Spring weeding...

 I wish you could smell it!
White Daphne Flower

Spring is amazing. The first blossom, speckles of light, airy colour covering the branches of the trees. Green growth low to the ground - new Gunnera leaves, daylilies and trilliums sprouting... And weeds. I have a new theory regarding spring weeding.

Saturday 5th September

It's a waste of good spring gardening time weeding when the little blighters are tiny. The trick is to allow them to grow for a wee while. Pounce and pull when they're toddler-sized. But don't turn your back, or get sick, or go on holiday for a long weekend. Weeds know when you've gone off the boil.

Just a couple of hours weeding today, with Escher tied to the wheelbarrow. I was good! I didn't tread on any of the Trillium sprouts. And more seeds have arrived in the post, hee hee. From being short of Cosmos last year I now have three packets of all colours, as well as the white seeds I've saved. Groovy. A Cosmos glut!

Sunday 7th September

Another amazing day. First the Grand-Toddler came over with a birthday carrot cake - yum. I am having my 'Birthday Week', with assorted celebrations each day until I get bored with the idea. Daughter brought her seed packets and we did a swap. Now I have eight packets of beans and five of peas.

 A prunus nigra.
Blossom Tree by Cottage

Then Escher the big brown dog went out for the day with his parents. Yippee! No moaning, squeaking dog attached to my wheelbarrow. Oh, sorry Escher, I did miss you a bit. I weeded in the perennials garden, where I spied two clumps of seemingly healthy, thriving Alliums. I didn’t tread on them. Please, please flower for me later in summer.

The New Stream :
It just needs some smaller stones to go in the water channel.

I barrowed in lots of top-soil to finish the gardens down the new stream, while Non-Gardening Partner connected up one of the river pumps. It is, as I write, swooshing water into the stream. I love the river pumps, and I'm so pleased with my new improved water feature. Photographs to come. I planted the last clumps of Agapanthus, and shifted in some Renga Renga. All that's now needed is the spotty Ligularia to shift from the Hen House Garden. I need some round leafed plants to contrast with the spiky Phormiums and the strappy Agapanthus. See, I do think about such things! If I could trust them not to sulk without sunlight I could plant some Bergenias in here, too.

 Dear dog.
Still Love You, Escher...

Monday 8th September

Yippee! My Birthday Eve. I have my three-piece dog pack back, and we are off to the dog park. Then the plan is to weed and seed, so to speak, until I get hungry, or thirsty, or bored, or all three.

Four Hours Later...

Dear Escher, Beloved Big Brown Dog,
You have just spent three hours tied to the Glass-House Garden bench because you were naughty. First you ate another bird feeder. Then you ran away from me and jumped the fence into the Hazelnut Orchard to munch on hazelnuts. Dogs in the country do not jump fences, nor do they run away from nice people who take them to dog parks.

I've sown more seeds, and started some speed weeding on the sunny side of the glass-house. I am rather stumped, though, by the rampant spread of Creeping Charlie there-in. Logic tells me that there is no point in removing him until I know what I'm doing to the ground he is covering. I am in a dither. His little green leaves are really pretty, but his invasive habit is off the scale.


The big rugosas have me dithering, too. Pre-sprouting it's impossible to tell which of the large branches are dead and need chopping off. But later in the spring season I'll have forgotten about them, so they'll never be tidy. Hmm... It is, however, a beautiful sunny spring day, and the red Rhododendron above where I'm working looks amazing.

 Likely to be Pink Plantation.
Pink Camellia

Tuesday 8th September

Happy birthday to meeeeeeeeeee! I've done lots of birthday weeding - first at my friend's inland country garden, then in my own. And I did it on a miniature scale. This was brilliant because I spied a lot of tiny self-sown lupin seedlings, and for sure I would normally have stomped all over them. But they're now safe in little containers. I love lupins. At the end of the day I had a wee birthday bonfire. Nice. Well - not so nice, but necessary. And I watered all my seeds.

Wednesday 9th September

Not too much to say about today, really. Dog park, Brahms piano duets, wrote an arrangement of Besame Mucho for my jazz choir, watered the seeds again. The dogs barked madly at noisy next-door trucks and men doing large-scale things with machinery. And does this make me feel small and ineffectual? Hmm... Maybe a bit. But hey! I rescued those lupin seedlings. And the shepherd's purse weeds I keep on finding are so tiny and delicate, with the prettiest white flowers. Humph.

Pretty Daffodil

Thursday 10th September

OK. Due to the 'humph' in yesterday's journal entry I think my birthday celebrations are now officially over. Today I get back to basics. First the dog park, then weeding, with Escher tied to the wheelbarrow. And no sulking about being ineffectual. Do I want to puff around my garden pulling levers and tipping truckloads of topsoil on everything from a great height? No. I've already done some breakfast weeding (more shepherd's purses).


Wow. Drama in the garden, weather-wise. With a roar and a hiss the southerly front arrived, swirling over the shelter hedge, inky-grey clouds whooshing over my head. I was weeding in the Dog-Path Garden, quite successfully. Luckily I hadn't started my bonfire, though the trimmings of one large Miscanthus, neatly placed on it, will by now be blowing around everywhere. I'm not going to look.

 A prunus nigra.
Blossom Tree by Cottage

The temperature is dropping as I write. Oh well. Imagine having no shelter at all at such times. Time to light the log-burner and wash my hair, I reckon. Cross fingers that the new lamb with mum is OK in the orchard, and that not all the pretty blossom blows off my Prunus trees. And now, just like that, cold blobby rain is falling.

Divisible by Eleven...

So here endeth my Birthday Week. By the way, I am divisible by eleven, which is rather exciting. This doesn't happen very often in one's lifetime.