Gardening on the edge...
Getting the spring garden looking good isn't all about weeding. It's more to do with surfaces and edges. The trick is to make sure that the garden's seams and boundary lines are well-defined, and the paths are clear and passable. That's what the non-weeder in me thinks, anyway!
Tuesday 4th October
So today I worked with the spade, slicing the lawn edges around the house. I moved more stones to completely encircle the big gum tree. A bit of tough love - the annual forget-me-nots are flowering, but any growing in the channel between lawn and border have been pulled out. My messy garden interiors now look rather tousled and lovely. And, of course, the flowering shrubs speak for themselves.
President Roosevelt Rhododendron
But normal garden maintenance continues, as I weeded (shepherd's needles) and planted (cornflowers) and watered. I pricked out the Marigold seedlings in the glass-house, and brought out new pots of rocket and lettuce for placement on the patio. I planted another tray of colourful pansies.
Wednesday 5th October
Today I am sweeping and doing path surfaces. The pond decking furniture will in use again soon, so the leaves and weedy wild blackberry (aargh!) need to go. I have mountains of path mulch - easy to spread, as long as the paths around the pond are scraped clean of weeds first. No cheating! The gnomes could do with a spring spruce-up, too. They are very much looking forward to having clean paths, by the way.
And the patios (like the house they surround) need a general tidy-up. It's starting to sound a but like gardening house-work.
The pond path is cleared, ready for mulching. I've shifted miniature Agapanthus so they form a proper border edge, and brought in Anamolenthe grasses to play a similar role further along. This makes the path look like it's supposed to be there, hee hee. I've also cleared the pond decking. But there's more! There usually is. In the middle of the Jelly Bean Border, underneath the Hydrangeas, I found lots of weeds and mess. So I've raked out three barrowfuls.
I've also pruned the Hydrangeas. I'm not sure I understand exactly what these shrubs need from me. When I've bought Hydrangeas they've been really hard pruned, yet I read somewhere that one prunes just above the uppermost pair of leaves. Naturally with this regime my Hydrangeas get taller and taller. They wisely hedge their bets with stems dying and new green shoots appearing at the base at the same time.
- Oak Leaf Hydrangea :
- These are beautiful shrubs for autumn colour.
But I've never ever pruned the Hydrangea quercifolias. As shrubs these are more woodland-natural, I reckon. But maybe I should? Think I'll just ask Mister Google.
Thursday 6th October
My gardening today has been a little slow. Mid-afternoon, a few benign drops of rain, excuse enough to send me scurrying inside. But I really haven't finished yet, so I'm allowed only the briefest of check-in typing sessions and then I need to get back outside. Things like spreading some barrowfuls of path mulch come to mind. I did just hear the lightest drum roll of thunder, however...
Path Mulching Round the pond
It's only one hour later. OK, so I didn't last long. But it took me an hour to collect and barrow four loads of path mulch over to the pond. The mulch pile is as far away from the pond as possible. Every time I plodded past the back of the garage the rain drumming on the roof was noisier. Then - water dripping down my neck, and my wet cotton gardening shirt feeling just too cold. So I came inside.
Blossom Tree in the Orchard
My cicuit was rather floriferous, though. Starting with a long distance view of a flowering cherry tree, I plod over the bridge and past the Bergenias, the pink Stables Camellias, and the soft yellow Rhododendron over the water. Then a warm hello to the Trilliums, notice and nod at the weeping Silver Pear in blossom, and gaze adoringly at Gay Baby, the hugest Camellia in the pond paddock gardens, completely covered in little pink flowers. Over to a recycled red rhododendron just starting to flower near the pond, name unknown.
Then tip out the mulch and retrace steps. Dear Rusty (drenched) kept pace with me - back and forth we plodded. Does it puzzle him that I do all this walking? Guess not. He's a dog. Dogs go walking.