Gardeners and Hobbits...
I am one of those gardeners who never goes to the movies. My garden's visual landscape is expansively 3D, with superb surround-sound. Film-wise I am content with a modestly small screen and the TV couch. Finally, thereon, I am watching The Hobbit - Part One, The Unexpected Journey.
Thursday 24th October
Here's my plan. I work for two hours, gently and thoughtfully, then I come inside and Hobbit-watch. My memories of the book are selectively pacifist - I love imagining the countryside, the journey towards rivers and mountains, the camping in forests on the way, etc. I actually don't like the fighting at all, which unfortunately is the core of the story. Oh well.
The Forest of Gloom?
Today more gale force winds are forecast. They gust up to 120km per hour, so can have a pretty mean and violent kick to them. Please, don't blow down any more trees!
Today in the Garden...
I'm watering already, and I'm about to go outside and shift the hoses. Ha! It's the start of the great summer hose-shifting season. I'll pull out some more Alkanet (such a weedy plant, and such pretty forget-me-not flowers). I'll plant some perennials in the garden behind the pond. I've found some room for the variegated Scrophularia that I love, and for some lupins. Two perennial favourites to start the day with - nice!
The dwarves and the hobbit were travelling over a mountain pass. My goodness, the sounds of the storm were so lifelike. It was dynamic. Aargh! It was real wind, whining and wailing around my house.
I've since been outside to shut the glasshouse door and investigate some more gardening, but it's unpleasant and very noisy. I watched the big Eucalyptus trees swaying alarmingly and decided to take cover. Hopefully nothing will come down, except blossom (I'll sacrifice the blossom).
Margaret Merril Rose
Good Glass-House Work...
Earlier I did do a lot of good glass-house work, potting up my daisy and pelargonium cuttings, organising a watery pot for some cannas, and moving the terracotta pots already filled with plants outside. I watered everything, and pricked out some more purple cornflowers. These are, again, some of my most favourite favourites. There is some dahlia excitement - seeds from a pink and white spiky have germinated. Of course they may be nothing like their parent.
Friday 25th October
Blast! And I refer to wind-blast, though today the nor-westers (AKA equinoxial gales) are forecast to only reach 70km an hour. At the moment it's actually raining, rather nicely and gently, so the plan is to go swimming. Five, six, seven hours gardening per day is all very well, but I need my exercise! I might do some gardening when I get home - we'll see.
Things went really well for a couple of hours. I shifted hoses, watered things, pulled out Alkanet, and planted flowering annuals. But then the wind got too noisy. I tried shouting up at the sky : 'Toooooooooo noisy! Go awaaaaaaaay!' but Rusty thought I was telling him off and went all sad. Sorry, dear dog, I didn't mean you.
Rusty the Dog with his Tennis Ball
So I shut all the doors and rejoined the TV couch and the Hobbit. I have already fallen in old-lady love with Thorin son of Thrain (the King of the Dwarves). Listening to that nasty orc Azog I was reminded (fondly?) of the industrial-metal rock-band vocalists of my teaching youth. The piece de resistance - I cried when Thorin hugged Bilbo the hobbit. Oh dear...
Sunny Blue Irises
Late in the day the wind calmed a bit, so I went outside to bucket water into the rhododendrons in the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden and again shift the hoses. I've left one hose on the new potato patch (which seems sensible). The Stumpy Garden now has minimal shelter from the nor-west winds, so I'm thinking of planting some screening Pittosporums ASAP where the fence was. Everything is getting rather battered about.
The first peony, cream and coral in colour, is just starting to open. More and more of the larger country roses are flowering too - Agnes the rugosa, Fruhlingsgold and Fruhlingsmorgen. The very first of the recycled roses I planted in the Stables Garden has just one bloom - she's Margaret Merril, beautifully fragrant. And Othello, her equally smelly rival, has one bloom. He's planted by the house. Many of the early big irises are blooming, but the wind has pushed them over. They're still beautiful, though.
And the rest of the rhododendrons in the Stumpy Garden are catching up, bravely flowering while they twist and flap in the wind. They are all warm 'fruit salad and custard' colours. I've taken lots of photographs. Dear shrubs!
I spent my last outdoors hour watering the roses behind the Stables. They get more sun since the big trees next-door came down, and this is a good thing. Pity about the wind! I rather like hand-held watering. I dream a bit, talk to the plants, bend over to pull out a weed, then dream some more. It's a good way to slow a mad gardener like me down. And then I sat down to watch the last minutes of the Hobbit. Part One is finished.
You know, there's something to be said for staying home in the sheltering greenery of ones own garden, and only going on mind-adventures. I would have totally understood if Bilbo Baggins the hobbit had done the same. Nasty orcs don't have battles in shrubberies - but it would be perfectly OK if dwarves or wizards wanted to camp in my Wattle Woods.