Happy, frolicking mess

 California poppy.
Yellow Escholtzia

Just you watch me. I am cleaning up my scruffy garden. Big time. It's a joyful midsummer mess. Everywhere I look there is mess. Happy, frolicking mess. Annuals seeding, perennials flopping, shrubs overcrowding each other...

Sunday 24th January

So far, so good. I've been working all morning. I've pulled out lots of weeds from the Allotment Garden. I'm trimmed lots of Lychnis, pulling out the oldest plants, scattering around the seeds. But now I need to organise myself properly. The Agapanthus clumps need to be replanted closer together in the stone walled garden, and the ground filled in with a load of topsoil/compost.

Lower down, escaped strawberry plants need to be potted up. And what to do with the weed rubbish just over the boundary? It's not my mess but it affects me - visually, and physically, as the weed seeds are dispersed.


Blast. if I am going to sort out this wee garden even more properly, then all the ground cover Lamium needs to come out, and I need to make a token effort to dig out some of the Alkanet. I must do this quickly and efficiently while Non-Gardening Partner goes to get the topsoil/compost mix. I will need to ill-wish any weeds therein. I do not need any new ones.

Three hours Later...

Ha! Sometimes ideas evaporate with the summer heat. But sometimes they solidify into - gardening fudge? Hmm... I've done it. I've pulled the Lamium out. It was the invasive yellow flowered variety, silly to let it get away. I've dug and replanted all the Agapanthus pieces in more controlled clumps, and I've started levelling and filling.

 The stone wall garden being cleaned up.
The Lamium is Out!

OK, so I didn't clean up the house lawns (fallen gum bark everywhere), and NGP therefore couldn't mow them. And I didn't collect annual seeds from the side house garden. But I've got the envelopes ready! Honestly...

Monday 25th January

There's a song - 'Oh what a night'... I've just experienced one of those. Woken up in the cottage by the strangest thumping noises outside, the stuff of scary mysteries. Feeling not so brave, I crept out of bed, grabbed the broom, and peeped out the cottage door.

 Go away. possum!
Cottage in the trees

'Bleeeeeeeeeggggghhhhh' roared a chubby, goggle-eyed possum, as he/she scampered off the cottage verandah and up the big tree just above my head. I was outraged!


So I threw things at it - plastic cups, water bottles, stones, even old books - totally ineffectually, of course. And I am usually such a gentle soul! Minimus my laid-back cottage cat watched from the path, unperturbed. OK, can we go back to bed now? Thank you, brave Minimus, for your support.

Right. Today I'm gardening and listening to a daytime cricket match on the radio. I've found all those envelopes, and I'm off now to sort out the flowering annuals. There's nice cloud cover, too. I've already been for a forest walk with the dogs and some of our friends.

Much Later...

Success in the cricket and the garden! After a shaky start, New Zealand got to 280 runs in 50 overs, thanks to the tail-enders. Simultaneously I cleaned up the side house garden. I also picked the gum bark off the house lawn, and did all sorts of minor tidying - I dead-headed the flower carpet roses, trimmed the catmint (sorry, bees, but it will reflower in autumn), cut old euphorbia stalks off, and so on. These details are a bit ho-hum boring, but I remind myself that they all add up. To what, exactly? To a tidy, non-scruffy garden, that's what!

Tuesday 26th January

A much more settled night, thankfully, and now a little bit of welcome rain. Not many of our friends were at the dog park, but we still had lots of fun. I've been outside to do a little light trimming.

There's a sad thing about Phormiums (New Zealand flaxes). When flowering they produce huge stems, but these are really heavy. So the surrounding piece of flax falls down, often horizontally, and the bush is weakened. Sometimes it comes apart totally. Full of good intentions, my plan was to leap to the rescue of all my Phormiums. But I only lasted half an hour. Why? My feet got really wet. This must be THE most hopeless excuse of the year to date.