What should I do first?

What should I do first in the garden this weekend? Start organising and planting my seeds for spring? Continue pruning the roses? Finish clearing the mess out of the Hump? Take more photographs of the baby pink Camellias?

Saturday 24th July

Ha! - I could take over ONE THOUSAND photographs of the dreary winter garden - trying to keep up with the Moosey London Team who did just this when they visited Hampton Court. But would I be allowed a whole new web-site section to display such? Humph... I guess I'm just a little envious.

 It's that baby pink one again!
The First Flowering Camellia - Winter 2004

I hope that the dreamy, dithering mood I've woken up with doesn't last. I'm sulking - cross that my garden homecoming week was redirected (relief work every day, plus non-gardening weather). Get over it Moosey! I will redeem myself this weekend by being full of amazing gardening energy - starting NOW. I will forget the summer flower pictures that London is bombarding me with - I've got things which are just as nice out there (hmm... like mud? chook manure all over the decking? gum tree leaves in the spouting? fence wood which is rotten?...)

Taj-Dog :
Taj loves being a country dog.

Right. Taj-dog (my old and extremely deaf dog) is at my feet snoring. Rooster is standing in the cat bowl on the decking, crowing at me through the glass. My gardening day (with a little bit of help from the pets) is bound to be a success...

Later, Apres-Gardening...

I have sown a lot of seeds (e.g. lettuces, annuals like cornflower and nasturtiums, white Clary Sage, white and apricot foxgloves) - as well as cleaning up the inside of the glass-house (with rooster and the hens, inside, poking around in the dirt). I have cleared a trailer-load of rubbish from the Hump and burned it, along with the prunings from five or six house-side roses. The sun is high enough in the sky to notice, and everywhere the flax leaves are shining. For once the water race is clear - the water sparkles as it runs over the stony bottom. I am tired, but this has been a great day - five hours of gardening with minimal sulking.

 Daft bird - thinks he's a gardener...
My Friend Rooster Walking the Plank

Tomorrow I promise myself to work even harder - my first job is to sort out that hopeless Wattle Woods stream.

Sunday 25th July

Aargh! It is nine o'clock, and the lawns are covered in frost - but I am going to go out there, just as soon as I've had a cup of tea. I will make a determined list.

After reading the Hampton Court pages on Sweet Peas I'm determined to grow lots and lots of these. I love them! Should they have been sown in Autumn? - probably. Why don't I grow them more? I've been scared off by articles demanding trenches filled with rotting manure? Right - this is my gardening resolution for July 2004, noted and recorded...

 Photographed by the web-master.
English Sweet Peas


I have checked the Sweet Pea packets - oops - should have been started in autumn. I've started them anyway - some blues bred by New Zealander Dr. Hammett, and some nice lookers called Wiltshire Ripple (sounds like ice-cream). I've done a huge amount of clearing, sawing, lopping (I bought some brand new loppers for nine dollars - well, they've lasted one day so far!) and pruning. In the end of the Hump I've uncovered two beautiful little struggling Kowhai trees and one Olearia as well as many seedling Pittosporums. The rubbish is burnt.

So I only really addressed the first two list items - but with huge determination and excellent results. I have won today's game in the garden (like those All Blacks, scoring in the last seconds in last night's rugby)...

Monday 26th July

The end of the Hump area is far, far bigger than I imagined. After three happy hours sawing and raking today I still haven't exactly finished, but the whole area has opened up - I've now found a small grove of Olearias, several Pampas Grass clumps which are starting to re-sprout, and a couple of floppy Phormium Tenax flaxes. Now there is much more light - hmm... I'm thinking sneakily about some rhododendrons, conveniently forgetting what happened not far from here in the heat of last summer. Enough!

 It looks cold!
Winter Driveway

Anyway, the rubbish is burnt, and I'm pleased with today's progress. I have more ideas - some of the lawn could be reclaimed, and also the large scruffy tree halfway down the driveway curve could be cut down. It's a bush gone dreadfully wrong, with red berries in winter - seedlings keep popping up everywhere else - I suspect it is not very desirable, and maybe even a pest plant.

So one result of my huge clearing efforts will probably be the enlargement and beautification of the Driveway Lawn. Good - nicely random - nice to get a result that wasn't strictly planned for.