Big plans...

August is ending with rather a lot of rainfall. But I am soooo busy! I love it, rain and all. And I have big plans for a special garden project while Non-Gardening Partner is away...

 A late winter - or early spring - flowering shrub.
Flowering Erica

Wednesday 27th August

Yesterday afternoon, instead of working in the glass-house like I said I would, I went to the local library and brought home two ridiculously overweight gardening books - one on Heirloom Garden Restoration and the other on the Private Gardens of Paris. It's a little bit like procrastinating, and evading the issue - and being lazy? Ha! They will jolly well have to inspire me to greater gardening heights.

Off to the Hills...

Today, having been a trifle house-bound these last days, I'm off walking on the peninsula hills. I intend to mentally organise my seed order (a catalogue arrived in yesterday's mail). And since I love the blue flowering Scabious as a little edging perennial so much, why don't I get some pink flowering ones? I saw some in the catalogue... Back later, hope my legs make it.

 The water gets silted up when there is rain in the mountains.
Muddy Water Race


They did well, and I feel very virtuous. Now I'm off to practice a Schubert Grand Sonata. I will return properly to the garden tomorrow. By the way, the red rhododendron looks lovely flowering in the Wattle Woods, and the little pockets of miniature trumpet daffodils look gorgeous flowering on the edge of the Birthday Rose Garden, and the antique white cafe furniture looks brilliant in the middle of the narrow paddock over the water race, and...

Thursday 29th August

Lapsed gardeners need to pacing themselves back to full gardening strength, so today I only worked for three sunny hours. The Hen House Gardens are weeded, I've pruned some more roses, and shifted the Hen House path away from the big green flax, which has been cleared of dead leaves. Fluff-Fluff has been my faithful companion all day. Neighbourhood rumours that he's the large, menacing ginger cat being a nuisance on nearby properties is totally false. Why - Fluff-Fluff is such a good home boy! And so gentle...

 Shiny green, with glossy finger leaves.
Green Aralia Foliage

I've picked some white Camellias and more miniature daffodils for the house. But my hands are quite sore - how quickly bits of the body lose their gardening conditioning...

Friday 29th August

Hee hee. I'm home alone for the next two weeks. While Non-Gardening Partner is away I have a brand new project, with which I can surprise him on his return. Last time I made the stone wall. This time I'm 'making-over' the gardens by the driveway fork. This is a serious make-over. Today I've spent four hours with a small yellow saw. Ouch! I've removed THREE weedy trees from the driveway corner - well, they now have knee-high stumpy branches (the chain-saw will have to finish them off). Tomorrow my neighbour will kindly chip all the mess for me.

Suddenly a whole new garden area is opened up, begging for some new plants. Some planting ideas - stones for the edge, perhaps shift a couple of rhododendrons in (just for starters) - and maybe some clumps of fountain grass around the curved edge. Decide which seedling Pittosporums to keep. Interesting - it will end up just like lots of other bits of my garden. Oh well - call it my signature blend of the exotic with the native.

 Two shrubs flowering side by side.
Camellia Pinks

Private Gardens of Paris

My Private Gardens of Paris book has inspired me in a reverse sort of way. All the pictures have elegant cafe tables and chairs in the foreground, and the garden borders are immaculate. So the people who live there (all year round? I wonder...) are always sitting down, surrounded by well-maintained greenery. The writer says how quiet and peaceful it is.

When I sit down in my garden for lunch I am a thousand times more blessed than they are. And I'm surrounded by a cacophony of delightful plant noise. Weed my bottom! Prune my top! Hey! I'm getting squashed! Let's have some more light in here! More room! Ouch! Fresh horse manure! Don't burn my stems! Waaaaater!

I can always see more things to do, but they're things of my own making, and there's just me to do them. This is the truest connection there can possibly be. As a good honest garden worker (for four or five hours) the time I get to sit down is precious.

This doesn't mean that I wouldn't like beds of white tulips or huggable box balls or carpets of hexine (not sure what this is - looks herby, in a legal, chamomile-like way)... In another gardening life, maybe! Right. I'm off with Rusty the dog for a country cycle ride. Nice. I can peer at the cleared end-of-driveway garden from both directions, vantage point a speeding bicycle.

Saturday 30th August

How's this for rural responsibility? I've been re-positioning all the stone edges along the driveway to make it wider - just in (the awful) case that the fire truck needs to drive up to my house. I've sawn odd overhanging tree branches off and trimmed leaning hebes. It's taken me all day. In places the driveway is wider by a good foot, and I've used the scooped up dirt to fill in holes in the garden.

Aargh! Garden Club Want to Visit!

I have an ulterior motive for all this. Someone has asked me if my garden could be visited by a Garden Club, and for the first time ever I gave a semi-positive response. Me and my big mouth. I heard myself saying 'I've got lots of paths. And I've got a waterwheel', which I think impressed the questioner. Thing is - the waterwheel isn't going round, which is its standard expected motion. Maybe this might just force NGP's hand into fixing it.

 Cute details...
Stones and Sedums

But now I realise that, should a proper Garden Club come visiting, I will need to pay much more attention to detail. It's not just weeding and planting, nor is it normal garden maintenance. These tasks are taken for granted. It's the million little things which are horribly like housework - picking up old plastic pots, filling in holes, finishing stone edges, raking paths, removing unsightly old tables and faded chairs from the patio, and so on. And Garden Clubs can get terribly sniffy about black spot on the roses and spiders' webs on the garden furniture. Rustic is great, as long as it's freshly laundered rustic.+5

Rusty the dog has been my gardening companion - we've been to the river and down the road for a good walk. Now it's nearly dusk and I'm going to go back outside to burn my rubbish. I did this late yesterday, too, and it seems a sensible time to burn - no wind.

August Nearly Over

August is nearly over. My goodness - how time flies, gallops, speeds, zooms, accelerates...