I am on holiday!

I am on holiday! I am so very happy, oddly semi-paralysed by thoughts of all this freedom. So far I've wandered around the garden picking spring flowers, noticed new blossom trees and the red rhododendrons flowering, watered inside the glass-house, and then retreated inside the house feeling rather overwhelmed - but very very happily so!

Hopeless! I honestly don't know what I should do first, so I'm just going to potter around enjoying the garden for a while, until guilt kicks in.

 The cherry tree by the driveway is in full flower.
Cherry Blossom

Saturday 19th September

The water race isn't flowing so I've been working up and down the banks weeding, standing on the race bottom taking advantage of this unusual access. I've spaded out a lot of weeds and there seems to be a lot of space for new plantings... maybe I could put my new roses (oops) in there.

I've spent my birthday money at the local nursery, and have some beautiful specimens which include a weeping silver pear (always wanted one of these, haven't a clue where it's going), flaxes and cordylines, hostas and other assorted goodies. First job after lunch is to sort out the new pots (which are amazingly large for the price paid for them) - position them first, before filling and planting. Then I'm going to turn on the hoses for the first time this spring.

I'm so very glad to be on holiday - so many things are missed in the busy time of work (for example, where has all the blossom so suddenly come from?) There are so many different colours and shapes of daffodils, and even some of the tulips are in flower, and some fragrant blue hyacinths. I'm going to take the regulation first spring photos later - I guess they'll be exactly the same as last year's ones! But enough chattering in this diary, or it will end up long and boring. It's time to get back outside and actually do something!


I did a lot more weeding and planted two of the pots. Then I spread some horse-poos on the Willow Tree Garden, before retiring inside to rest and read my new very British gardening magazine (which is rather a load of rubbish, and I was silly to buy it, but hey! It's holiday reading!). Tomorrow I might think about painting the fence and sorting more of the pots out. There are also a lot of seedlings to prick out. The first day of my holiday is over.

 In the vegetable garden!
Daffodils and Pansies

Sunday 21st September - Day Two of my Holiday

My second holiday day has started with an inspirational reading - Bob Flowerdew's wise and clever The No Work Garden. Overnight rain has been followed with blue sky (and a sadly wailing cat somewhere - Jerome? Stumpy? Mugsy?). Taj-dog is busy getting his feet dirty outside somewhere. His trip to the vet last weekend was a success as far as old dog vet-trips go - all his tests were good. So there is no medical reason for his transformation into an overnight pee-dog. I am going to write the first holiday list - here goes...

This list is rather one-dimensional. I need to think bigger - like getting a truck-load of compost (a trailer load?) or painting the fences (oops too wet) or persuading Stephen to build a trellis for the new roses (what new roses? oops again) or cutting down the tree lucernes by the water race which are too big and too scruffy (but what about midsummer shade?). And in between the large things, when I'm catching my breath, I'll do those pots.

Later, apres gardening...

I worked really hard! We got a trailer-load of  soil conditioner  which I can put on the garden at my leisure this coming week. Also I bought two more big bags of potting mix. The new pots are all filled. I've done a lot of weeding in the Dog-Path Garden, and have dug the new strip of Willow Tree Garden where I hope to have roses on either a trellis or posts and chains. I am really tired and wonder if seven o'clock is too early to retire with Bob Flowerdew...

 My one dollar special which is now thriving in a sheltered spot in Middle border.
Magnolia Stellata

Monday 22nd September - Day Three of my Holiday

What should I do first? It's a beautiful sunny spring day, just gone 8.30am, and I've already zoomed around with the vacuum cleaner so that apres-gardening will have a suitably elegant ambience. I think I should first trundle some barrow-fuls of horse-poos and soil conditioner around, then check out the Magnolia Stellata (cost one dollar, planted in an axe-hole in gum tree roots, four years later blooming beautiful!), maybe hang out some washing to reacquaint myself with the climbing roses sneakily pegged onto the washing lines. Whatever I end up doing I will be gentle in spirit - this holiday is for relaxing, unwinding and enjoying spring.

 Ha! Pink is about to happen!
Rhododendron Bud

Lunch break

I've just had a refreshing cup of tea, sitting in new blue deck chair on patio. I've weeded the Stables Border and now will fill in the gaps with assorted mulch. I've had to scrape the top layer of weed and soil off, and have dug up a peony rose which needed transplanting (it had huge long tubular roots - very odd). The weather is perfect - slightly cloudy and windless (long may that last!) - and the ambience is very nice - water gurgling past, fresh green grass newly mown, birds chirping, etc. Back soon.

Apres-gardening at 4 pm...

My day didn't seem to go very far, but not a problem - I have a very neatly weeded and mulched Stables garden, and the top of the Frisbee Border underneath the gum tree is cleared and planted with two birthday flaxes. I am tired but content. I might add here that I am trialling some retirement accessories - a dressing gown (worn this morning for the making of the first cup of tea), a hair drier (used for apres gardening for the very first time today), and some anti-aging face cream (unfortunately the fine print says it's to combat the first signs of aging - oops, a bit late!). And I have chosen some piano pieces (Ravel's Sonatine, Bach English Suite in A minor, and a Debussy Toccata) to play during breaks from the garden. I have a holiday jigsaw, too...


On reflection, I seemed to run out of oomph this afternoon. I don't think this is serious, but tomorrow I will try harder to vary the tasks I do. For example, I must get organised in the glass-house and get the next lot of seeds going. Also I must start cuttings of the low growing blue penstemon I like. I must rescue the dug-up peony from the weed pile, too (I threw it out by mistake). Some photos must be taken, too - especially of the brave Magnolia Stellata. And I should plant the roses. I'm looking forward to tomorrow already.