A second large pond?

Aargh! It's March already and I'm still pottering away in my garden doing small items of general maintenance (and attacking my large flaxes). Early autumn is the perfect time for a major soil digging project - a second large pond would be nice!

 This is one of the perennial salvias I grow.
Blue Salvia Uliginosa

Wednesday 2nd March

Well, maybe not quite that major - I have a horrible feeling that large ponds initially need ditch-diggers, bulldozers and tractors, large tip trucks, and cranes to lower the large artistic rocks into place. Pumps and pipes are then installed for the water supply - no wonder my second pond exists only in my gardening dreams!

However, I still have loads of energy for the removal of offending flaxes which have grown too big for their garden positions. My flax-butchering mania was encouraged by my lovely weekend garden visitor called 'Pumpkin' (who single-handedly gave me the confidence needed for demolition). Typically random, I reckon - I have been putting up with these large, unsuitable monster flaxes for years - deliberately not 'seeing' the problems their size has created, too timid to attack a New Zealand native iconic plant. Ha!

Flaxes Beware!

As soon as I have checked in with this journal (I've been missing in action - at work these last two days) I am off to chop and knife another flax out. If this is the only thing I do this week, at least I am being strong and decisive.

Gardeners have to be brutal and fearsome sometimes - ripping out and burning roses which are not healthy enough, drastically pruning big things, shifting things - if necessary in the middle of summer, if that is the only window of shifting opportunity. One of my most beautiful older roses was dug out on a hot Christmas Eve (in summer, of course!), then travelled for over an hour in a very hot car, then sat in a bucket of water for two days.

But back to the flaxes. I'm off outside. Just wait!

 This is one place where my large flaxes are allowed!
Flax and Daisies by the Water Race

Later, with Two More Large Flaxes Cut Down...

Right - I'm back, inside, freshly showered, apres-gardening in white linen shirt, with a huge secateur-blister on my finger. Two more flaxes are down. Suddenly I can see the Cotinus and the striped Miscanthus grass behind the glass-house. And I've been good and cleaned up all the flax-leaf mess. I'm tired, though...

I wonder - March isn't really the start of Autumn, is it?

 There are still a few brave shoots of this rose trying to grow up the house pergola.
New Dawn Rose

Thursday 3rd March

Today I thought I'd get the bow saw out and finish levelling the flax by the glass-house. I have photographs of the early days when this flax was a warm red colour, and small. Ah... such lovely, innocent memories... and I am awfully tempted to buy a new small red flax from the nursery as a replacement (some gardeners never learn). But first I have to go into work for two hours. This does not please me - my spiritual energy is being redirected into producing an amazing and entertaining Mathematical experience - a lesson on fractions and ratio. Humph. Back soon.

Three Hours Later...

Right. I'm back! Before I re-launch myself (so to speak) I would like to claim success - the flax by the glass house is now substantially demolished. It's a much better, balanced look for this interesting little garden. I've also cut back the apple tree (complete with nearly full-sized apples) to stop it crowding over the Miscanthus and the rose Complicata. I have also seriously pruned two Hebes. I reckon my garden will appreciate the new brutal me!

Now I need to plan some interesting major gardening activity for the rest of the afternoon. Or I could attack the biggest flax of all (the one at the corner of the JAM garden) - in fact it might be better to keep flax-focused.

Olearia :
Olearia is a New Zealand evergreen which makes a brilliant hedge.

And talking about focused - now I have two hens (brown hen and henlet), both of whom have gone into hen-hibernation in the Olearia hedge (different places), both sitting on nests of nothing. I can't take much more of this random poultry behaviour - it seems such a total waste of hen-hours.

Gourmet Tea-Time...

I've been ripping into the largest flax, and as yet haven't got very far. Puppy has been 'helping' by racing along next to the wheelbarrow pulling delicately balanced flax leaves off. I have taken a photo for my memories - the flax has about one quarter of its tall stiff leaves left. This whole garden area (especially the squashed in roses - there's an Othello, and a Pilgrim) will breathe a sigh of relief. If I was really, really connected with my plants I would now weave the flax leaves into garden baskets... hmm...

Tomorrow I promise to finish this one task. Then I will have behaved for nearly a whole week, with no sidetracks! No longer a grasshopper gardener! My perseverance will have to be rewarded (a wee trip to the local garden nursery springs to mind). If I buy any replacement flaxes (I probably will!) they must be weepy, fountain-shaped ones.