I'm in a list-writing mood. It's completely OK to be in a list-writing mood, as long as one doesn't become obsessed. Many random, disconnected things need itemising, to help keep my late autumn garden in order. And there are lots of new threads...
Sunday 17th May
Yesterday, with my head full of useful lists (mostly ignored), I trimmed and raked around the house gardens. Then I dug out the over-sized Anemanthele grasses which were covering up a couple of rhododendrons and a beautiful wine-leafed Pittosporum in the Island Bed. I worked my way up the driveway. Trimming the Alchemilla Mollis caused a tiny flutter - garden visiting memories of the ones in a walled garden in Devon.
Alchemilla Mollis Foliage
Then I stopped to think. Where would I rather be?
- Touring around Devon looking at quintessential English perennials?
- Travelling through Turkey looking at old amphitheatres?
- Or in my own late autumn garden poking at yet another patch of clover or sorrel?
This, my first list, was a test of character. I was happy with the last choice, clutching a glass of wine and my new squeezy bottle of organic weed-killer. Clover is on its hit-list.
Monday 18th May
Today I might test my strength, shifting an ailing rhododendron (taller than me) out of Middle Garden. This seems to be a fairly sensible thing to do in late autumn.
Magenta Rhododendron - Early Photograph
It may have been a summer watering issue with the rhododendron. This flowering magenta beauty is tucked into the garden underneath a weeping cherry and several Viburnums. 'Tucked in' probably gives quite the wrong idea. How about 'squashed in'? That's more accurate. I know the other shrubs block the irrigation. Two questions before I start, both fairly vital.
- Where is my scoopy shovel?
- Where is the rhododendron to be replanted?
The last big rhododendron that I shifted (a pale lilac one) ended up - eek - being planted exactly where it wobbled and fell off the wheelbarrow. Lazy!
Slight change of plan. I will ask Non-Gardening Partner tonight how far the irrigation behind the Shrubbery reaches. The rhododendron could go in there in the dappled sunlight. Or it could go in the Island Bed. And the digging out of it could be the last thing I do today.
Late Autumn in the Island Bed
I've come inside to re-cheer myself. During this morning's gardening session (only three hours so far) I've been doing little, disconnected things. So it feels like I've done nothing, because nothing has been visibly improved, let alone finished. Little differences have little impact. I'm going to make a retrospective list.
- I've dug out the old Anemanthele grasses by the rustic courtyard.
The list stops right here, for in doing this the 'soil' underneath has been exposed in a poor state, desperately needing some remedial action. Except for two little areas upon which I threw some compost and top-soil last spring. The cutest, greenest, most tenacious little weed is absolutely thriving here. Clover. And I thought I'd weeded it all out a few months ago. This is the stuff that disheartenment (?) is made of. The list can now continue...
- I've dug out clover weeds. Aargh!
- I've trimmed lots more Dahlias.
And one final thing which needn't be listed, ao I'll just say it in a sentence. I've just about filled the trailer with burnable rubbish from the Hump.
And now for some on-going thoughts. I might enlarge the top of the Island Bed. And, if I can find my spade, I'm going to give the Hump garden behind the green Adirondacks a sharp, neat edge. And I'll try and finish the dahlia trim and grasses dig in the Shrubbery.
Late Nicotiana Flowering
Some might think it odd that just by having a tiny moan and then writing a list I can make myself feel infinitely better. Well, maybe not infinitely, perhaps moderately is a better word. But it honestly does work! Right. A cup of tea, and then the return to the garden, where the power of lists will be tested, hee hee... And would the neighbour across the road who keeps barking at my dogs who therefore keep barking back at him (it has to be a man) please stop? Go back to work, or something!
OK. Here's my 'It's OK To...' list.
- It's OK to only work for five hours in late autumn.
- It's OK to have out-of-season photographs on a late autumn gardening journal page.
- It's OK not to quite finish anything on a late autumn gardening day.
- And it's OK to have more than one list on the go at a time, hee hee.
I didn't dig out the rhododendron. I didn't dig out the unhappy purple Cotinus in the Driveway Garden, or plant my new Viburnum. Aha! This looks suspiciously like another list. I mention these things for a good reason. I'm wondering if they all might go in the back of the Island Bed, if I enlarge it. Hmm...