A sensible, measured approach to the 'building' of my new stream is needed. So the idea is to glide gracefully (i.e. work my way) up its length, rather than jumping around all over the place. And I'm tidying the gardens on each side as I go. Sounds easy? Should be.
Wednesday 12th August
Today after the dog park I should be able to position the lower of the little curved bridges. They are the most beautiful pieces of garden furniture, lovingly crafted by Non Gardening Partner.
Grump. I thought that creating a stone-edged stream would be the easiest thing. But today it all looks silly and the little bridge doesn't fit. And did I say I'd be gliding gracefully? I've been stomping and humphing, graceless, shifting soil, placing stones, and then standing back, unconvinced. I am a semi-failure.
So rather than have the day get worse I've stalked inside to think (and sulk). Maybe I'll have to shift that Phormium out of the bridge's way? Maybe I need to use soil everywhere to lift up the edges? Should I cut off the excess black plastic? Why hasn't it been easy, anyway?
My Three-Piece Dog-Pack
Oh boy. Now there's a deafening barrage of fortissimo barking and howling. My three-piece dog-pack (Rusty, Winnie, and brown dog Escher) thinks there's a stranger on the property. There's no-one there, dogs, no-one.
Before today's journal entry turns completely sour, can I give a miniscule cheer for the Camellias? They're simply beautiful. I think of them and I can't help smiling. Dear shrubs, thank you so much.
Thursday 13th August
I am embarrassed to check in this morning. Repeat after me : It's only a little stream. It's only a little stream. Little streams need sides, slope, and water. Anything else is a cosmetic extra. But first I'm going to the dog park. I hope some of my lively friends are there - have been chatted up by boring old men for two days in a row (must remind them of their mothers). Then, with renewed confidence, I'm going to go out there behind the cottage underneath the Eucalyptus trees, give thanks, and sort myself out.
Phew! It's OK. The positive me is back. My nice friends were at the dog park, and five of us went for coffee. I learnt a new educational phrase - 'executive functioning'. I wonder if old-lady gardeners need to be able to do this?
Stream, Garden, Path and Bridge
Then I worked slowly but surely, barrowing in soil and aligning the path with the little bridge. I've created a new medium-sized garden area - maybe all the miniature Agapanthus can go back in here? They'll stay green here, sheltered from frosts. But they won't necessarily flower...
Rusty and the Wheelbarrow
But for now I'm content to feel proud, have a drink of Boysencider (my latest scrumptious discovery) and leave the planting for another day.
Yeay! Well done, me. I think I've regained my gardening dignity.
Friday 14th August
Good morning, garden, and a lovely morning it is, albeit a little grey, not that there's anything wrong with grey. The wind is rather windy - which is not a problem, totally to be expected.
I've already enjoyed a lovely, rambling walk around you with the three-piece dog-pack. You made us all feel very, very welcome. The dogs are so full of joy and exuberance first thing in the morning, and they adore the dog-paths through the Hump.
OK, so I didn't do much work on the stream today. But I know I'm on the right track. As long as there's a mixture of stone sizes, the edges seem to look just fine.
I've barrowed in more soil (I need another trailer load this weekend), I've finished edging the path, and I've cut the dug-up Phormium into pieces for replanting. Waste not, want not, some (possibly) unimaginative person once said. But these flax fans are rather large, so they could take a while to regrow and look decent. They're going over on the fence-line where instant appeal isn't required.
You know, I think this wee water feature is going to take much, much longer than I thought to complete. Why is this? Because I'm doing it properly, that's why!