Lazy last days of 2015

 My December shrub.
Yellow Hypericum

Lazy last days of 2015, with afternoon snoozes, cider in the evenings, meals outside on the patio, panting dogs and lolling cats for company.

Wednesday 30th December

Too early for my New Years' Resolutions? No way. I'm afraid it is rather dull and unimaginative, though. Sorry about this. Here it is :

I resolve to be a better gardener.

Nothing new here - I make this resolution at least once a month. But these days I've been thinking how best to implement the resolution. Do more gardening? Not necessarily. As in piano playing, lots of practice does not seem to guarantee a better result. Sad that! As I get more and more up to the proper speed, the number of mistakes I make stays the same. Though the mistakes themselves are always different.

But back to the garden. Perhaps I should be more disciplined and finish everything? Hmm... But I love being a free gardening spirit. Then I have the most extreme thought - downsizing! Maybe my garden is just too big for one pottering medium-old lady to - ahem - cope with. Aargh!

 Fed by a river pump.
The Wriggling Stream

A simpler solution?

And then I wonder if the answer is much more practical, a simpler solution like not losing my gardening hand tools. I'm opting for this strategy, and have made what I hope is an auspicious start. I've had to buy new a new digger, scraper, and nipper, and along with my gardening gloves they now live in a blue bucket. I cart this bucket around everywhere.

Let me make this very clear. I do NOT leave any tools lying around in the grass for the lawnmower, or in the bottom of the wheelbarrow to be mulched. At the end of the day I hang the bucket by the back door. So simple!

Yesterday I cleaned out the little stream in the Wattle Woods, and laid more stones in its bed (so less of the black polythene liner is showing). I love the little stream - the way it wiggles down the slope, under the foot bridges, past the Agapanthus clumps, through the huge Phormiums. A thought : I might do some mass plantings of Renga Renga (Arthropodium) to make it look even nicer.

Then I finished pulling out weeds (mainly sticky willy) from the garden below the glass-house. There's room in here for more shrubs - but toughies, not roses. The ground is dry, so I've had the hoses on. But wait a minute - why not roses? Maybe some more rugosas, to add to the original plantings. A thought : this would be a good place to scatter honesty seeds for next spring.

Useful Euphorbia

Today I trimmed off old Euphorbia seed-heads by the house. These are such useful shrubs. In late winter their lime green 'flowers' light up the day, and in summer the cool blue leaves are most appealing - particularly when the scruffy bits have just been chopped away, hee hee. They also provide their own replacements. Nice!

 Very shy!
Mrs Oakley Fisher

Later I moved over to the Allotment Garden to weed and trim, supervised by the youngest cats Tiddles and Buster. I shredded a lot of annuals for self-seeding mulch - mainly Calendulas and annual yellow daisies. Two Mrs Oakley Fisher roses, new for me, are flowering here. Their shrubs seem to be slow to grow, but that's OK. I have memories (and hopes) of a large, robust country matron.

 A medium flower.
Raspberry Red Daylily

On the rose swag the pink rescued rambler (American Pillar?) is making a bit of a nuisance of itself. Nothing that some timely pruning won't fix? Please let this work out.

Pretty Daylilies...

And some words of encouragement for the daylilies. You are all doing so well. Such pretty colours! Species daylilies in the Allotment Garden - be prepared for a shovel and a shift as soon as summer is over. You're moving to the Welcome Garden. Nothing to worry about.

Now back to this business of being a better gardener. Do you know, it may all be an illusion, and like 'beauty', be in the eye of the beholder. Also, 'betterness' has a lot to do with the time of the day that garden evaluation takes place. When I'm tired I see all the weeds that I should have pulled out yesterday - that sort of thing.

But while the blue bucket hangs on its hook, tools and gloves within, there is hope! Farewell, 2015, and thanks for everything.