The power of ten?
OK. Early this morning, just as the sun was rising, I wrote a detailed list of ten gardening things to do (sing along if you know the tune, hee hee) Ten tasks, all in the small garden area in and around the back lawn. Ten things, just ten. The power of ten. Ten hours work? Hopefully not ten days, hmm... And I figure that if I don't actually mention what the ten things are, then I might get away with claiming I've finished them. So sneaky!
The back lawn is where my backyard concrete cricketers play on, and on, and on. They started playing here nine years ago, and are all noticeably older - well, grubbier, at least. I don't think the score has advanced by much, either.
Sunday 20th March
So this is my first break of the day, and I've attacked three of the ten items with gusto, or, more specifically, a kitchen steak knife, secateurs, and the axe. I'm still trying to remove the large Phormium (flax) by the water race. I'm now going back for another session, and this time I'm going to stand in the water. It's really hard work. But luckily I'll be in the shade. I'm feeling optimistic.
Four Hours Later...
Wow! The Phormium is gone, thanks to Non-Gardening Partner who suggested he could chain-saw through the base. This he did in about five minutes, cutting through the fleshy roots level with the sloping ground. It would have taken me all week with the axe.
Gertrude Jekyll Roses
I've sliced all the leaves off another flax which was blocking the view of my Dog-Path Garden roses. Here Gertrude Jekyll (an older David Austin English rose) is the big show-off.
A lemon rose which I think is Charles Austin is one of her neighbours, and another is English Elegance, which now has room to breathe and bloom. Clumps of cheery magenta dahlias are flowering now, and they're also worth a look.
Nearby the huge Miscanthus is in full grassy splendour. This is an amazing grass - strong yet delicate, and later in winter its seed-heads will look wonderful. I know this because I always leave them on as long as possible. And just for the record, the flax which has disappeared from view will be allowed to re-sprout. It is a striped hybrid with tall, stiff leaves. I liked it better when it was a cute wee toddler.
About a quarter of the little garden in the middle of the back lawn is weeded, and I've dug out lots of random (and delicious) red potatoes. They were on my list as a feel-good, easy-to-do item, hee hee. I've quarter-trimmed the large Yellow Wave flax (which is more of a green fountain) - it sits right in the middle. It's not going anywhere yet.
Queen Annes Lace
I've also cut back the catmint (Nepeta Six Hills Giant) and I reckon it should re-flower before winter hits. I also pulled out all the self-sown Queen Anne's Lace. Naturally I hope lots of seeds have been left behind. I love this annual, which some folk consider a nuisance.
The roses in this garden are generally OK. One of the recycled ones has died (I can't remember it ever living, to be honest) and Raspberry Ice needs its old canes sawn off. But fragrant Elina and Windemere (a floppy David Austin) are both going strong.
Not only did NGP deliver the fatal blow to that monster flax (leaving its smaller wiry roots where they are, to strengthen the water race bank) but he also bought me a bag of potting mix (for the little flax seedlings), a cold fizzy drink, and a tiny bar of chocolate. He is a legend, so I have let him off mowing all the lawns.
Seven out of Ten
Oh, by the way. Seven out of ten ain't bad, to paraphrase Meatloaf. I passed!