Life goes on...

These few weeks turn unexpectedly into a transition period in my non-gardening life. But life definitely goes on, and weeds keep growing.

 It's lucky that none of the plants, or indeed the sleep-out, were damaged at all.
the fallen gum tree branch

Friday 10th January

Today I will work really hard. A quick read of Bob Flowerdew has again inspired me - this time to sweep all the patios and clear up gum bark which the strong winds of the last few days has strewn around. I can't find my vegetable garden seeds - thought in a moment of guilt that it might not be too late to plant some beans - and parsnips and carrots. Where have I put them? There are some cool beans I want to try growing. I am hopeless.

Late yesterday a huge branch of the gum tree by the sleep-out came crashing and creaking down. Luckily nothing is broken - it missed the roof and side windows. Poor tree.

Off outside now to find beans and other assorted vege seeds, then will help Stephen to clear up tree. Then I need just a few more bucketfuls of small stones for my dog-path maintenance. I hope I don't run out of oomph too soon.

Saturday 11th January

I have been driven (gently) inside by the rain and drizzle. Nothing too amazing to report. The fallen tree is cleared, and we have so much firewood stacked that it had better be darned cold next winter - hey, what am I saying? I've cleared the Lychnis from the Stables Border - it puts on a brilliant show, then suddenly seems to look awful. There are burnable piles now on the fence-line by the Stables. I am continuing to clip and weed and dead-head and snack on peas in the vege garden. I still can't find my seeds. And a bird ate the first ripe tomato!

 By Rooster Bridge.

Sunday 12th January

It is midmorning, but still raining. I suspect that today will be a non-gardening day. Sensible gardeners would spend the day cleaning out the glass-house or cataloguing their seed collections. Hmm...

Thursday 16th January

It's been raining and drizzling now for three days - honest! Just yesterday things cleared up, and today I am about to reaffirm my gardening soul. First I will do edges, then I will take a wander and plan the new paths at the back of the Wattle Woods. I will stop for a large snack of peas and admire all the beautiful red and yellow roses which are bursting off the top of the pergola. There could be a trip to the river for stones to finish off the dog-path (which is a success - a visitor from Perth walked over it yesterday and didn't seem to wobble or sink at all). Back soon.

Friday 17th January

I have spent a wonderful three (or four?) hours just clearing the Pond Paddock Gardens. The ornamental cherries are now spreading out quite a lot of shade, and these borders have changed a lot since their initial planting. It is possible that there needs to be a radical redesign! Sometimes in a garden one forgets that small insignificant clearing up (kneeling and soil-poking) is just as satisfying as striding around with trailer loads of stuff doing major big things. Except that I do need some more smaller stones to finish the Dog-Path.

What shall I do first today? Have a cup of coffee and think small again? Hmm...

Saturday 18th January

I did think small, while collecting four barrowfuls of clippings trimmings and spent Lychnis plants. The Frisbee Border now looks much clearer, and the pots around the BIG GUM are clear from grass. Dark pink Flower Carpet roses are dead-headed (they have the latest flowering cycle of all the roses in the garden). The Dog-Path is stoned (so to speak...).

  Newly leveled and laid with small stones.
the dog-path by the water

Being a gardener is really quite easy. Some days it's rambling, other days it's precise. It's never boring and never the same, even by seasons. This summer we've had to irrigate a lot, last summer there was no need. This last winter we had our once every seven year's dump of snow, and are still cleaning up the trees which suffered damage. As a result we have so much wood for next winter - which will probably be mild, just to make the point.

 A lovely mixture of colours.

Today I think I might sort out that new route through the Wattle Woods. There are shrubs in there which should be moved out, and today looks suitable (with nice cloud cover). I plan to have a mentally expansive yet small day.

Sunday 19th January

Another day of thinking small. I've been poking and prodding at the paths in the Wattle Woods. Nice. Then I went off on a dead-heading mission down the driveway. Nice. I really like the nasturtiums in the new border there - and the self-sown Nicotianas are absolutely wonderful, possibly because they're still vertical. The borders all look better now that the old Lychnis has gone - cleaner lines, neater edges (in theory). I love the garden.

Wednesday 22nd January

I have had a forced break from gardening (alas, some commitments of a work nature). Today I am back and completely available, and it is raining. Humph.... I'm not actually sure what I would have been doing, but that's not the point. Things are very beautiful out there.

January Wildlife Report :

Friday 24th January

Life is odd. Suddenly I am not going back to work - I have four weeks off to recover from some surgery which happens next Monday. So I am spending lots of time at work getting everything ready, putting my affairs there in order. I hope I will be able to do lots of gardening during my time off - the mental state will be the key - I have no idea how I will react to this odd yet traumatic annoyance.

Othello Rose :
Othello is named after the famous Shakespeare character.

Today I noticed the second flush of rose flowering. Othello is trumpeting again on the patio, as are other bright and dark pink roses. The pergola which was red and yellow has turned apricot (Crepuscule), while the flower carpet pinks are green (expertly dead-headed) and flowerless. And the tussocks are coming into seed, and are shining and healthy. Most of the flax flowers have dried and been cut off.

Today I probably won't be able to do much if any work out there. The edges need clipping though (when don't the edges need clipping?). We'll see.

 This is the view from the upstairs out to the Pond paddock.
view from the balcony

Saturday 25th January

Life is still odd. I have weeded and clipped the borders over the water race. My lovely daughter has been in charge of dead-heading, and Jerome the cat has kept us both company. Two busy gardeners has quite an inspiring look to it - so I have written her a serious list, and have big plans. We three have just been chased inside by a sudden rainstorm, yet as I write this blue sky seems to reappear.

The garden is looking good. But how quickly the lawns grow! There is always rubbish to clear and gorse seedlings of varying heights to gently rip out. If I decide not to return to work after the initial four weeks - I am definitely allowing myself this option - then all sorts of new gardening experiences await. Stephen has decided to forego the lucerne paddock and plant an orchard of hazelnut trees - this will happen now in the middle paddock in June or July.

 Iceberg’s flowers are not useful for picking.
Iceberg Climbing Rose

An Arboretum?

I have plans to use the corner for some more Dogwoods and small deciduous ornamental trees - perhaps a small arboretum? Well, better call it a collection of trees that I like. I could become a hazelnut orchardist instead of a teacher...

Sunday 26th January

Today's efforts may have been my last energetic garden session for a few weeks, so I've tried to make the most of it, zooming around with the wheelbarrow and clipping and pruning things madly. Time now to call it a day and read my book. The rose dead-heading has a definite downside - but getting this close shows up all the diseased leaves (mainly bits of black-spot).

But most of the lawn edges are neatly clipped, and obvious weeds have been removed from most of the gardens. All paths are fully functional and operating well - the newly stoned dog-path looks a treat. Hopefully it will not be too long before I am back making boring entries into this gardening diary. Wish me luck!