Keep up the winter gardening momentum...

 The first sign of the yellows that will soon fill the garden.
Flowering Wattle Tree

The rest of July - after the heady expanses of holiday hours with nothing to do except gardening, it's back to work and one July weekend in which to keep up the winter gardening momentum.

Saturday 26th July

I have continued my rampant slaughter of Pittosporums. Now the whole of Middle Border is lighter, and all the rhododendrons can be seen peeping through the long slender trunks. Don't get me wrong - I do like Pittosporums. There are still a lot of branches to burn, even though I spent the last two hours of today tending a rather long fire.

But I'm pleased with this pruning and border-thinning mania - it is well overdue and the results are stunning. I have unearthed various groups of spring bulbs (can't wait for the yellow colours to start appearing), and other little gems in the undergrowth. I think I am definitely doing the right thing.

Goodbye Iris confusa

I also have removed a whole mass planting of Iris confusa from the Dog-Path Garden. This took ages for a spur of the moment decision. They were getting very very straggly, and were crowding out the other plantings. I left a clump at the base of a tree stump and spread the newly discovered dirt with mulch (old rotting lucerne from the very back paddock).

Sheep :
We have a small flock of merinos - we keep them strictly for wool production. No roast leg of lam or mutton stew allowed!

Getting the mulch was rather funny. I was down there with my wheelbarrow pulling the large circular bale to bits and loading up the barrow.

Meanwhile the sheep (thinking I was feeding out some fresh lucerne) had sneaked up to watch, and I got quite a fright when I turned around and saw them about three feet away from me. They were silently staring as only sheep can, our ex-pet lamb George the nosiest.

Winter House Gardens

It's night-time and I am about to go to bed and listen to a very important rugby match on the radio. I am not quite as 'better' as I thought - I'm very tired, and my arm is a bit sore again. I'm sorry to be a grumbling gardener, but my hands are sore from chopping up Pittosporums for the fire - and my old legs and hips feel a bit achy. Oh dear! I am falling apart.

Sunday 27th July

What am I going to do first, with my sore arm, achy legs and hips, and lightly blistered fingers? These are the joys of being an old gardener? I should retire at once!

 Another of the winter flowering shrubs, subtle and easily missed.
Viburnum Tinus

Take a Slow Walk...

I think that I'll take a slow walk with the dog and a cup of coffee. It's already 9.30am, well time to be up and out there. Then I will return to my wheelbarrow full of energetic ideas. I could pull to pieces and replant the variegated Irises in the Dog-Path Garden for starters. And the suckers from the Viburnum Tinuses could get chopped with the shovel. Hopefully I will not be back too soon.


I am so tired. And sore. And achy. And sick of tending fires and ripping out Iris confusa and trimming Pittosporums. Things look quite good out there though - my new ideas for the borders are certainly a big improvement. I also did quite a bit of annoying rose pruning to complement the fire, and started off a small amount of fence repairing (actually I conned Stephen into the serious hammering etc. - the fence has the super spikey rose Mermaid growing along it). My compost heap has been weeded (hmm...) and my removal of Japanese Iris which have spread far too wide has unearthed several clumps of daffodil bulbs.

 As soon as it gets warmer, and before the roses grow too much, I'll paint this bit.
Garden Fence Repairs

More Pruning...

There is just a little bit of tree pruning to burn now. I have a system (rather like a recipe) - one wheelbarrow-ful of gum tree leaves and rubbish per fifteen minutes of burning wet Pittosporum branches. Consequently the boundary fence at the back of the Wattle Woods gets a really good clean out as well. I get heartily sick of the wheelbarrow circuit, but I feel very virtuous.

The last days of July gardening...

I've just realised that these might be the only two gardening days I'll have for the rest of July. That means this diary installment is very short. Perhaps I should start twittering about plans for the new pond (which has had a name change - it's now a lake) and the rose avenue. Hmm...the wood for repairing the fence cost about $100 - so very expensive - I dread to think what the 5 or 6 archways will cost if they are made of wood.