Renewed hope!

 My cottage cat.

A stunning revelation. Slightly longer daylight hours, sun a little higher in sky, warmer, fuller light = a more radiant, warmer gardening mood. Yeay! There are good reasons for renewed hope. A spring garden lurks amidst the garden maintenance, the trudging of barrow loads back and forth, the pruning and trimming...

I'm back from a two day singing trip away with my choir - yes, Minimus, I really did miss you, and my little garden cottage. My head is full of garden ideas. Oh, the grand and 'impactful' things I'm going to do. I feel big-minded and big-hearted - a great way to approach late winter garden maintenance. Let's cross fingers that this 'bullish' mood can last at least one week. Ha! Can you begin to imagine all the details I'm going to pay attention to?

Yes! The Hebes! I've started with the over-sized Hebes, struggling to reach the sun, outgrown and outworn. Yesterday I swept down the driveway, forcefully hacking at the offenders - robust pruning, if you like.

Cream Delight Phormium

Then I cleaned dead leaves from two Phormiums, stripped dead leaves off yet another Cordyline, and burnt everything. The regulation two barrowloads of hedge trimmings were popped on top to smoke and fizz until sundown.

Wednesday 16th August

Well, that was yesterday's euphoric rambling, and today I have felt even more positively energised. I know this, because I'm tackling things I've deliberately put off as too annoying, too boring, or too hard. I've started weeding around the Frisbee Lawn. I've planted some spare irises in pots, scraped and dug, and generally had a wonderful sunny time. I've thrown Winnie's tennis ball a hundred times - as one does!

 With her thick winter coat.
Winnie in the Driveway

I've also tidied up the pots by the garage, taken pelargonium cuttings, and popped them into pots of sand. The plants in the groovy green and orange pot have done their dash - they've flowered (awkward dull things on arching stem), and now look as if they've given up the ghost. So I've turfed then out and put a beautiful red Phormium in there instead. Oddly, I never liked them. Seems harsh, since I usually adore spiky plants.

Camellias, Camellias. You beautiful shrubs! Flowers! Proper colours! There's so much drab brown, interspersed with tiny splodges of sprouting green, underneath. But wait! Time waits for no gardening woman. The baby pink Camellia by the house has its first browned-off bloom. NO PHOTOGRAPHS ALLOWED!

 Photograph taken when the water came back up.
The Water Race

Thursday 17th August

Today I worked for four hours. But the light rejuvenates me, mentally, and there's no problem keeping going. I've remodelled the edge of the Frisbee Border. I've planted a Viburnum and a Choisya over near the Golden Elm tree, and weeded as well I can in between the Agapanthus. It's been very mild and windy, so the end of the day bonfire couldn't be lit. But I kept on going, spreading horse manure and topsoil underneath the rhododendrons over the water race.

Friday 18th August


Yeay for me and my re-found faith in gardening life. And my flexibility (mentally speaking). The water level in the race has been very low, so it's made sense to stand in the water (in gumboots) and trim the plants along the edge. At the end of the day, almost imperceptibly, the water became noisier. And noisier. Aha! Noisy water means faster flow - the water level was rising. Eek! I quickly finished trimming the huge Miscanthus, before the gumboots became submerged. Then I burnt all my rubbish (including the two regulation barrowloads of hedge trimmings).

A brilliant day, really, and I soooooo deserve this glass of house Merlot.