So many things to do...

I'm going to run out of time - there are so many things to do in the garden and so many beautiful things happening.

Tuesday 30th September - Day Eleven of my Holiday

Right. Today has better be good. Two days of rain are quite enough. I have a lot of small garden details to organise today, and maybe some large ones - as I write I'm looking long and hard at the huge brown flax by the decking. I'm not totally sure where I'll go to garden first today - I expect to be able to check back in later this morning with a triumphantly long list of successes.

 Aubrieta is well worth growing from seed, and makes a great edging plant by the stones.

Oh yes! I am a gardening legend. I have remembered to take advantage of the sunny weather and have painted the new wooden fence palings. I have also spent an hour digging up and chopping out offending suckers from - a species lilac? - which has been messing up the shrubbery on the side of the Island Bed. I have sat and eaten my lunch under gently falling pink blossom snow. I am now inside tired and relatively scratched, ready to rest and reflect for a while. The house fences look great. I think I deserve a break.

Wednesday 1st October - Day Twelve of my Holiday

Yesterday I went back outside and cleared the woody mess and burnt quite a lot of it. Now today I'm planning to spend time in the glass-house. When I read my gardening books I get a sense of time and planning - so I will need (for example) sturdily growing purple verbenas in a month's time to plant (for example) in front of dying daffodil foliage.

Aquilegias :
I collect the seeds from my Aquilegias, too, to get new plants. I'm really fond of the blue varieties.

This morning is a good chance to plan ahead in a practical sense - cuttings, more sowing of seeds, quality control experiment on labeling systems, etc. It's scattered showering, if you know what I mean. Also I am looking at that huge brown flax. And I have something strange to report - I have just re-read last September's holiday diary. I was doing totally different things! And apparently the aquilegias were in flower and the daffodils were past their best.

Later, Apres-Gardening...

I pottered about today, doing things when the weather allowed. It has been rather cold and rainy, but I've still had fun. I've dug out a grass by the sleep-out which had outgrown its position. Look out large brown flax! I've picked more daffodils for the rooms inside the house. The Camellias in the top of the Wattle Woods Garden are all flowering now - an odd assortment of pinks, reds and whites (echoed by the bright red rhododendron and the white honesty? - wish I could claim the connection). It's quite magical.

Thursday 2nd October - Day Thirteen of my Holiday

I have worked So hard - from 9am until 2.45pm with hardly a break. I've been based in the Pond Paddock and the Wattle Woods, clearing and weeding. I've split up some very sad Renga Renga and replanted it by the Wattle Woods Garden seat. I've dug out a hundred more dandelions, edged all the edges there can possibly be to edge, planted more pots up, peeped again at the colourful Wattle Woods Garden Camellias (which make me smile), sat on the seat by the pond just listening to the water slowly pouring in...

 This border changes drastically with the seasons, particularly when the roses take over.
The Stables Border

I'm absolutely exhausted, but really happy - today I didn't seem to need to stop once - this is a good sign for my retirement plans. I will sleep well tonight. I have found one rather pale aquilegia which is starting to flower. And the Filipendula which I planted by the pond is really starting to bulk out. I love this plant, but rarely take any notice of it until it starts to flower midsummer.

Saturday 4th October - Day Fifteen of my Holiday

I did a lot of work yesterday - weeding in the Laundry Garden and planting out lettuces into the vege plot. I think I worked better for not writing diary lists. I've decided that some of my roses can sneak back in the garden spaces near the pergola. The weather stayed calm and warm until unfortunately I had to go in to work.

Sifter :
Sifter the cat - where are you?

Now today may well be rather different. I have to sort out my school work preparation. And there is an enigmatic advertisement in the wee local paper - a stray striped tabby has turned up several kilometers away. Could it be Sifter the cat? After 14 months? I am about to ring them up (hope springs eternal)....

Later, after planting all my spare roses...

I didn't have as many as I thought and watering all the pots and weeding and doing more edges I have retired inside. I am really tired (which is odd, since today has been a very light gardening day). The cat people are not at home, so the identity of the tabby cat is as yet unconfirmed. It would be a miracle if it was Sifter - will I even recognise him? I will have to take one of his photographs with me.

 In the Dog-Path Garden across the water race.
Spring Flowers

Holidays Nearly Over...

Unfortunately this is the second to last day of my holiday, and as yet I have hardly done any preparation for going back to work. Oh boy! Still, this should be the last beginning of October that this feeling of doom and dread sinks down on me. I am not a lazy teacher, far from it, but sometimes the work done away from the classroom is out of all proportion to the time spent in it.

I will probably have to work ALL DAY tomorrow - what if the weather is really nice? One of the first garden tours of the season is on, too - distractions, distractions.

Sunday 5th October - the Final Day of my Holiday

We did go on the garden tour (near Amberley) - and it was really enjoyable, though some of the gardens were over-supplied with roses and none of these were in flower. I liked the real gardens - those which were there for the enjoyment of the owner, not just to be a professional open garden, if you know what I mean. The countryside was rolling green farmland, and looked very gentle and user-friendly (though the weather was spiteful - sunny but with a biting cold wind).

 These ceramic pots are newly planted with Cordylines and a New Zealand Pepper tree.
New Pots

Too Much Lawn?

I came home wondering if I have too much lawn - in other words, is the garden big enough? Probably not, but I'll keep those thoughts submerged for the next few weeks (eek - I do not want to go back to work). I certainly don't have the deep deep borders that the first garden we visited had. Hmm...

Looking back on my September holiday...

I feel I've achieved a lot. There must be less weeds in the garden than there were two weeks ago! Some blossom has come and gone, rhododendrons are flowering, many daffodils are finishing off, the blue grape hyacinths are everywhere, the grasses and flaxes continue to wave in the wind and look absolutely gorgeous. My pots are better organised, the Gunnera leaves are starting to unfurl, pansies are flowering, seedlings are growing well.

This is technically the last time I will have to stop gardening in October, though - I am so looking forward to this time next year (hope I remember how horrible it feels to have to go back to work!). And the reincarnation of Sifter the cat is as yet unconfirmed - the stray tabby advertised has done a runner from his rescuers. So we may never know!