Spring! My birthday week. Spreading rotten horse manure, checking spring lambs, pruning the last roses, trimming ferns... Plus many happy, happy hours of 'woosie' weeding. Or should that be 'wussy' weeding? 'Woosy'? 'Wussie'? I think I've made the point!
Oops. I forgot one important spring thing - doing the seeds. But I've made an executive decision. This spring I haven't ordered in anything from the mail-order catalogue. I do have a seed plan in place, which is as follows :
- I buy in ready produced packs of ten vegetable and annual flower seedlings. They are wrapped in wet newspaper, sold on stands outside my supermarket for $4.30. Because I only cook for two, a pack of ten spinach (planted in a pot) is perfect.
- I smile at daughter, who HAS done a seed order, and loudly praise the expertise of the grandchildren - swimming, reading, patting Tiger the cat really gently, anything I can think of. She will then glow with pride and supply me with her left-overs.
- This 'woosie, or wussy' weeding thing. Lots of my annuals self-seed, so when I am weeding a garden bed I take the time to pot up or replant anything nice. I rescue cornflowers, pansies, even forget-me-nots. Who knows - they may be the pink or white variety!
And finally, should I be over-taken by mail-order guilt, there is my stash of half-used last years' seed packets, many of which are still viable.
Wednesday 6th September
Well. I'm glad we cleared that up! Now on to today. Today is half-way through my birthday week. Winnie and I are going to the forest this morning (we love the forest) and then I'm continuing my weeding. Yesterday I moved at a snail's pace around the house gardens. Yeay! I didn't pull out any Meadow Foam seedlings - I love these flowers. I pulled some Penstemon perennials apart, discarded the old bits, and replanted the pieces. I also scraped the moss off the decking and took cuttings of the pink Pelargonium in the decking tubs. You can see that the detail in my weeding has transferred itself to detail in reporting my day, hee hee.
Today my designated weeding area is the Laundry Garden. This will be a challenge because I have to spade off the matted top layer of weeds etc., and rescue all the cornflowers. Then I'm going to rebuild the wee stone walls, weed some more, and trim the remaining ferns. Done! Well, done inside my head. That's the easy bit...
In the Forest
I've been weeding for hours, and I have 'discovered' that the lower Laundry Garden is Winnie's dog toilet. Nice... I spent the last hour weeding the Perennials Garden underneath the overhanging rambling rose. But rather more poking and scratching around than decent, robust weeding, I'm afraid.
Thursday 7th September
Aargh! Lying in bed early this morning, thinking pleasantly vague thoughts - nothing too strenuous. Then a wave of reality gardening whooshed rather roughly over my head. Aargh! I must use my ladies' fork, and dig all the Perennials Garden weeds out properly (especially the dandelions and creeping grass). I must redig the whole garden, assemble all the perennials in piles, then replant them. Aargh!
This is serious. And will I possibly be saved by being unable to locate the ladies' fork? Alas, no. I know where it is. Blast! Tp be even better organised, I will line up separate buckets for the daylilies, the Phloxes, the Lychnis, the Aquilegias, and the Delphiniums. This is way too serious!
My fingers are sore. And why is this? Because I haven't been wearing gloves. Hopeless. But I've applied the fork with vigour, dealt to the weeds, and I seem to have replanted everything. Lunch, a short rest, a peep at one of my new library books, and then back into it.
Ivors Pink Camellia
So what will I do this afternoon? Just more weeding session, I reckon. And perhaps tidy up some of my little stone walls.
Have done heaps more weeding and spreading of horse manure. Am proud of myself for sticking to the task. There are lovely daffodil colours dotted around the gardens, beautiful smells of Daphne, and more Camellias and early rhododendrons flowering. So much to enjoy, while working hard...
Feeling a bit sad - have just buried a lamb who didn't make it. She had a rough start, but I thought she was doing OK with mum. Not so. Maybe I should have bottle fed her... Oh well. A sad fact of country life. But have piled heaps of horse manure all over the top. Country dogs cannot necessarily be trusted in such circumstances.
Friday September 8th
Guess what? Two things.
- Today is my birthday. This year it feels pretty low-key - a quiet, reflective birthday, rather than a noisy, celebratory one. I have finally reached the age of maturity?
- Pebbles, our new Border Collie dog, arrives tomorrow. Yeay! Winnie will have a sister dog.
Yeay! My Birthday Present
Now Winnie and I are off to the dog park, followed by a birthday coffee with the Ladies' Dog Park Pack, followed by a walk in our favourite forest. Then I am off for a birthday swim with my friend. Non-Gardening Partner has given me twelve bags of birthday horse manure. But hang on a minute - I paid for it. How does that work?