A great feeling!

In Spring I have two short weeks to regain my gardening confidence. I love this time of the year!

Saturday 22nd September - I AM ON HOLIDAY!!!

It's a great feeling. I've spent the first hour of my first holiday day around sorting out my latest garden photos. I am about to make a list - calmly and serenely, for there is no rush today. The hours of sunshine are stretching out before me. What shall I do first? I will make a cup of tea, gather up the cats and the dog and stroll outside. I will walk around slowly and elegantly, so I don't miss anything.

 I've planted three of these close together - might prove to be a bit excessive.
bargain bin rhododendron

Sunday 23rd September - Holiday Day Two

Today it's sunny and calm, so we are tailing the lambs. It is also the second day of MY HOLIDAY. This holiday is going to be different. I am not going to race around like a frenetic lunatic and then get sore hands or a sore elbow. I will be serene and measured in my daily approach, allowing time for appreciation and reflection. I will not be so unbalanced that I get 'gardened out' by the end of the first week and end up moochy and guilt-ridden.

Yesterday I sowed a few seeds in the glass-house, and tidied and watered the pots by the house. There was no molto allegro and no desperate accountability session either - the day was just relaxing. I picked flowers - fragrant blue hyacinths, cream and apricot daffodils and deep pink camellias - for the house. I will make a small list for today, however. It is as follows:

I will now take my first cup of tea outside. I can see my gumboots lying on the house patio and my heart lurches with joy. Gardeners are simple humans.

Later, After Lunch...

Eleven lambs have been tailed (6 girls and 5 boys), but so much for my joyous lurching heart - my gumboots were totally wet, having been left out in overnight rain. I have made amends by tidying up the pots by the garage. This is the family homecoming area and so these pots are noticed almost every day. I've planted two ex-pot flaxes in the ground, and their pots have been filled with new plants like daisies and carexes. I have thrown out the salmon coloured pelargoniums which I have never ever liked. How silly it seems now to grow cuttings of plants simply because they strike easily (though this does make me feel competent and successful).

I have also totally weeded the vege garden, in anticipation (yet again!) of a fully productive and cherished food supply. I am itching to start sowing drills of spring onions, and I am excited by a packet of parsnips (sad, since they appear to take all year to grow). I'm off now to sow in the glass-house, noting that this task at least is on my small list. I have purchased a blue permanent marker for the labels. I shall return.

 So far the seed is true.
purple variegated honesty

Much Later, Apres-Gardening...

I am relaxing in my blue and black rugby shirt. I have weeded and seeded, and am very tired. The pink rhododendron over the water race is just starting to flower, and there are patches of fire engine red tulips in Middle Border. I think that the Golden Hop is awakening too, and will need to have some decent climbing frame in place. Honesty is flowering everywhere - the variegated patches are looking particularly good. All the plants I grew from seeds (collected from the white variegated plants) are themselves showing these markings. Honesty is a generous spring plant and bears no malice if you get annoyed and rip it out.

I shall retire to bed with a plant catalogue. Sweet dreams.

Monday 24th September - Day Three

It's 8am and the sky is getting blacker by the minute, so I will attempt a pre-rain description. The lawns are freshly mowed and the house gardens all look beautiful. There are clumps of bergenias with pale pinky-white flowers echoing the distant cherry blossom. The blue grape hyacinths are now in full flower. Cream, lemon and apricot daffodils complete the gentle colour-scape, with the warm red flaxes (now recovered from the frosts) echoing the new leaf growth of the roses. My favourite species tulips (a warm apricot colour) are in flower in a carpet of Stachys limelight. Each day something new appears, and words can't easily explain the excitement that these small patches of colour bring. Still there are the strong backdrops of brown, bronze and green in the foliage plants, providing strength and stability.

Tuesday 25th September - Day Four

After yesterday's attempt at descriptive writing, I weeded and cleared the Dog-Path Garden. I've done the same today in Middle Border around Duck Lawn. The resident duck pair landed right by me in the water race, then shrieked and flapped away. The Golden Hop is acting like a teenager, throwing out great root tentacles in every direction except that of the large tree stump it is supposed to cover. Hmm... The Teenage Golden Hop Monster...

Rugosa Roses :
Rugosa roses are wonderful shrubs - tough, aphid resistant, and with beautiful green leaves.

I caught myself wondering if I could plant a few roses along the water edge of Duck Lawn - just a few, you understand (I am being tempted by a rose catalogue from a local grower). Perhaps the remaining rugosas could go in there? I have spent many hours these last two days on basic garden maintenance and feel a creative urge coming on. I'm in my spring rose mood and I am also wondering whether or not to buy a good digital camera as a reward for good behaviour.

Later this afternoon I'm going to take a video of the garden, a guided tour with the sounds of running water, baa-ing lambs, footsteps, and of course a personal running commentary. Then I will continue my garden maintenance.

Wednesday 26th September - Day Five

My video is a hoot! The camera is borrowed and will not allow any pausing or editing, so I prattle on and on recording every small part of every journey. There are extreme wobbles as I negotiate the Plank, and technical commentaries on every zoom and pan. Self indulgence, I know, to think that one is funny, but hey - gardeners are allowed to, as they spend hours and hours in their own company. Should the video be shown in public? Hmm...

Rhododendrons :
I love these shrubs - I'd never grew them before I came to Mooseys.

Most of the gardens over the water race are now well cleared of weeds and their edges are DONE. A friend arrived late yesterday with some more rhododendrons and I have to admit defeat - I haven't a clue where they are going. The last batch were planted in the Wattle Woods Garden, but conditions in there are too dry. I need to water in there as soon as I stop writing. I shall now make a list of things I am thinking about re the garden.

Thinking List :

This isn't working. I am obviously only thinking about spending money. I will write a more down-to-earth doing list.

Down-to-Earth Doing List :

Time to go out there. Confession time - I left my edge clippers AND my silver cricket radio out ALL NIGHT on Duck Lawn. Ooops.

It's now just after 2 o'clock, and I have gone semi-apres-gardening (in other words, me and my clothes are temporarily clean). I've been weeding and clearing the paths in the Wattle Woods Garden, and watering. I've sown rather a lot more seeds, and hope I'll have the stamina and discipline to follow them through. I've created more pots for the decking (a black plastic planter full of succulents, a bluey sedum now stands in front of the blue oat grass, and an unknown rose is in a huge pot with lemon pansies around the sides). I picked up some mountain grass seedlings from the Wattle Woods Garden path - very very dark green like the parent plant - and they too have been potted. I have been busy.

I did go and buy 3 roses - a very fragrant creamy shrub called Roydon, a pink called Madame President and a Raubritter. I bought a film instead of a new camera though. The sun is brightly shining and it's time I returned to the garden.

 This camellia is in the car lay-by garden near the house.
deep pink camellia

Thursday 27th September - Day Six

Today will be a day of relative garden rest, as we are going to the mountains to do some walking. Hmm... nature's garden... where I will see super stylish plantings of tussocks and hebes around rocks and will turn green (appropriately) with envy. I will see designer patterns of stones... swirls and mounds and dry stream beds... and feel humbler than usual. Not a hybrid in sight, yet the colour range will be exceptional...

Before we go I will plant out a few more pots and set the Wattle Woods Garden hoses on. Isn't it funny how I am fighting nature to garden the way I do... pots and hoses...


We had a great day wandering around in the bush. Then on arriving home I walked around the Frisbee Lawn. This part of the garden is so dry (we need rain) and there were scores of weeds in flower. I clawed up a quick barrowful, promising to do this small border first thing tomorrow. Just when I felt I'd earned a day off...

On our way home we called into a garden/nursery which had some ghostly white-barked birches and some prunus serrulas. The owner/gardener was more interested in us spending our money than him spending a few minutes of his time. I am glad that I never want or need to make money out of my garden. I liked his trees though.

Friday 28th September - Day Seven

We've had some very slight overnight rain but I'm still going to run the hoses all day. I have lots of weeding to finish and lots of planting to organise. I'm reading an amazing book of garden letters written by Edna Walling. She was an Australian expert whose words are inspiring. Strange thing is that she was writing them back in the 1930s and 1940s. Hey! She likes mulching, natural roadside plantings, natives (Australian), self-seeders, trees in crazy groupings, and she sound really sensible and fashionless.

Well, I've weeded the Frisbee Border and the Driveway Border, and have had a major burn-up. Now I have retired inside, apres gardening, and strangely I am feeling a bit lonely (hopeless). I haven't planted anything, but I have had a good idea for the new rhododendrons. I think I miss my children living here (very hopeless). Oh well.