The Queen of Soil Restoration and Enrichment...

Little Mac, Flying Kitten

Ha! I am the Queen of Soil Restoration and Enrichment. Compost, rotting leaves, bags of horse manure, ash, mulch... You name it, I've got it and I'm applying it to my garden. It's time I did something nice for the soil.

Sunday 5th February

Already I've worked for over two hours, so morning tea (just hot coffee and a delicious nectarine, in these days of the Shape Up For Life 2012 Campaign) is welcome.

Actually I feel a little shaken up, having watched Little Mac fall from a rather high tree branch (about eight feet up), landing on the soft grass and luckily not breaking or hurting anything. It's not pleasant seeing a kitten flying down through the air. Yes - he did land on his feet. Aargh! And young Minimus (my grey cottage cat) has been stalking him, rushing out in a most unfriendly fashion whenever the kitten stops concentrating. This is most unsettling.

 The giant Gunnera.
Greenery by Willow Bridge - 2012

Anyway, I've done some brilliant gardening, wheeling lots of compost onto the Driveway Garden and clearing the edge of the Hump, laying down logs. It looks really nice, particularly the curves edged with miniature Agapanthus. Actually my garden looks really green for past mid-summer. Must be all that sneaky watering, hee hee. We won't mention the lawns, though...


Today has been one of those days - it's as if I've spent six hours picking leaves off the lawn by hand. Lots of hours, little to show for it. So I'm going to list my achievements (for of course there are many). Loud Yippee! I remembered to dead-head the bright pink Flower Carpet roses. Medium yippee - the garden in the Hump is semi-weeded. Soft yippee - I've spread most of the compost and picked up gum bark from Rusty the dog's Lavender Garden. It is, after all, underneath a huge gum tree. Whisper - I've planted about sixty more daffodil bulbs.

 Another rescue from a bargain bin.
Another Unknown Pink Rose

You can see where this is all going. And yet the day was full of busyness, with minimal daydreaming about buying new roses and the like, and just a few token rests for coffee. And I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I guess true garden maintenance days are like this.

Monday 6th February

Lucky me - I've picked up seven bags of horse manure to mix up with the remains of the compost. But I've decided to do something a bit different - I'm weeding my vegetable garden, which is in its usual disgraceful condition. Things (well, the potatoes and tomatoes) have been so slow to grow this summer. But not the weeds, oh no, not them. They're really happy. And there are orange Calendulas everywhere - such simple, pretty, cheerful flowers.

 I love their dazzling colours.
Calendulas in the Vegetable Garden

Tuesday 7th February

First of all a shy and modest progress report regards the Shape Up For Life 2012 Campaign, Day 12. It's going brilliantly! Non-Gardening Partner's paunch is slowly and sensibly shrinking. I can fit more comfortably into my gardening shorts, and my favourite apres gardening jeans. And the food we eat is so tasty, too. Actually, I reckon stretch denim has a lot to answer for.

'An overactive gardening mind in an underactive gardening body.'
-Moosey's Morning Mood.

I'm in a hopelessly dithery early morning mood, though. I seem to have an overactive gardening mind in an underactive gardening body? What should I do first today? Something big, or something really tiddly and unimpressive - like weeding? While I'm being indecisive I might as well put the hoses on. Today I'm watering the compost, manure, and leaf mixture behind the pond - plus the rhododendrons in the Driveway Garden. Back soon.

 They have survived in the middle of the Island Bed for years and years.
Spiky Yellow Dahlias

Two Hours Later...

Dithering inside when drizzle is forecast is silly. So I zoomed outside to get all the compost and the horse manure onto the Driveway Garden. I found some mulch underneath a hedge, and I spread that on too. I also carted five barrowfuls of rubbish (gum bark and old Lychnis plants) over to the messy fence-line. I made a start clearing the middle of the Island Bed. Many red dahlias have self-seeded in here, but I'm OK with that. Love that silly spiky yellow dahlia!

Right. I have two plants to dig up and sort out. The yellow flowering Anthemis needs rejuvenating by division (it flowered poorly this year). The red hot (or should I say 'luke warm') pokers at the top of the Jelly Bean Border are going on a fence-line somewhere. They get one more summer to shape up or ship out.

Later, Mid-Afternoon...

I did two more hours work, and guess what? I have planted all the daffodil bulbs. Yes, all of them. That's it - my forward-thinking plan for beautiful yellowness next spring, implemented and finished, in really good time too. Again I nearly planted a black and white kitten in several different places down the Driveway, hee hee. Little Mac!

It wouldn't be overstating things to mention how very pleased I am with this first gardening week of February. I seem to be doing some great garden maintenance, and (hopefully) not moaning too much about it. And I'm finishing things. Long may this continue.