Hope for peace and gentle gardening...

Many of us escaped into our gardens last year. It seemed frivolous, too, worrying about small gardening crises while there were such huge horrors in the outside world. Happy New Year for 2002, and let us all hope for a year of peace and gentle gardening.

Tuesday 1st January

I have worked really hard today - clearing and removing weeds and excess plants from the borders around the house. The theory is that when I peep out the windows I will be pleasantly surprised by the juxtaposition of textures and shapes and colours, not overwhelmed by a messy mass of ill-fitting vegetation. And I have made a New Year's resolution to be much more discriminating and honest this year.

 This is a new rose which I planted at the end of last September...
Glowing yellow rose

If I am offered large bags of (for example) pink Watsonias or Nerines, I must just say NO THANKS. If I am offered small coloured hybrid flaxes, then of course I must accept graciously, offering to dig them out. There are to be NO MORE ROSES. And whenever I think that there is nothing to do in the garden I will just go outside with my spectacles on. It's simple really!

Wednesday 2nd January

Today I am hoping to inspire Stephen to trim the Wattle Woods overhanging branches, and rain is definitely not helping. In a pre-rain warm up session I found the variegated Liriope, a casualty of my overcrowded plantings, and have replanted in a clear space. How many other mail order treasures are lying smothered underneath greenery? Will get a cup of coffee and then maybe make some more New Years resolutions. Can a greedy gardener become semi-minimalist?


Have just been visited by my gardening friend. Funny how you notice more details when wandering around with someone. Oops. Now I know exactly where I should be weeding (namely the Frisbee Border) and I am off out there. It's overcast and potentially very hot, so I may not last long.

Later, apres gardening and cricket... The clouds lifted and the sun was beautifully hot, as I weeded around the Frisbee Border, dragging my cricket radio behind me. I am now doing some sneaky watering, mainly in the Wattle Woods where the Ligularia patches are quite wrongly positioned for the moisture they require. I think that the garden is rather beautiful though, and I am so lucky having a water race and a pond. The resident trout (just one) is fascinating to watch as he/she breaks the surface every 5 minutes or so to catch an insect.

Ballerina Rose :
A lot of my Ballerina roses were grown from cuttings.

The Gunnera leaves are growing daily, and they contrast dramatically with the fluffy pink Filipendula and Ballerina roses. The big bronze pond-side flax has deep rich purply-brown flower pods dangling, nearly touching the grass. I'd like to sleep on the pond decking.

Friday 4th January

I did work hard yesterday, clearing the messy garden path near the Pump House and planting more clumps of the old faithful Iris confusa. I must remember to bucket some water on them. The Big Gum has dropped large amounts of bark on the freshly mown front lawn. I'm not too sure what I'll do in the garden today. I might work under the Wattle trees in the shade.

And this is exactly what I did do. Down came the overhanging branches. In went Iris confusa. I raked the paths too.

 Oops...out of control again.
the golden hop

Sunday 6th January

The weather has been very changeable, with long patches of rain each day. Yesterday I started clearing around the Pond Paddock, just pottering gently, listening to my cricket radio. Came in after lunch, then down came the rain. Today it's rained all morning and I'd like to be finishing around the pond. Guess I'll just have to be patient. I've been on holiday for over 3 weeks now and the novelty has worn off. I haven't felt very inspired these last few days - evident by the lack of diary writing. Perhaps I've said all there is to say? Hope not!

Monday 7th January

I am definitely slowing down (like the dog on a bicycle ride). So far today all I've done is school work. Eek! This is not good. I'm off outside now to wander around and to take stock, as it were, of the things my garden needs. I must recover my inspiration.


I did! I worked for over three hours in the gardens over the water race, which I must say are looking incredibly beautiful. Unlike the older borders they are not quite as crowded out. Maybe I have learnt something in my years here as a mistress gardener. Hmm... The things I like about the newer gardens are the clean fresh trees (chosen, not just there by default) and the airy feeling in the plantings.

Tuesday 8th January

After all my hard work yesterday I dragged a cane chair outside to read and dry my hair in the late afternoon sun. It occurs to me that I need more garden chairs with backs (like the park bench) already in position, so I can enjoy garden reading more. So today we are on a major mission, namely to purchase two or three kit set old lady garden benches. Back soon.

Back! I have two new park benches with dark green wrought iron ends and fat painted wooden slats which should be comfortable for old lady gardeners. I also bought two books from the book sale, one for each christening, so to speak. Now we are off to the mountains for a brisk walk in the bush. I will return with my head full of hebes and beech trees and rocks and tree roots.

 A restful spot to read the newspaper.
Two friends and a park bench

Saturday 12th January

I am so embarrassed that 3 days have passed since I last wrote. However, these have been 3 days of fairly consistent rain. Yesterday I was able to spend an hour in the afternoon clearing the path through Middle Border. I also sat on the oldest park bench (over the water race) and ceremonially read a few chapters. Today it is again raining. But WE WON THE CRICKET. Hmm...

I never seem to get my paths right. They are supposed to have a slight air of mystery, as they encourage and beckon you on to see where they go and what's round the corner. Humph. My paths require protective clothing and an extremely bendy body. They look impassable at the start and in the wet they are downright dangerous. Does anyone else plant tussocks too close to paths and then have to give them haircuts every 3 weeks?