Feeling a bit sheepish...
Burnt Orange Dahlia
Today has started oddly, reading a well-written article in Fine Gardening (the only gardening magazine I subscribe to), and feeling a bit sheepish about my gardening abilities with regards to colour. Self-doubt first thing in the morning will not do!
So I am off outside to shift some dahlias out of the too-shady garden opposite the cottage. As one does - to regain confidence? Well, it's a decisive move, and will make the quasi-plantswoman (if not the colour co-ordinator) in me feel a bit better. They're my big single whites, and I love them. And they are not responsible for my colour issues, by the way.
Friday 16th March
Yesterday was a lightweight day - I did some digging, enlarging Rusty's Lavender Garden. But the southerly 'storm' mooched slowly in, first the wind and then some gutless, annoying rain.
My Little Incinerator
I left my little incinerator to puff smoke out of its chimney. Not really much gardening was done, but hey! It was reasonably unpleasant out there. Lots of leaves are starting to fall, and not just because of the wind. I think autumn might have arrived.
Snug inside, I continued my TV couch-cycling trip. I have arrived in Nice, with some amazing views from the helicopter. And news from my couch-trekking companions (that is, the real-life trekkers) - I now have a map of their intended route in the Himalayas, so I know where I'm going. There's been a slight delay to the start of this trip, so I have a few spare days in which to be a fully committed gardener.
Right. That shady garden needs a rethink, and I do have some spare Hydrangeas to find spots for. And I will not, not, not, not, not forget my dentist's appointment at lunchtime. Not. No way.
Common sense kicked in - I finished the garden I started yesterday, by Rusty's dog kennel. I found space for a random batch of Nerines, and put three divided Agapanthus clumps around the edge. I love my little incinerator, stuffed full of gum leaves, puffing away modestly in the driveway. Really, I am much more a tiny incinerator than a big bonfire girl.
Good news - I remembered THE DENTIST. It's OK - I love my dentist, and I popped in at the library afterwards. I love new books, and this latest lot were commented on by the librarian as being 'an enticing assortment', hee hee.
I love lots of things today - the cricket (we are doing OK), the roses (their autumn colours are magnificent), my gardening kitten (naturally), and the new developments in Rusty's Dog Kennel Garden. And, of course, my garden, which is definitely showing signs of autumn.
In Rusty's garden a new burnt-orange dahlia (from a church fair plant sale) is flowering splendidly, along with some nondescript white daisies - a pity, colourwise, that the big white Agapanthus have finished. I'm going to shift some of those big white dahlias in, since it's so delightfully afternoon-sunny. I'll do that tomorrow. Hmm... White goes with burnt orange?
Please, a Lamium-Free Garden
Saturday 17th March
Before those dahlias are shifting out, I'm doing a preliminary session in the Septic Tank Garden, where I'm going to dig out all the invasive Lamium. All of it! Ha! This will take a good week of muddy knees gardening time. Perhaps there will then be room in here for roses? Perhaps those dahlias should stay? Aargh! Indecision strikes. I need to be guided by the amount of shade and sunshine.
My plan for saving money has worked well, so far. There have been no new garden gnomes, no online plant auction bidding, and no spending in the charity shop after swimming - just looking, hee hee. I'm now wondering if I can hold out and totally avoid the big Easter Nursery Sale, which usually gets over a hundred dollars of my cash. I suspect my garden is full enough of plants, and anyway I can 'build' my own.
Semi-success - about one quarter of the Lamium is out. It's invasive on a fairly superficial level (therefore not too difficult to remove). And yes - there is room for roses, and space for the sun to shine on them. How exciting! The big white dahlias here definitely moving out, though - they're over the fence-line from the septic tank, in a much more shady area.
- Lily of the Valley :
- I planted one tiny piece of Lily of the Valley on the side of the Septic Tank Garden many years ago. Hmm...
Most of all, the Septic Tank Garden looks much better without that dull ground-cover. I am not a fan of ground-cover (unless in a forest) and now I'm wondering if it's OK for the Lily of the Valley to creep throught the fence-line (it's starting to). Oh well - maybe leave it and see, though I might just be replacing one monster with another, hee hee...
Sunday 18th March
I'm still digging out Lamium, the invasive lemon-flowering ground-cover (AKA fence-cover, AKA shrub-cover) which has taken over the Septic Tank Garden (nothing to do with the septic tank, phew), plus its interior fence. This morning I've been spade-slicing (sore shoulders) rather than hand-digging (sore fingers), and I'm now two-thirds finished. Two-thirds finished! This is good! This is great progress! Yippee for me, sticking at a rather daunting task, which is happily nearer completion that it was yesterday, if my fractions are to be believed.
Another Recycled Rose
I won't sit here at lunchtime typing for long, because I'd much. much, much rather be out there pulling and hacking at the remaining Lamium. Ouch. Aren't I good, not reaching for the nasty chemical weed-killer? Oops - better not speak too soon. Right. Back outside I go. I can do this, without complaining. I promise not to complain later on, too. Well, I think I promise...
Good for me. I am now three-fifths finished. If anyone is mathematically concerned that I've regressed, let me explain. The area of Lamium to be dug out was half as big again as I'd originally thought it was. Blast! I refuse to adorn this page with too many photographs of the Lamium, though. Please enjoy the random recycled rose, name unknown, finally flowering in the side house border.