Canterbury needs rain!

 Stephen the garden waterer and lawn mower has returned from conferences in the USA - I love the newly mown lawn look!
Stephen is Back.

Canterbury needs rain. The fields are dry, the garden is dry, and many of the plants are protesting. March is the month where things start to slowly change... So many things to do, so many questions, plants to shift, new plans to make, daffodils to plant, weeds to pull, paths to clear... I love my garden...

Saturday 3rd March

I have lost all confidence. The garden is drying out, and another tree has blown down in the nor-west wind. Things are scruffy and my secateurs are hopeless. Stephen is away.

Sunday 4th March

Humph... I have nothing to add except that my family is not eating the beans or courgettes.

Saturday 10th March

Stephen is back! He has watered the garden and chain-sawed the tree. The lawns are mowed. I feel quite a bit better.

Sunday 11th March

I worked really hard again today. I have raked up grass clippings and done all the edges there are to do. The garden is suddenly looking good again. I seem to have my confidence back. I've been busy ripping out ghastly white daisies from the Stables Border. Lilac phlox too has got the chop. The pinky lavender roses on the pergola are mixed up with the dark blue sweet peas - they smell beautiful. My daffodil order has arrived.

I feel heaps better. It's funny how people missing can affect things.

 Next winter's firewood.
chopped wood from the hump

Monday 12th March

I zoomed home in the middle of the day to attack the garden. Everything looks colourful and interesting again - the scruffy illusion has gone. My garden is like a mirror for my moods - so I was scruffy for a while, but now I'm colourful and interesting? Hmmm...

Sunday 18th March

Yesterday was a good day. I feel that I've regained full confidence. I have become a valid gardener again, full of ideas, energy and love. My fingernails are weekend-dirty again.

The local nursery had its sale, and I bought pots and pots of scruffy looking dwarf day lilies, plus some magnificent $10 rhododendrons.

I worked in the Stables Border to remove more of the scruff. The bronze yarrow, the old woody rosemary and the lilac dahlias (which were sulking at the shortage of water) are history, as are the annoying chrome yellow euphorbia seedlings. This border has no irrigation, and is now planted accordingly.

 Close-up of texture on leaves.
golden leaves

The End of Daylight Saving

Today I have many more plans. It's the end of daylight saving, and there is the illusion of an extra hour's gardening time. I want to move some crowded shrubs and 'redesign' (implying there actually was a design originally?) my rhododendron plantings.

The garden is big enough to have specific areas of interest, and my combination fried rice approach has to stop. Also the new crazy coloured Cornus over the water race (whose leaf colours might look better on a parrot) needs a more restrained monotonic background... maybe three $10 rhododendrons?

And I have a confession to make. Hmmm.... I went to a sale to look at a large Lombok pot (influenced by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, who might have the last laugh). I didn't buy it though. I visualised it plonked artistically at the end of a path; it looked exceedingly silly.

It's frightening how much of my gardener's life force has been taken up by work commitments this year. But I think I've finally got it sorted. I'm back! I will return later to report in.

 Hope my new look Stables Border copes better with the water problems we have here.
New Stables Border


The Stables Border is completely replanted with dry garden plants. I have ripped out all the wilting perennials and the silly little flower carpet roses. Lavender rules!

The lavateras in Middle Border are out. They were in as fillers, while the trees were new. Two of the new rhododendrons are planted in their place, and the darker foliage immediately enhances the leaf colour of the elm and the cornus. Ha!

Saturday 24th March

I've had a great day shifting things. Ha! The fruity coloured cornus now has sympathetically coloured companions, including a dark red upright flax in front, and things look better. I've planted some assorted pink shades of daffodils and laid slabs of lucerne hay as mulch.

 Free mulch is good mulch.
bales of lucerne for the garden

Plants for Sale!

I also visited the nursery sale, but only to see if there were any more cheap day lilies (there were, and I bought them). I actually bought other things as well. Ooops.

Tomorrow I plan to enlarge the Dog-Path Garden to encompass two more stumps. then I will have just the space I need to plant the remaining sale plants. I am also on a mission to take more notice of my roses, and spent an interesting half hour after tea checking fragrances that I could smell with fragrances claimed in the rose books. My nose just isn't getting it, and I wonder if the labels are wrong. Could my nose's abilities be waning with older age? I can still smell when the dog needs a bath...

Sunday 25th March

My plans were thwarted by a nor-wester blowing and 30 degrees of heat. Ridiculous for the end of March. So we went to the local daffodil farm and bought 2 large bags to continue my welcome home front fence plantings. Later I poked around in the vegetable garden (notice how it doesn't get called a potager any more, hmmm...) and also ripped out Nicotiana Sylvestris plants in the patio garden.

 I have to keep trying to keep my plants happy.
Sneaky Watering

A day where I noticed again the lack of rainfall. We've had no significant rain now for over 8 weeks, and too many drying nor-west winds. I put the hoses on to get some moisture into the soil. I tidied up pots, trimmed some straggly pelargoniums, and soaked the smaller pots in buckets of water. I don't want to be a teacher.

Friday 30th March

I came home early from work and started slowly expanding the Dog-Path Garden. Then inside to watch us WIN the cricket (a new experience) and to read old Autumn / Winter mail order catalogues (I am waiting for this year's batch to arrive in the post and so have decided to practice on last year's). I am finding out names of plants I've bought in the past and who are presently terrorising pathways, for example the Asters in Middle Border. This should give me confidence.

Saturday 31st March

I'm ready to go out and have a really hard working day. I'm shifting two Colourbreak roses from the front of the JAM Garden (unsuitable) to the wide open spaces of the Dog-Path Garden over the water.

Would I like a silk tree? Where? Where should I plant the bargain hostas I bought yesterday? How big should the Dog-Path Garden get? (hee hee)