Perennial production...

Library day, home with a glossy gardening book detailing the redevelopment from neglect of an Irish walled garden, Clondeglass. Under-gardener helpers, rows of fat plants in nursery pots ready to fill the gaps - too easy! It's time I started producing masses of perennials for the gaps in my garden.

Thursday 21st August

Mentally prodded into action ('inspired' would be too deep a word), I spent the next hour collecting pieces of lilac Scabious, Stachys, and bronze Heuchera - my big three 'divide and rule' perennials - and putting them in pots of fresh potting mix.

 My big three.
Three Edging Perennials - Heuchera, Stachys, Scabious

That's all I did yesterday, and I'm going to continue today. It's the wrong time for Penstemon cuttings? I'll try some of the side shoots of the white one, just in case.

 Still pretty cold, though!
Blue Sky, Yellow Wattle Tree

Think Bigger!

I need to think bigger when I create plants - I needs lots and lots. It's like sowing and pricking out seedlings. For example, I can easily find perfect places in my garden to plant out five hundred pansies. I just have to be bothered.

Later, Lunchtime...

THE perfect day for working in the glass-house - underneath a brilliant blue sky a biting cold wind direct from the Antarctic is roaring around the garden. I'm off to cut pieces off the following perennials : Nepeta six hills giant, Salvia superbum, Lupin, purple Heuchera, and anything else I can find.

Three Hours Later...

Ha! I've built over fifty pots of various perennial divisions. Nice work! But my sheltered glasshouse deceived me into sitting on the cottage verandah in the afternoon sunshine to read. Young Minimus my cottage cat had been keeping me company in the glass-house, and so she could enjoy my company in return. Brr... That wind was far too cold.

Then I did an hour's weeding along the driveway in the low afternoon sun. Little spring weeds have popped up everywhere. This is a good sign? Hmm... It's a sign for vigilance and a daily weeding session, methinks. When the spring garden bus starts to move, the gardener needs to be on board. Each day there are more and more wonderful flowers to enjoy.

When the spring garden bus starts to move, the gardener needs to be on board. -Moosey words of wisdom.

To warm up, Rusty the dog and I went off down the road for a brisk walk. Non-Gardening Partner has been busy checking out breeders of Border Collies - we are getting a new puppy.

A New Puppy...

A new puppy - oops. I feel, oddly, a little guilty. One cannot really explain this sort of family development to a mature dog, but I tried. We returned, Rusty the dog none the wiser that he will soon be sharing his favourite people.

 What a grubby puppy face! Rusty has been digging...
Rusty - a Real Puppy

This is my favourite Rusty puppy photograph. Wonder what the new puppy will look like? She will probably be a black and white border collie.

Friday 22nd August

I've promised my garden a big, happy day. As in any large one-woman enterprise, there are always things left unfinished, and I will try and put that right. Today, like an elegant ellipse, I have two foci.

  1. Properly finish spreading out all the top-soil compost.
  2. Continue small scale weeding and perennial dividing.

And here's a thought. Should my spirits sag, I am to look at the Irish Garden book about Clondeglass. I check the before and after photographs and say something out loud like 'wow!' or 'Amaaaaaaazing...'. Then I look at the in-between picture with the clusters of potted nursery plants. I smile, take up my green wheelbarrow, and get back into it.

 A so-called lucky dip from the local nursery.
Maybe Rubicon Rhododendron


Several of my early red rhododendrons (names unknown, but possibly Rubicon) are starting to flower, in various parts of the garden. But one of the cool pinks in the driveway is seriously sulking - in fact, I reckon it's dead. I've given it enough time to recover. It will go down as yet another of my garden's little mysteries.

Lots of Little Things...

Yes. I've done really well today - all day. I've done lots of little things : first I weeded the Stables garden and collecting Foxglove and Alyssum seedlings to pop into a pot. After the potting I made a start on clearing the Creeping Charlie (again!) from the garden just in front of the glass-house. I notice he has crept alarmingly into the lawn too. Oops. I found a nice little perennial (name unknown) which I split up and repotted, too. It's a pretty pink flowering version of a very common white flowering one. That doesn't really help, does it?

Then I started the bonfire and the compost spreading. That isn't finished yet - I ran out of daylight. I'm working along the lawn edge of the Hen House Garden, replacing the stones and replanting the Agapanthus. And, of course, I'm raking up loads of hedge trimmings.

But Back to Clondeglass...

I did peep at the Clondeglass book during a quick lunch break. It's given me ideas, like getting a small tunnel house in which to grow early vegetables. I could erect it next to the Allotment Garden. There's a recipe using rhubarb leaves and soap to kill greenfly. They are the same as aphids, aren't they? Better check. And how about a patch rather than a pot of Tiger lilies? They are such an beautiful, interesting colour.

 Just one!
Tiger Lily Flower

Actually, reading this book has been a timely reminder. Now I can strive to be a better nursery-woman, as well as a better weeder, raker, bonfirer, barrower, pruner, trimmer... Eek!