April, it is with some embarrassment that I'm starting you off with a completely non-gardening day. What's more embarrassing is that it's delightfully sunny outside, and I am going to watch some non-gardening daytime TV. Oops...
I can't explain this aberrant behaviour. Sorry. So sorry. I promise there will be no more time wasting over Easter weekend, or indeed during the rest of your April days. Just this one day...
Blue Salvia Bract
Thursday April 1st
Anyway, just you wait until tomorrow! It's the great Easter nursery sale, and I'm off there first thing in the morning to look for bargains. I am relatively sensible at sales now - fifteen dollar roses are too pricey, as are ten dollar Phormiums. Over past Easters I've found the best bargains on the fifty cent perennials table - red monarda, Bowles golden grass, lemon anthemis, to name but three.
- Garden Shed :
- This is the shed I am thinking about buying. It's not my photograph - oops.
This weekend I tackle the garden shed, and attempt to pin Non-Gardening Partner down into helping me make decisions - for example, am I buying one? The shed comes as a kitset, with windows and doors already inserted, and I don't think I'm strong enough to build it myself. I know where it's going, though (it fits perfectly) and what colour I'd like it painted (a boring, pale, conservation department green).
I should be preparing a huge list with goals and targets for the long weekend. But I guess much of my work depends on what I buy tomorrow. I need Pittosporums, Phormiums, Toe Toe and other natives for the new garden. I need squillions of Agapanthus clumps for the difficult areas underneath the pine trees.
Herbs - maybe I'll say yes, since I like growing them around the Laundry seat, and I am too lazy to produce my own plants, apart from the colourful sages. And more Lavenders would be nice (they must be cheap) for Rusty the dog's Lavender Garden. A dog cannot have too many Lavenders. But I do not necessarily need more daylilies or half hardy plants like daisies and perennial Verbenas (though they are most colourful). I must be a tough, hard-nosed functional gardener, not a rescuer of roses silly enough to lose their labels.
Good Friday, 2nd April - Happy Easter
Well, well, well. Suddenly the Head Gardener has gone all nonchalant, imagining the mad-scrambled competition at the nursery sale from hoards of feisty grey-haired ladies. In a dignified, resigned sort of way she sips her cup of tea - and waits. Rusty has had his dog biscuit, Lilli (her fur smelling of a sweet pine forest) has had her breakfast in the Stables, Percy and Histeria have been, eaten, and gone. The house is quiet, but some fantails are tweeting and squeaking outside in the Wisteria.
Fantail on the Pergola
I am waiting for Non-Gardening Partner (the designated driver) to appear in the kitchen. The Easter nursery sale has been open for nearly ten minutes, but the plants I'm meant to bring home will still be waiting. And since I mean to discuss the purchase of a summer house, AKA garden shed, I need to approach NGP considerately, with tact. Mind you, flattery got me horribly nowhere after he built (from scratch) the superb rustic pump-house a few years ago. I'm putting all my money on the kitset angle.
News bulletins tell how clogged up the roads were yesterday, as drivers tried to get away out of town to their holiday baches. Ha! My (our) garden shed will ensure that this never happens to me (us). NGP will never be made to drive for eight hours in snarling holiday traffic just to get to our bach. It will be near, just over the lawn and through the gate and near the pond...
And when we arrive there we won't immediately have to start work mowing the lawns, tidying the garden, et cetera. All that will have been already done!
Later That Morning...
Ah - the delightful randomness of the bargain bin at the nursery sale! No Pittosporums, no Phormiums, no Agapanthus... Lots of untempting patio roses, and a long bench covered in half hardy flowering things - the so-called perennial petunias, verbenas, and the like. Not for me! Here's my list of purchases:
- 10 Hebes - for the new garden.
- 7 variegated Liriope (white flowering) - for the Island Bed.
- 4 Liriope - for the Driveway Garden
- 3 red Helianthemums - for the Driveway Garden.
- 2 Calamagrostis Overdam grasses, 1 Miscanthus grass - not sure where.
- 1 Brachiglottis and 1 Chinochloa - for the new garden.
From the 50 cent table I got five Helichrysums - for glasshouse stock - and a variegated sage. Feeling terribly sensible and restrained, I am about to start planting. Yippee for me.
This is not good. The Wattle Woods are a disgrace. There is a good reason, though - because of the fire ban I haven't been keeping up the raking and clearing of gum leaves (they go on the bonfire). Wandering through the Wattle Woods, curving this way and that along the path, should be a joy, but it's simply a dreadful mess, and I am down in the dumps, dug in deeply. So silly, really, since all that's needed is some respectable rain, and a morning's work...
On the plus side, I've planted all the Liriope and divided and replanted more Bergenias (ones with creamy white flowers). And now I'm about to tackle some hebe planting at the back of the Shrubbery, where the new garden joins up. I need water. I need rain. I need energy, and optimism. I need to know that these plants will not die. Hmm... A cup of hot coffee, perhaps, and then I promise not to be negative. Promise!