The weekend of the vegetable garden...

 The irises are flowering.
Blue Iris

It's the weekend of the vegetable garden. Alas, the wood to raise the sides is too heavy to be person-carried into place, but vegetable plants and seeds can certainly get planted!

Saturday 24th October

My English Lavender edge rows are growing well and I have my own sweet pea, tomato, and lettuce seedlings ready. I'm also going to put some newly acquired raspberry (or they may be blackcurrant) canes in a large pot. I also have parsnip and carrot seeds, and lots of different types of beans.

Thought of the day - well, one of them, anyway. Recording small details in a garden journal is a good thing - it encourages attention to small details in the real garden. As proof of this, I am proudly announcing that I've built little wigwams with stakes around my tomatoes as they've been planted.

'There's nothing wrong with recording garden trivia.'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

Now I'm off to criss-cross some stakes around the peonies before they burst into flower, and get wet, and get blown over. The coral coloured ones first to bloom, though the flowers fade to pale cream almost immediately the petals open. This is a superbly trivial detail - but hey! There's nothing wrong with recording garden trivia.

Cat in the Mulch

Dodgy Cat Pose

Fluff-Fluff the cat has been ridiculous, lying in the mulch with his legs in the air, a most indiscrete pose for any gentleman, let alone a large fluffy cat. He's been getting in the way of my weeding and planting, coming very close to squashing the new lettuces.

Sneaky me (who has temporarily run out of money) has sent Non-Gardening Partner off with instructions to buy six huge bags of potting mix. Oops. While I'm off to the nursery to buy stuff for my super expanded vegetable garden. And then I must leap into the shower and my concert clothes (not simultaneously) - I have another singing engagement. Just another busy weekend in the life of a gay retiree... (?)

Much Later...

Blast - I didn't stake the peonies. But I have purchased all sorts of vegetables - punnets of leeks, two types of tomatoes, more lettuces, two courgettes, and three packs of different seed potatoes. I have my own seedlings in the glass-house, too, though they're not quite as advanced. So that's tomorrow's job.

 This photograph shows only half of the rose.
Banksia Lutea Rose

I've had another thought. Before I came to live and garden at Mooseys I used to marvel at huge roses growing up trees. I'd be so envious and couldn't imagine anything more beautiful. I never imagined that I'd be the proud owner of such roses, and that it would be so easy to accommodate them! The yellow Banksia is now blooming madly in the plum tree and all over part of the washing line, without any interference from me. I love this rose!

 It's flowering...
My Only Tree Peony

Sunday 25th October

Eek! An old friend is coming for morning tea to wander around the garden. She says she hasn't been here for a year, but I think it's more like three. Here's my list of essential preparations:

  1. Water patio and decking pots.
  2. Trim all lawn edges.
  3. Stake the peonies.

I can do these three cosmetic things - then I can glide gracefully around the vegetable garden and finish my plantings.

 This lawn needs mowing!
Messy Seats

Morning Tea Seats

Non-Gardening Partner needs to bury a dead sheep (sorry about that) and mow the lawns over the water race. Then I can put the blue garden seats back in place on the little lawn behind the Willow stump. - in case my visitors choose this spot to sit and have their morning tea. Right. I'm off outside...

Later, Mid-Day...

Phew. The visit was a shining success. Nearly all of my paths were passable. My mid-season rhododendrons and the tree peony were in full flower - and looking luscious. Some large early roses showed off their lovely flowers - Fruhlinsmorgen, Fruhlinsgold, and Agnes. We spied a dark purple rugosa blooming in the Hen House Garden, deep in the greenery under the Oak tree - what a beauty!

Foliage and Weeds...

My friend liked a lot of my foliage plantings. I noticed quite a few weeds, but they didn't really spoil anything. The quickest way to notice weeds is to take a visitor around the garden...

 A fat, beautiful shrub,
Choisya Ternata Late Spring 2009

Before I forget, I'd like to congratulate the Choisya Ternata which grows in the Island Bed. A Moosey photograph of this hard-working shrub accompanies an online article in the San Francisco Chronicle.

'A Bouquet of Snowfall'

What an honour! My Choisya is in full late-spring flower here as I write - a 'bouquet of snowfall' is the columnist's description. Brr... That evokes quite a different season.

Wheelie Bin :
My big plastic bin on wheels, a Christmas present from Son of Moosey, has many different uses.

Now it's later, mid-afternoon, and just possible that I've finished my gardening for today. The vegetable garden is planted. I've stationed my big wheelie bin on wheels by the edge and filled it with water for easy watering - a really good idea, knowing my history with vegetable gardens. Every potential plant and row has been marked and staked - even the peas. I just have enough room left for rows of carrots and leeks.

On my piano I've rediscovered the Back Partita in B flat major - it's a real gem, and I'm keen to play it. The sun is shining, the birds are twittering and chirping. It's a grand time to stop gardening, transform from a grub into a butterfly, clean and trim my fingernails, and make some happy, sunny music.