardens, shifting out some striped Agapanthus and fountain grass seedlings. Off to a disappointing tree nursery (nothing bought) and a mixed plant nursery - where I was very tempted by some cheap orange deciduous Azaleas and lemon-white Camellias.

Mindful that tomorrow it may rain, I spread all my bags of horse manure on the Shrubbery, and zoomed over Car Bridge to start shovelling out the trailer manure onto the Willow Tree Garden. I ripped out the last surviving patch of Iris confusa and filled that space with white Bergenias. I seemed to be doing heaps of things at once!

 Filled with flax pieces.
Yellow Buckets

Gunnera Brainwave

And then I had a Gunnera brainwave. Quick as a flash I cleared the small area between Car Bridge and the boundary fence, leaving just one waterside grass. My rogue Gunnera plants which have colonised the wrong edges of the water race can all go in here.

And on the fence, to screen the neighbour's driveway, I'll plant my spare flaxes (languishing in yellow buckets). Yippee! Another small corner of Moosey's is about to change from messy to magnificent...

So I pulled out grass and cleared out ancient strips of gum tree bark - I doubt it would even rot in a million years - until after five o'clock. Then I raced inside, speed-showered, blinked a few times, and it was completely dark! What stamina! What resolve! What a gardener! And what humility...