Flax hybrids...

 A hybrid New Zealand flax.
Autumn Flax

April is the month for the glowing flax hybrids - what beautiful colour tones they have. I'm going to have much more time to enjoy the Autumn changes in the garden this year.

Thursday 1st April

First thing I am going to walk around and check out the changing tree colours. There's a soft golden feeling to the garden as I peer out the house windows. I am really enjoying my new gardening attitude (relaxed but optimistically energetic). I should have semi-retired years ago! Back soon.


I've been quietly weeding the water race edge and clearing some more raspberry canes out. In fact I've done exactly the same things as yesterday - my gardening week is becoming gently monotonous. I'll hopefully finish both tasks tomorrow. During a break I went down to the nursery and bought some sale price flaxes. I am going to plant them at intervals on the newly weeded bank. I love the Autumn gardening ambience.

Friday 2nd April

Some days you garden big. Other days you garden small. Some days gardening is repetitive and boring. Other days you can create something huge and new in an Autumn morning.

 Check out the new wisteria on the pergola posts!
Autumn View from the House

This very morning I am about to go outside into the Moosey garden. There are three things I want to do in the area I am currently working in. Two involve gardening small - namely the weed maintenance of the water race edge, and the removal of raspberry canes from the back fence border.

 It got here all by itself!
Verbascum Seedling

Big Plans!

The third is big - it involves the super-quick digging and mulching of a large new garden behind the garage, and the energetic planting of flaxes, pseudopanax and hebes - a garden created in the blinking of a dust stained eye... I wonder what I'll end up doing? This is a severe test of garden-character...

Hee hee... I'm back, and it's lunchtime. I've just cooked and eaten a small meal, the type which would be served in an English Bed and Breakfast. I'm now going to relax with a cup of tea and a book, and pretend I'm on holiday somewhere in Britain (it almost works).

New Dog Kennel Garden

And of course for the last three hours I have worked on the totally new garden behind the garage. It looks good - the new plants are positioned but not planted. I have a stone stream-bed (trendy) spilling out of the door of the old dog kennel, a rock garden (which looks decidedly odd, since it is rocks-only at the moment), and a 'sculpture' made with stones and an old railway sleeper.

All that remains is to incorporate the white bath (it could easily be painted - for example, a deep cherry red?) into the general artistic design, and dig in the plants. Thus a rubbish area turns into a place of outstanding beauty.

Favourite Grasses Book :
This is one of the gardening books that I read and re-read.

I have also made a new artistic grass purchase - I'm not sure if I already have this growing anywhere, or indeed if it's a native New Zealand variety. It's called Lomandra. It already looks beautiful waving in the wind (like the label says).

I am going to leave my plants in their pots in position in the new garden and look with fresh eyes at the composition and the curves tomorrow. A concern here is that from April to September this area will be shaded from the sun. It will always be airy and spacious though. Will the Bergenias mind? Will the bargain bin flaxes complain? Won't know until I try it. Will this ground stay frozen after a frost? Will the Pseudopanax bush/trees hate it here? Should I move in some hellebores? Hmm...

 By the big Leyland Hedge.
The Gardens Over the Water Race

Saturday 3rd April

I've had a good idea for the new garden - many of my plants in pots could be replanted in there! I am always trying out small evergreen shrubs and foliage plants in pots. Some have done a two year stretch by now, so rather than repot them I'll give them the freedom of the new garage garden.

What shall I do first? Again it's sunny - and much calmer than yesterday (when the hot wind blew our temperature up to 26 degrees). I have some technical problems - secateurs broken and my hand digger mulched late yesterday (pale camouflage green is a ridiculous colour for a garden implement).

I sense there's enough mental energy at this moment (and enough things to do out there) to make a most serious list.

Much later...

I am very tired, but I have achieved great things in the garden today! The raspberry canes are dug out, and I think I am happy with my stylish dog-kennel garden (please don't laugh). Goodnight from a happy gardener.

 Stylish enough for Chelsea?
The Stylish Dog Kennel Garden

Sunday 4th April

I have worked so hard today! I've enlarged one end of the dog kennel garden, and shifted in two ill-placed rhododendrons from Middle Border - one was quite big. The Dog Kennel Garden is finished. I've also had a giant burn-up.

Golden Hop :
Actually I planted not one but three Golden Hops - I didn't know what I was getting myself into!

Middle Border desperately needs an overhaul - the trees have grown and the feel of this garden has changed. Some parts are quite dry (the irrigation is blocked by trees) and the Golden Hop needs taking care of. Another rhododendron is being smothered by its neighbouring Pittosporum, and either the tree gets limbed up or the rhododendron gets moved. Maybe I could launch into this garden maintenance tomorrow.

Monday 5th April

Today I have to move mountains (well actually rhododendrons) before the dreaded SOUTHERLY STORM arrives - it is rolling and rumbling slowly up the country, direct from Antarctica. This is supposed to be the first 'big one', bringing hail storms and possible snow to places higher than mine. And another first for this morning - my trusty striped thermals have come out of retirement. Thus the gardening seasons at West Melton ring again with the tuneful chimes of change... (?)

 A white autumn daisy.
Pretty Flower!


It's early evening, the log burner is going, and I am waiting for the hail and thunderstorms. There's just rain at the moment. The weather stayed good for the FIVE hours I was outside working. And there was a slight frost on the lawn this morning - the first frost. My courgette plants look quite sick.

Five hours! Impressive - punctuated only by a short lie down on the back lawn with the dog and a cup of tea. I've started sorting out Middle border, weeding out rooted tendrils of the Golden Hop. I think, sadly, that the Golden Hop will have to go - there is no room here any more for a marauding strangler. I admire a plant with attitude, but this particular plant?

It's a pity, but the weather may stop my further gardening plans this week.

Tuesday 6th April

The southerly is here to stay - quite cold rain, log fire burning, no gardening possible.