My scattergun approach to gardening...

 Shining in the sun.
Blue Polyanthus

Some days my scattergun approach to gardening just will not do. Better to do one thing well - e.g. spread compost on the winter vegetable garden only.

At the slightest twinge of randomness, a severe list can be used to help sharpen the focus, not that lists are necessarily back in fashion in this gardening journal. But needs must, and I need some self-discipline.

Sunday 15th July

OK. Here is my severe list. Note it well, Ms Moosey! Put on your most serious face.

1. Compost
First and foremost this must go in the vegetable garden.
2. Horse manure
First and foremost this must go in the Hen-House Garden.
3. Roses
Plant selected roses in middle of vegetable garden. I am allowed to do this.

Hmm... Serious stuff here. Which roses to select? Eek - warm colours, I think. I've also got two big bags of potting mix and more polyanthus plants to accommodate. And I need to tinker a bit more with the new path through the Wattle Woods. I love it when there are so many choices. What to do first?

 It's Percy, poking about in my vegetable garden compost,
Sunshine on Ginger Cat

Six Hours Later...

Another glorious day, and I am so proud of myself for staying on task. I shovelled absolutely all the compost (one cubic meter) onto the vegetable garden, spreading some around the neighbouring perennials. In the middle of the vegetable garden I've planted two Kate Sheppard pink roses, a Sharifa Asma, and a Lichfield Angel (both David Austins).

They are in a wee semi-circle, ringed with English Lavender and a tiny curving brick path, in full sun. The Lavender used to grow down the straight lawn edge the vegetable garden, so it's been an easy recycle. It looks really scruffy at the moment (of course I've trimmed it), but when in flower the blue is beautiful, and the bees love it.

I've also edged the new Wattle Woods path properly, and filled up the water entry point with more stones of varying sizes, dropped in randomly - this is what nature does, I reckon.

And finally - oh dear - Non-Gardening Partner has hung up some spangly dangly fairy lights for me on the verandah of Pond Cottage. It's just gone dark and I can see them from the house, twinkling in the pond paddock. So cute! I bought them for two dollars at the Charity Shop, in a plastic bag with the word 'working' written on it. I trusted that word, and I was right.

Weekend Sounds

This weekend has been filled with the sounds of country style chain-sawing (much nicer than mass suburban weekend lawn-mowing sessions). NGP has been busy cleaning up a tree with cracked and broken branches. I think it's a huge Ake Ake, well past its use-by date, fallen over onto the Frisbee Lawn.

 Viburnum tinus
Winter Flowering Viburnum

Simultaneously our neighbour has been chain-sawing loads of firewood from his pine tree paddock near us. He's donating the wood to city folk waiting for insurance pay-outs or repairs to their earthquake damaged homes, for their winter heating.

Should I leave my spangly dangly fairy-lights on all night? I've got two new Enid Blyton books to read from the Mystery series (which has a character called 'Fatty'). NGP thinks I've gone a bit sillier than usual, hee hee. But at least I'm not boring...

 Flowering now.
Scarlet Wallflower

Shift the Salvia

One final (sensible) thought. I'm going to move the Salvia uliginosa into the perennials garden, for autumn flower colour. There's a huge space in the middle where last year I grew the Eucomnis bulbs - I've dug them out, preferring to have them in pots for the summer.

And there's definitely space for at least two of my larger new roses in here - maybe two of the new David Austins, whose labels will be well and truly left on. Full sun, too - the perfect spot!

Monday 16th July

Aha! Another mild-tempered winter's day (I think I mean mild 'temperatured'), and I'm planning to be outside for all of its daylight hours, shirt sleeves rolled up, smiley grin on face. I am going to be soooooooo busy that I'll have a momentous list of achievements, longer than a minute's worth of page scrolling. Ha!

In case any fascinated readers were wondering - I did turn the dangly spangly fairy-lights outside the cottage off before going to sleep. Young Minimus my cottage cat was rather mesmerised with their winking and twinkling routine.

 With the fairy lights.
Night-time Cottage

Fairy Lights

Non-Gardening Partner was sent out with his super-duper camera to attempt an evening photograph - not so successful. He promises to read the manual and try again, dear bloke (he thinks I'm quite daft). I myself will take some interesting photographs of plants, gardens, trees, leaves, maybe even new rose labels. A day in the garden has greater visual delights than spectacularly dirty fingernails (me) and a bored dog lolling on the lawn (Rusty).

Much Later...

A side issue popped up, and so I have very little to report. This morning the water race was really low (there's flooding upriver). Whatever I thought I'd be doing went on hold, and I went in the water. I've cleaned up ferns and Phormiums along the banks, and scooped up rubbish from the bottom. I managed to stay in there for over two hours, which is about the time it took for my tingling feet to warm up afterwards.

 That water is cold, too.
The Water Race is Low

I refuse to have a bonfire on such a glorious day, so piles and piles of dry rubbish are still sitting on and near the burning heap, waiting. A bit of half-hearted raking of the path behind the glass-house just produced more dry mess for the bonfire, so I left everything and went supermarket shopping. Two packets of rescued pink tulip bulbs are now snugly planted in shallow terracotta bowls, and I have eight polyanthus plants left to find a pot for. And that's about it for today. Not the longest list of achievements, alas.

 Lady of Megginch
Rose Label

Tuesday 17th July

Today I have to be a better gardener than yesterday. If my jeans get wet and muddy I'll just find another pair suitable for the garden. Yesterday wet jeans were the perfect excuse to stop working altogether and go shopping. Aargh! I will not be controlled by my clothing.

But at least I did buy some leek and spinach seedlings, and, as already noted, I rescued some dear little tulip bulbs.

Much, Much, Later...

Oh yes. A big, big day, with much accomplished. Firstly I've pruned the orchard roses, and planted some new climbers: Sid Edmund Hillary opposite Gloire de Dijon, Awakening opposite Coconut Ice, and the two Birthday Presents sharing an arch with the recycled Bantry Bay.

 One of my new rose garden areas.
Space for Roses

More Roses Planted

I've also planted striped Henri Matisse and Camille Pisaro plus Papa Meilland in the newly cleared back lawn's garden, with the pristine white Windemeres and show-off Grimaldi a little further along. Behind the fence, nearer the compost heap, Darcy Bussell sits on the edge (he's supposed to be short and squat) and Lady of Megginch is right in the middle. There's still heaps of room, and now I need lots of short and sweet perennials to full up the gaps. Pansies and violas are obvious additions, plus cornflowers and dwarf sweet peas. I want these gardens to look unashamedly pretty.

Then Non-Gardening Partner helped me with a huge late bonfire. I burnt more trimmed Phormium leaves, my rose prunings, and another trailer load of gum tree branches. Unfortunately I've now slurped too much wine too quickly in celebration, and am feeling soppy and silly-in-the-head. It's definitely time to stop writing, before the sentimental, maudlin mood kicks in...