Serious and dignified...

The word august means serious and dignified - this is how I must approach my garden in August. I must work throughout the whole garden area, and I must stop moaning about being tired. I must not shirk on the little tasks - clearing gum leaves out of the decking pots, for example.

Sunday 1st August

A new month is a good chance to talk myself into setting some new goals. How about I actually finish the Hump clearing, for example? Then I can plant in some natives (hebes and corokias, for example) and perhaps install a table and chairs - I could thus create an enclosed oasis of calm, a new garden area to enjoy and to write about.

 The bridge has wooden planks laid on two old wooden power poles.
MIddle Bridge with Fern and Flax

And I could start dividing the hostas in the Apple Tree Garden - how many times have I said I'd do this? Hopeless! No discipline!

Successful gardening is very very simple. It just requires patience and a good temper. Remembering to do things written on lists is also quite sensible. Right. Off I go, fiercely, into the frost of the first morning in August.


I'm back. What a repetitive, boring gardener I am turning into! All I do is rake up rubbish, fill my wheelbarrow, plod over to the fire and dump it. I will never be an entertaining writer if I keep doing the same old, same old, each gardening day. Then I could argue that this is the reality of a great winter clean-up. Hmm...

 For the log-burner.

Several randomly nice things did get done today, though - first all my Tree Lucerne stumps and branches from the Hump have been chain-sawed (next winter's firewood). Then my wriggling stream is again operational - oddly it took about 15 minutes to fill the end pond, as opposed to 15 hours last time. How can this possibly be? Fluid dynamics continue to puzzle me. This time there will probably be major flooding. Eeek! At least there's no need for a black polythene stream bed.

Tuesday 3rd August

I am back from a morning's work, trying desperately to transform myself into a gardener, while my chauffeur (younger son) is raving on about deep musical jazz scale theories. Aargh! Family!

Let's get back to reality - for example, what will the Wattle Woods stream look like, after approximately 40 hours of flow? Yesterday I was away all day - I didn't even get to say hello to rooster. But (great excitement) I bought THREE apres-gardening jerseys, and I now am wearing the bright blue one. Technically this is a pre-gardening moment, of course...

Middle Garden after the Winter Clean-Up

Enough! I am about to check the stream (I'm nervous). The weather which was a bit damp earlier is now obliging - much brighter, with a hint of sunshine. I am so very lucky to be here to enjoy all this. I am really, really lucky.

Later, Stylish in My New Avocado Green Apres-Gardening Jersey...

Firstly, disaster for the water feature - the water has all disappeared again! Humph... I don't quite understand what happens to it - a mild flood would be welcome! But in spite of this great disappointment I have spent a very pleasant couple of hours in the (stream-less) Wattle Woods just clearing and raking. I've also pruned a bed of roses and the hydrangeas under the apricot tree.

It's very exciting to have a choice of apres-gardening jerseys (namely green, strong blue, or slate-grey with denim blue flecks). I've lit the wood-burner, made a cup of tea, and turned on some Vivaldi string concertos. I have a new issue of The Garden to read. Nice.

 A clear path!

Wednesday 4th August

Oops - more paid work today, hence not much gardening time. However, with a clear conscience I can pay for all planned purchases of native New Zealand plants for the Hump. And a quick note from the resident engineer - apparently there will be an air-bubble in the pipe which feeds the Wattle Woods stream, causing the initial flow to pass below the critical amount. The official comment on the disappearance of the water, delivered with a chuckle - 'It's SO sad ... a waterless water feature!'

I guess real water-feature builders have pumps of exact strengths and hoses of exact diameters, and draw up lots of plans with mathematical calculations...


I have asked Stephen to advise on the new stream, so he is going to try with a longer initial pipe. He keeps muttering about the need for experiment - but my mind is set only on experimenting with stream-side plantings. Typical gardener - no patience!

Friday 6th August

Oops - bits of extra work yesterday and today - last evening it started to rain (strongly, vertically i.e. no nasty cold wind). It's still raining - this is great for the garden. I have another perfect rainy morning garden magazine to read - confidently titled 25 Beautiful Gardens. I miss rambling on in this diary, but I have absolutely nothing new to say. Hmm... Just wait until the southern hemisphere spring! I will be a garden-writing fiend!