First Spring Daffodils
Spring? It really feels like spring - I found a pink Camellia and a patch of miniature daffodils flowering - and the first early red rhododendron. And so it is spring! Out came the camera to take the same old pictures as last year...
Sunday 22nd August
I have worked hard all day for seven hours. Seven! First I laid half of the vegetable garden path, and barrowed in a few loads of home compost. I'm using gum tree logs for the edging, and soft shredded bark for the surface.
Then with Non-Gardening Partner, Rusty the dog, and Fluff-Fluff the cat I had lunch on the verandah of Pond Cottage. After lunch I carefully painted the window frames etc. while NGP attached the spouting. I think he likes Pond Cottage. I LOVE it!
I finished my day by digging out three monster Carexes from the edge of the water race - ouch! My sore shoulders! Then I burnt what I could, dragging out lots of other rubbish piled up underneath the Leyland hedge. I can't burn the hugest grasses, so I flung (not quite the word - they're really heavy) them deep underneath the hedge to do whatever they wish.
The pheasants have been rather random today. He (the bright, noisy one) has been honking loudly and then flying straight through the pond trees into the orchard - returning ten minutes or so later. I find it funny that his flight is so level, all stretched out like a feathery arrow, and that he doesn't crash into anything. Don't pheasants do parabolas?
+10 +10+10 +10I'd like to thank quite a few of the cats for providing great cat-company - young Minimus for digging the hugest holes in the vegetable garden and then forgetting what they were for, Percy for popping out of the greenery and looking extremely decorative, Histeria the tabby for bouncing around being oh so happy, and big Fluff-Fluff for lasting the whole day without getting bored.
But FF - please don't wriggle your back-end (ahem) at my plants while I'm looking. It's rude, and does not impress me!
Spring Posy - Hellebores and Daffodils
Most of all I'm thrilled with the start of some real spring flowering. And sunshine (plus NGP helping me) makes such a difference. What a lovely day.
Monday 23rd August
In the following order, the following tasks will be done.
- Finish the vegetable garden - woodshed path.
- Prune and trim around the Koru sculpture.
- Remove (ouch) at least five more Carexes.
And there is to be no rabbiting on in this journal (I used to call it 'twittering' until that term was redefined) until all tasks are completed, plus the house vacuuming (downstairs at least) and a good hour's piano practice (love that Prokovief flute-piano sonata). Ha! My day is organised.
Head Gardener Working On the New Path
Seven Hours Later...
Another seven hour day! First of all I'd like to thank the weather for presenting another springlike day. I've done everything except the piano playing, and since this is my journal I reckon I'm allowed to break one of my own rules.
It really is a day for crowing - getting in touch with my masculine side? For I have finished the new path, and edged it with logs, and moved the little English Lavender hedge so it's close and straight.
I've cleaned up the Gunnera in Middle Garden, directly opposite my bonfire which has been gurgling merrily. I've trimmed the Viburnum in the depths of the Dog-Path Garden so I'll be able to see the red and yellow rhododendrons in there. I've shifted two clumps of Stella D'Oro daylilies over the path to the sunny side and trimmed several Phormiums with the kitchen steak knife.
Years ago I took lots of hostas from a gardening friend. My greediness is coming back to haunt me - a little green Euphorbia she also popped in is now spreading madly through the little Koru Garden. Phew - most of the roses are standards, but anything else in its sights needs to beware.
In the back near the water I pruned the larger roses - Golden celebration, Sharifa Asma and John Clare, who really doesn't know when to stop - yes, he was still trying to flower. What a man - an English poet, actually - I wonder if his verse goes on and on and on...
I kept finding cute little juvenile Carexes in the stupidest places (sometimes I can be such a goose). Out they all came, and onto the bonfire. My scoopy shovel worked better, too, digging out the remaining ones on the water race edge.
Lunch by Pond Cottage
And of course Rusty and I had lunch on the verandah of Pond Cottage. There was a small sun-shower, and I watched NGP's new spouting working. Hee hee.
Tuesday 24th August
Hee hee. Just when any rational observer would have thought I had enough garden gnomes... I'm getting another red-hatted chap later today. He is a shovelling gnome, and will complement my sore shovelling shoulder rather nicely! And tomorrow I'm getting four new roses - they're hybrid teas, Ingrid Bergman (a red) and Ivey Hall (a yellow), and are going into the Dog-Path Garden where a couple of monster Carex grasses have been dug out. Much better!
A Gentler Day
After two seven-hour gardening days and a raft of older-lady aches and pains (groan and moan), today needs to be gentler. I've got more pea-straw mulch, and am going to quietly potter about with dog and wheelbarrow, spreading it around. Then if the day is warm enough I might do some more painting (Pond Cottage, and/or a pair of wooden garden seats).
I also have some plants to shift: namely one rhododendron and the Wintersweet, and more winter trimming to do along the water race. Aargh! Just when I think I've replanted all the Gunnera crowns, I've found three or four huge specimens, casually lolling in the border by Duck Lawn. And - another aargh! Another grove of coarse green carex grasses, all happily growing nearby. Thought - replace the Carex monsters with the Gunnera monsters? The Moosey gardening day and my plans for it are both warming up nicely.
Oh dear - it's one of those days. A one-cup-of-coffee-isn't-enough day, when the lunch break gets taken a little early, and I get a little cold, and my gardening mind wanders inside to the TV couch and watching Midsomer Murders... Today it feels like pre-spring, and I'm a bit moochy.
Aargh! More Coarse Carex Grasses
But so far I have been relatively good - I've spread one whole bale of pea-straw down the first Driveway Garden. More cheery lemon daffodils are flowering. And of course I had lunch near Pond Cottage, sitting on the pond decking listening to sheep and lambs baa-ing in the neighbouring fields (an ovine chorus of altos, baritones and trebles).
Much, Much Later...
Oh boy. I am so tired, but so triumphant. I've spread yet another pea-straw bale, this time on the corner garden opposite the Stables where I last planted Agapanthus. These bales contain four cubic meters, in my estimation, and some of the straw is already damp and rotting. I cleaned up underneath the big Cordylines by the driveway fork.
And then I lit my bonfire and went off into Middle Garden to dig out those grasses. It was exceedingly difficult muddy work, but I did it without falling into the water. Such an improvement! Everything is burnt. I've worked for five and a half hours, and all my muddy clothes are soaking in the laundry. Hurray for me! Ouch. Sigh. Snooze...
Just remembered. I'll shift the plants mentioned above tomorrow. There's always tomorrow.