The Seed Catalogue
Early Spring Flowers
Oooh. Goody. The seed catalogue has arrived in the post. Old-school, a coloured picture catalogue, with that new-paper hot-off-the-printer smell. Loooovely! Grabbing a pen and putting ticks by things I like the look of is such fun. Even if I do place my order online.
A spring indicator?
The nicest thing about the catalogue is that it's a sure indicator of spring. And spring has a new song, with hopeful, happy lyrics. Forget singing 'In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan'. John Clare (English poet, AKA a pink David Austin rose) has a deft spring touch : 'What charms does Nature at the spring put on'. And a delightful phrase which hopefully won't apply to my daffodils, just starting to show through the soil :
'Though each too often meets a hasty doom
From trampling clowns, who heed not where they go.'
Tuesday 12th July
So today, in a buoyant, spring-like mood I went outside to continue my winter clean-up. I worked behind the glass-house, removing grasses and the like, trimming Ligularias and Phormiums, carting everything to the bonfire. I dug out the ferns from behind the glass-house. This is my plane nursery space, and it needs a major organising session. The tables are messy with damp leaves, the over-wintering pots are chock-a-block with luscious green weeds.
Selfie - Me in My Glass-House
A huge coarse-leafed carex is now smouldering on the bonfire, as are the pieces of Scrophularia (a groovy tall variegated perennial) which had reverted to plain green. I've been meaning to do this for years and years. The rugosa roses (mainly pink Grootendoorst) are now clear of Anemalenthe grasses, and should be much sunnier and therefore happier. And perhaps the irises will bloom, now that they're not being smothered.
And here's my reward : I am allowed to do the first draft of my seed order, on paper. Yippee! Memo to self. There is no point in ordering six or seven packets of tomato seeds. And remember that Non-Gardening Partner doesn't really eat beans (unless disguised in quiches, stir-frys, etc.) So what's on this year's seed list? I've been a little lazy collecting my own these past months, so I'm allowed to go a bit flower-wild, hee hee. Definitely the pretty white lacy Orlaya, and some Agastache for the bees.
Wednesday 13th July
It's been an odd day, during which I cleaned up the glass-house - potting spring bulbs, sorting out the outdoor tables, and so on. Lots of plants have been semi-abandoned here - foxgloves, white Clary Sages, Hydrangeas grown from cuttings, Alchemilla mollis...
And many invisible perennials (no labels, naturally) - peonies, phloxes, purple leafed geraniums, and others yet to be identified (but they're definitely in there). Then I sorted out last year's seeds, and was able to cross all the lettuces and tomatoes off this year's order. I didn't do very well last spring at all - many of the packets weren't even opened. Oops. Not good enough.
The dogs kept indicating that I was being very boring in that glass-house. They'd have much rather been sploshing in the water or going for gardening walks with the wheelbarrow. Maybe their mood rubbed off on me. I ended up rather glum, and humphed inside feeling pretty hopeless. So silly, really.
Thursday 14th July
Right! The illusion of having a good gardening day - making sure that something somewhere, no matter how trivial, is visibly improved. So today I made myself work on the path behind the glass-house, raking and weeding the edges of the garden border. Yeay! It looks better, it's a noticeable improvement, I've done something!
One of My Metal Cats
Then I did some weeding near the compost heap, where Queen Anne's Lace seedlings abound. I rescued lots of these and potted them up. I also potted some green carexes for ornamental placements, for example on the house patio for a pair of metal cats to hold. These look really nice. See - doing cosmetic stuff has put me in a much better apres-gardening mood. So easy, really.
Friday 15th July
Upon early morning reflection, I think the answer to being a really good gardener is simple. One makes every gardening moment count. This doesn't mean that one has to spend every moment gardening. And then there's that so-called 'hoary old chestnut', which I am forever ruminating (?) on. Try to almost finish everything...
Try to almost finish everything...-Moosey words of wisdom.
This morning I have a social life - one of the dog-park ladies is having a birthday. When I get home I'm continuing my work by the glass-house.
Much, Much Later...
I've been working for four hours, and I am very pleased with myself. First I played the Good Gardeners' Game. I was on my way to the glass-house, and walked past something which has been needing my attention for weeks. So I stopped and I fixed it (path edges in the perennials garden needed re-laying, and perennials - phlox, aquilegias, scrophularia - needed replanting).
But I didn't allow myself to become completely sidetracked, and moved efficiently over to the glass-house. Here I saw something else which has needed fixing for ages - the path into the Wattle Woods. So I dug and scraped and shifted the edging stones, and now the path wiggles sensibly past the green Mondo grass. Camellia branches aren't blocking it anymore. I've also done heaps of weeding.
Well done, me. Time to place the seed order. Isn't Orlaya a pretty flower!