New, and now...

Hello, November - the New, Now, Never-Mind-About-the-Weeds gardening month. For this is the month when summer rolls in, the sun shines down, and everything in the garden grows - and grows - and grows...

 The Phormiums are shining in the sun.
Sunshine on the Water Race

Sunday 1st November

Right. Today is a BIG DAY OUT. Non-Gardening Partner and his faithful trusty sidekick (me) are continuing the great clean-up of the hedge trimmings. These are not tiny feathery pieces of conifer - some of them are huger than department store Christmas trees, requiring chain sawing and lopping to get the pieces into the shredder. I'll be raking up the remains and burning.

Beautiful Roses

New Plants to Plant

And then I have 37 sale plants, 2 roses, and 6 Agapanthus plants to put into the garden - somewhere. I wish my garden borders could talk to me. 'OK. Which one of you would like 21 new hostas?' 'Me, please' says the Island Bed... I also have seeds to sow, a vegetable garden to water, and about eighty blue cornflowers to plant out. My seedling pansies need to go outside to harden off.

Much, Much Later...

I'm clean. Pretty much all of the hedge mess (gardenside) is cleared. The shredder has been shredding, and I've been burning the little tiddly bits. Now I'm going to put on the hoses and glide around a bit in my super-clean clothes. I'm specially watering some new Driveway Garden shrubs - Maples, Rhododendrons, and a rather sad purple Cotinus need help. And the new roses in the Glass-House Garden - like Princess Diana, my free recycled rose, who is sprouting madly. I'm looking forward to seeing what she looks like.

I've had an idea to tidy up the far side of the Frisbee Lawn. The mower has presented me with a good boundary curve, and there's a place to plant some tough shrubs. I'll weed the long grass and create an edge. I'm going to start this tomorrow - it's a new project, and will be a welcome relief from the hedge.

 This is a smallish, well-shaped shrub.
Cherry Rhododendron

The late flowering rhododendrons are beautiful - a deep cherry-magenta in the Driveway, a big lilac-blue over in the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden, and three deep pinks in various gardens which border the pond paddock.

Garden Gnome Dilemma

I have a garden gnome dilemma - I've seen two wonderful retro chaps for sale online, and I'd dearly love to bid for them, but they need to be picked up in Auckland (that's about 800 miles north). I could fly up and bring them home personally, but that seems rather excessive. Blast!

 In the Frisbee Border.
Sunny Iris

Monday 2nd November

How good am I? It's the beginning of the third week of my 'Shape Up For Life' campaign (which the cats, Rusty the dog, and Non-Gardening Partner have all been coerced into joining). Surely one of us is healthier. Tiger the cat is certainly hungrier - she's spending hours each day trying to break into the pantry.

I am off swimming. And when I return I will do watering and planting. And then a bit of weeding. Maybe some clearing, even some digging. Perhaps a little light lopping? And burning? All these gardening verbs to choose from...


I'm having lunch inside with Histeria the cat on my lap - in one of her 'I-Loooooove-My-Mother' moods. Trouble is that she thinks she's sitting on a tree trunk. Ouch! Before I go back outside, some thoughts about the two geriatric cats in this household. As soon as I start making plans for that final vet visit (having done all the preliminaries) they rally and have a bright, alert, and reasonably normal day (not that Mugsy has ever been normal). Jerome the Grey has just hobbled down the stairs to be nosy, and Mugsy has been outside with me gardening. Hmm...

The vet says I'll know when the time is right. Will I? He tells me that Jerome will be lucky to see another Christmas. So whenever I read 'Forty Days to Christmas' phrases I think of her, my oldest cat.

 Fluff-Fluff the cat and Rusty the dog in the Frisbee Lawn.
Cat and Dog Gardening Company

But enough of this cat-sentiment. All my new plants are planted in the Island Bed, including the two new roses. I'm happy, and the hoses are on. Now I'm off to start digging the edge on the far side of the Frisbee Lawn. Perhaps some before and after photography would be interesting? Hmm... Back soon.

 Ha! Just wait until I plant some shrubs in here...
The New Frisbee Garden Border


This reminds me of my very early digging sessions - long paddock grass, slicing in horizontally with the spade, bending over, kneeling, getting brassed off... But I've made a start, and if I dig out two full barrowfuls each day the new garden will be ready in no time. It's not a hugely open garden, but I'm going to limb up the trees and fill it with shrubs. I've raked up Frisbee Lawn grass clippings for initial mulch, and I'll lay newspaper and rotting hay as soon as I'm ready for planting anything (hopefully before summer gets into full swing).