Trivial chatter...

OK. A military grade flashlight could be handy to expose sneaky weeds, and visibly smoother skin has always been a gardening 'must-have', that goes without saying. But has the chink in my spam armour finally been uncovered? Galapagos Island cruises! Hmmm... A cruise?

 Seeds everywhere, but so pretty in late spring.
Yellow Euphorbia

Not tempted...

I learnt pretty quickly not to be tempted by magic extending flexi-hoses, or the Silver Foxes Seniors Dating Service. When would I have the time for this sort of carry-on? But this is trivial chatter, enabling me to put off a big decision, concerning Euphorbia polychroma's self-seeding proclivity. Ha! a serious word - this must be serious stuff. It also concerns the sad, dull grey, lifeless, wormless soil in the Birthday Rose Garden. Yesterday my weeding along the water race efforts reached this garden. The ladies' spade had been working its magic on the dandelions, and my scuffling little hands were positively flowing with pride, having ripped out so much nuisance clover.

Monday 29th August

I reached the start of the Birthday Rose Garden just before sundown. I scraped a bit, removed a Ligularia which had seeded itself far forward, and shifted three patches of daylilies out from underneath an ever-expanding Phormium into the sunny edge. Then I stepped back and looked, as one is supposed to do. Aargh! Purple leafed Ajuga (so pretty) had dotted itself around, willy-nilly, but not thickly enough to ever be visually appealing. Euphorbia seedlings were rampant. Roses (which I'd just pruned) were sad and straggly. The soil looked dreadful.

 Flowering later in spring.
Purple Leaf Ajuga

I was in trouble. So, being a wise gardening woman, I came inside to eat and think. Now it's the next morning, and I'm facing up to the dreaded GM words : 'Garden makeover'. Blast! But what better time than early spring, when I have bags of compost and organic matter, plus a horse manure heap which beckons me (over here!) every time I drive out to the dog park.

The Plan...

Here's the plan. The Ajuga is collected and replanted. All Euphorbia seedlings are removed - do I hear someone saying 'good luck'? Cornflower seedlings are saved. The Ligularias are confined to one place. Then the soil is enriched. Bags and bags of good stuff are to be spread out everywhere. Hopefully this will perk up the roses. Hopefully I won't tread on any peony shoots. Hopefully this garden will be rescued. All in one day would be nice...

Two Days Later...

And two very good days they have been, with much accomplished. I've spread out all the compost (trying to avoid the iris clumps). I've pruned all the roses. I have ten pots of purple leafed Ajuga, which I will plant somewhere a little more shady. I've trimmed the Phormiums and the Calamagrostis grass clumps. These grow along the back of the garden, by the water, and I love them. The miniature daffodils look so pretty now that the soil surface is brown. The peony shoots have escaped my trampling feet, too.

 A true sign of spring.
Miniature Daffodils

For now I've allowed some Euphorbias to stay in a modest area, underneath the Jaqueline du Pres roses. They are the prettiest, freshest yellow, and are (of course) coming into flower now. And do you know what? I reckon the garden already looks much, much better.

 Looks so much neater.
Compost on the Birthday Rose Garden

Big brown Escher the dog has been for a visit. He smooched me, and he did his noisy dog-singing. He followed me round and round the garden, while his parents loaded up their car with gear. Awww! He loves me! He misses me!

The nicest thing...

Then the nicest thing happened. Sensing that his parents were ready to leave, he hopped happily into the back seat of their car, sat perfectly still, and stared at me, brown eyes deep with dog-wisdom. He was ready to go home. Darling dog! He loves his country family and he loves his parents. Just wonderful.

 Beautiful big brown dog.
Escher is Visiting

+5+5+5By the way, all three dogs agree that overseas cruises are over-rated. Why not just go for a walking cruise around my garden? There are much better smells, and sometimes really stinky dead things to roll in. Best of all, they get to come too. Great idea, dogs.