Think Big

Just as well I am in a think-big mood. I still have clumps and clumps of Agapanthus to divide and plant. Now a huge load of horse manure has arrived, dumped in the paddock by the driveway. Luckily I don't make too much of a habit of kissing my dogs. The two collies have already been caught eating the stuff. Aargh! So rude!

Saturday 4th June

Anyway, I've spent three hours dividing and planting Agapanthus by the driveway, and have just popped in for refreshments. Non-Gardening Partner is flying a tiddly plane over the mountains to the West Coast and back. The Southern Alps, nicely snow-covered for winter, should look amazing. Sometimes I think NGP is really, really brave. Well, braver than me.

 We have hiked up this spur to the hut.
Bealey Spur from the Air

OK, so the plan is to do two more hours (finishing with the bonfire) and then wash hands (fairly thoroughly, methinks), whip up a steak pie for the evening meal, light the log-burner, and relax. OK. One more Agapanthus clump, if I can. Then I can tell you all about it while the pie is cooking. Don't yawn!


Done. The pie is cooking. I am clean, my feet are tingling, and my thoughts are, as usual, of the garden. I'm pleased to be 'beautifying' the rougher edges of the driveway. It's not a place in which I want to spend too much time weeding, etc., but I walk and drive past it each day, and I notice things. So the mass Agapanthus will be brilliant, functional, green, and beautiful.

 Shiny ever-green.
Agapanthus Foliage

And I have perfected my Agapanthus splitting technique. I am getting faster, using less energy, and - touch wood - I haven't put the spade through my foot. Actually the spade is purposely not so sharp, and my boots are tough - tough as old boots, hee hee. One would feel rather silly self-inflicting this sort of gardening injury, which is said to be very common.

 A New Zealand native shrub-tree.
Pseudopanax - Five Finger

Sunday 5th June

Ooooh. A slight frost! Winter is finally here. Brilliant blue skies, though, with the sun doing its very best. Some winter gardening will warm me up. One starts off multi-layered, and within minutes is stripping - such is the power of outdoors physical activity. My goodness, gardening is good for you. I mean good for one, good for me...

Much, Much Later...

A brilliantly successful day. I sliced up another Agapanthus and planted the pieces at the corner of the driveway. Then I had the tiniest good idea - to saw down an ex-Christmas tree (one of those 'alive' in a pot ones), planted thoughtlessly in here. It was straggly and scruffy.

NGP made the mistake of coming to see what I was doing. Hee hee. Quick as a flash I pounced! Would he mind chainsawing a few other trees down for me, as well as the ex-Christmas tree? I pointed to three Pseudopanax (which will resprout) and a Pittoporum (ditto).

 Making a start.
Cleaning Up the Trees

Too easy! But it's taken me all day to tidy up the tree mess. Actually, the maths graph would be rather odd : the idea takes half a minute. The chainsawing takes maybe twenty. The lopping, clearing, stacking of firewood logs takes five hours. The trimmings are in piles, but still not burnt. That's another full day. Hmm...

Canary Bird Rose :
Canary Bird is an early spring rose - the prettiest lemon yellow flowers, and green ferny foliage.

Now this sunny corner has clear skies, and more room for the ornamental tree (a Golden Elm) and the large Cordyline. Tomorrow it's going to get a Canary Bird rose. And I have enough clear space to plant the rest of the Agapanthus.

Monday 6th June

I've spent the whole afternoon working in the 'sunny corner' cleared out yesterday. It has been crisply sunny, too. Two more clumps of Agapanthus have been divided and planted, and that part of the garden is now complete. It looks wonderful.

 The prettiest pale pink.
Clematis montana in flower

Over the fence by the Pseudopanax (them that were trees and will now hopefully be shrubs) is my next focus. Already I've planted the Canary Bird rose and spread out six barrow loads of horse manure and soil. The idea is to work my way down the driveway towards the house, rationalising, pruning, digging, and so on. There's a lot of leaf fall, and I reckon that covering it up with soil and horse manure should really enrich this garden.

Big Softie?

I've seen several odd plantings which need to be shifted - a clump of non-flowering Crocosmias (hopefully the bright red Lucifer variety), a Dublin Bay rose (poor thing), a struggling Jester Phormium, to name three. And I've caught the naughty Clematis montana, on the move - it's already smothering every shrub and blossom tree within reach with its green vine tentacles. Thug! But do I ignore it until after flowering time next spring? Big softie, am I?