After the garden tour...

I've been out on a garden tour. Was it inspiring? In a kick-up the backside sort of way. Put it this way - the first thing I did on returning home was to sweep gum leaves off the patio. And now I'm off to scrape up all the weeds from the paving stone path around the house. See what I mean?

Sunday 24th November

Which isn't really a fair summing-up, because I really enjoyed the outing, and the picnic with friends at lunchtime. I experienced a bit of pond-envy, and I liked the mass plantings of red Centranthus and yellow weedy irises. Name? I'm working on it! But these were quasi-country gardens where the houses were bigger than the trees. There were no stinky old golden Labrador dogs snuffling around the guests on the lawn.

 I love this weedy perennial!
Red Centranthus

So why don't I have a proper potager? Ha! Because I don't want one! In the place where the potager should have been I've built a herb spiral, and I love it, and anyway, potagers are not my style. I'm just not fussy enough.

 Pretty crunchy gravel!
Catmint in a Proper Potager

OK. I've posed several questions to Non-Gardening Partner. Here's the first. How come other gardens can have immaculate driveways, fresh with gleaming gravel, and not a weed in sight? He's presented me with a container full of something rather non-organic in a skull-and-crossbones puffy bottle.

 A classic!
Pot in Sea of Lavender

Questions, questions...

The second involves immaculate lawns that are a million miles away from a sheep paddock. Why don't I have these? He answered this in the best way possible - by mowing most of my lawns late in the day, when daytime was joining night.

Then more deep and meaningful questions for myself. Why don't I have long rows of huge matching pots? This one's easy. Money. So what about a large single pot in a sea of lavender? Hmm... Why don't I have groovy trendy outdoor dinner dining furniture, with lovely table settings? Because I'd feel pretty silly sitting down to dine alfresco with nine empty chairs and Non-Gardening Partner on the TV couch watching the news.

Why don't I have beautiful courtyards where everything has its place, and is in it? Aha! I can answer this. My patio courtyards are like my house. I drop random things about (like clumps of drying white forget-me-nots, from which seed is about to be collected). I'm messy and I do too many things at once. And I have a huge messy gum tree on the house lawn whose leaves float down everywhere.

 No messy gum leaves!
Beautiful Gravel Paths


My concept of indoor-outdoor flow is seriously flawed. I use the patios for storage - firewood logs, garden gnomes that need painting, gardening boots that are too muddy for the house carpet, old coffee cups, and so on. Other folk can float gracefully out into a courtyard seat with a glass of wine. I'd trip over something, and the seat of destination would covered in wet leaves and dripping with spiders.

Monday 25th November

This morning has been very down-to-earth. I've been gardening in the drizzle, weeding the gardens around the Driveway Lawn, and carting more pine tree mess to the bonfire. I've planted more Pittosporums in the Frisbee Lawn Corner Garden. I've driven three times down the road to pick up lots of bags of free horse manure.

Lunch has been - oddly cosmopolitan? - salmon sushi and a cream-filled deep-fried donut from the local store. I'm snug and dry inside now, and it's cold enough for woolly socks and jersey, too. Will I rejoin my dripping garden later this afternoon? We'll see, we'll see. I could just move those garden gnomes over to the pond, and shift that firewood...

 Maybe a second pond , gnome-free, would be nice?
Garden Gnomes around the Pond


I finished the weeding, and most of the other stuff (that's delightfully vague). I dug out five robust Pittosporum seedlings and planted them by the side driveway. And that horse manure - it's all spread out. Brilliant. After two complete changes of gardening clothes I decided to retire for the day. I did have a shower, honestly, but all through the evening's choir rehearsal I could smell delicate wafts of garden waste. Or, specifically, horse waste. Oops. The hair, perhaps? Aargh!