Hello April. April fool? Hopefully not me - surely by now I must at least be wiser than I was last year. I know where NOT to plant rhododendrons, and I've learnt that weed-mat doesn't stop the weed seeds from landing on top and growing...
Ha! I'll stop this wise woman boasting right now, before something (hopefully not a wasp) zooms around and stings me on the bottom. I'll settle for being just a little bit imperfect.
Odd Pink Rose
Wednesday 1st April
Right. Today feels much like yesterday (it's a bit drizzly) but - oh, no - it's not the same. It has an important label - the First Day of a New Month, and suddenly becomes a landmark day. And I am continuing my grand Gardening Sweep down the water race with its attendant gardens. Too bad that I have a head cold - my first job is to immerse my gardening legs in the water and keep on weeding the banks around Middle Bridge. I will wear thermals.
Then I have bamboo, Elderberry, and flaxes to pot up, and lots more garden areas to weed and re-organise. Wow - when will all this be finished? Hopefully before the Garden Club Visit in - aargh! - just two weeks time.
The Hostas Are Over...
I've decided I'm going to cheat when I get to my vegetable garden. I'm ripping up my tomatoes. Each has put all its energy into producing one or two supersized fruits, which my opportunist birds have immediately pecked holes in. My carrot harvest has been equally spectacular - exactly three giants, of indecent size, the rest smaller than half my little finger. Hmm... I am doing something seriously wrong here. I do not require small numbers of monster carrots or tomatoes. I require a crop...
Much, Much Later...
I've nearly finished the Dog-Path Garden, spreading pea-straw and planting a couple of Choisya Sundance shrubs. By lunchtime my energy levels were flagging, so I allowed myself to light the bonfire. This lead on to a new and brilliant idea, one of those 'Why haven't I ever done this before' thoughts.
So I started digging a proper edge along the lawns just underneath the outspread Leyland hedge branches. There have always been clumps of longish grass right along here, where the mower doesn't go. Further underneath the hedge I have piles of compost as well as off-season burnables. So I burnt my dry rubbish and cleared the hedge edge - and immediately the Dog-Path Garden on the other side of the lawn looked tidier. Ha! Illusions!
I finished my first April gardening day with half an hour in the water, trimming Lemon Balm and Shasta daisies and pulling out unwanted weeds and grasses - blasted clover! I am working around the giant Gunnera, under which I lovingly placed my garden gnome this spring. It's impossible to duck underneath the huge scratchy leaves to see if he's still there. Oops.
One of my tree frogs 'lives' here. My radio started him off, and then he chirped his heart out, singing a love-duet with my crackling bonfire. 'Is that youuuu my darling?' Unrequited frog-love - poor chap!
Thursday 2nd April
Hmm... It's two degrees (Celsius) out there. Welcome to Autumn, Fall, great garden transition time. Time for early morning gardening? Hmm... Today I might get my Garden Helpers (yippee) to finish the great edge dig. Those Leylands (which are trimmed) form a shelter belt from the rotten southerly storms, and reach the whole width of the property. There's just one sneaky gap with a gate to get through to the orchard.
- Jerome :
- Jerome the grey is now the oldest living Moosey cat - she's seventeen.
I'm not sleeping so well these nights - my two grey upstairs cats (Lilli-Puss and Jerome) are finding the middle of the night cold and their mother's hair (attached to my head) warm. So I get two cats purring in my ear and draping themselves over my head. Hmm... And naturally I wake up.
Good Bed-Manners for Cats
Trouble is that Jerome is so old and arthritic I don't have the heart to shoo her away. And Lilli is Miss Independent, so I only 'see' her at night-time. Cats with good bed-manners sleep at the foot of the bed - unless they are required to be passive, furry, floppy hot-water bottles. Naturally they oblige - and are flea-free, don't dribble, or use their claws.
Two Cats - One Cat Basket
Right. Today I mean business. I've reached Middle Garden, and I don't think there's quite as much that needs doing in here. The water race bank is heavily planted, so my work will mainly be flax trimming.
Single Magenta Dahlia
Friday 3rd April
Wow! Another day closer to THE GREATEST EVENT in the Moosey Gardening Calendar. Yesterday I successfully finished Middle Garden. Today I attack the Hen House Gardens. New plantings are definitely needed - dahlias need to move out (no summer sun), foliage plants in. Again I am in sorrel country, and am tempted to get out the chemicals. The Hen House Garden look needs to be simpler - I require a mulchable garden here, not one with silly little self-sown pansies and Californian poppies and summer perennials. The Oak trees are just too big and shady now.
Memo to self - absolutely no Lavenders, please. My Garden Helpers are arriving at 10am. Right! I need to get ready.
Much, Much Later...
Wow! What a day! The Hen House Gardens are almost done - I've shifted a couple of Hebes into Henworld, weeded out all the little Aquilegias and Euphorbias, and planted Choisyas and a flax. The paths are cleared, the shrubs and flaxes are trimmed, the Renga Renga is groomed. What more? Meanwhile my Garden Helpers cleared the complete hedge-line, and burnt all the rubbish.
I am sooooooo tired! I need a huge cup of tea and a sit down. It's extremely heartening gardening when other workers are also busy. Now I can spend the early evening watching rubbish TV and then slink slowly off to bed. Nice.