Path focus...

I suddenly have remodelling plans for the gardens over the water race. My focus is paths. And I am worrying about the many Verbascum seedling plants which are appearing everywhere - some sensible preventative action may be needed.

Saturday 14th May

Hmm... Earlier this morning (when dark) I tried yet again to visualise the new minor developments I have planned for the Dog-Path Garden. It's all to do with paths - particularly little paths which lead down to the water. Do little paths need something at their dead-end, for example a small garden seat? What if there is already a park bench ageing gracefully less than ten feet away on the grass?

 After a couple of windy days the leaves have all fallen onto the ground!
Scarlet Oak Tree Leaves

The obvious question now needs asking - should this same garden bench be shifted down to the water? Life was so much simpler before I cut down a waterside Pittosporum and limbed up its neighbour. There was no room for anything. But think of the burbling watery ambience of a properly contoured seat (with support!) placed next to the sparkling rippling water...

The Dog-Path Seat :
This simple seat is a favourite winter seat, and is right on the edge of the water race.

And one more question - can one have too many waterside seats? It is clear that my gardening weekend has started with some serious mental dilemmas. Perhaps an hour or two of basic digging and weeding will calm the creative urges down a bit?

Verbascum Invaders

I have also reluctantly decided that Verbascums are not allowed on this side of the water race. This may be the first time I have foreseen a problem and dealt to it before things got out of hand! Witness the waterside Gunnera - all my plants have arrived from upstream, and I have so far welcomed them with open gardening arms.

 How much they've grown since their arrival! Oops...
Water-Side Gunnera

Good morning to Stumpy the cat, sitting on my lap as I write. Good morning to puppy, peering at me through the glass doors. We've already been on our energetic early morning garden walk - incredibly there are now many bare trees, and piles of autumn leaves littering the lawns.

Cotinus :
I grow the purple leafed variety of Cotinus. We call them smoke bushes.

The reds and golds are gone - just orange colours of rust are left (particularly on the Cotinus trees and the Copper Beech). In the pond paddock I can't see the edge of the garden border for dull brown Oak tree leaves. I guess the Moosey Autumn Leaf Festival is almost over. Please let the Moosey Raking Leaves and Making Leaf Mould Festival begin!

And please let the Moosey Twittering in Journal Festival stop - there is far too much real gardening to do out there! I still haven't planted the new hebes. I still haven't chopped down the phlox stalks. I still haven't spread all the ash and mulch. I still haven't organised the new river stones for path edges in the Hump (replacing the firewood logs which are needed to warm the house at night). Hopeless!

Mid Afternoon, Apres Gardening...

Good mid-afternoon to Stumpy the cat, sitting on my lap again. There is a gardening dictum, which states:

Well, I almost did nothing in the Dog Path Garden. I re-dug the edge (oops - it's quite a bit bigger), shifting in some Stachys and some variegated iris clumps. I straightened and fattened the existing little path, and moved the existing Dog-Path Garden seat over about two feet. I don't know if I'll move it to the other side of the big red-bronze flax though - the winter sun won't reach (even in May it's low in the sky, hidden behind the big driveway gum tree).

 I hope Smoocher gets better!
Smoocher the Ginger Kitten

Smoocher (our recovering kitten) turned up over the water race - he smooched and 'talked' to me, then sat on my lap on the Dog-Path seat. Naturally I had to stop work immediately! Smoocher is going to be a very well-fed cat for the next weeks - so far today he's had person-chicken for breakfast, person-beef for lunch, and person-salmon for afternoon tea. Tiger his sister, on the other hand, is a furry rugby ball shape - she could do with a cat-diet.

I may return to the garden later. I may not. But I did finally remember to plant the hebes in the Hump.

 They flower in autumn through to winter.
My New Hebes

Sunday 15th May

What shall I do first today? The Dog-Path Garden is going well, but I've come to a very messy part where there are gorse and broom treelets growing through the shrubs. The logistical problem of the blocked Dog-path has not been solved yet. I need more river stones - when don't I need more river stones? What am I going to do around that big flax?

I think I will ask Stephen to dig out the gorse and broom (and the waterside cutty grass) - that seems like a manly sort of job. While he is busy I can peer at the path from different angles and glide in and out of the flax - and hopefully make a sensible decision. I will get the digging-man before he has a chance to escape. Enough talk. Now it's time for action.

 She always keeps me company when I work over the water race.
Jerome the Cat

Much Later...

It's now just 4 pm and I have slowly, basically, without tiring or moaning, gardened all day. My only break was to race down to the nearest nursery and buy a new pair of secateurs and a pair of gardening gloves. As I write this the fire (flax leaves, prunings, gorse and broom) is smoking and burning away. The Dog-Path Garden is clear - the path ends sensibly at the seat, and I am happy with the edge curves. The Copper Beech tree looks really beautiful in its new enlarged garden, its leaves shining rusty-orange in the sun.

I had superb cat-company - Smoocher and Tiger and the elegant champagne-grey Jerome. There were no fights - and Smoocher climbed the resident Cabbage tree. Slowly he regains his strength and his sense of outdoor adventure.

Rose Standards

There is now room for another standard rose (hee hee) to join Friesia - it could be another Friesia, or perhaps a creamy white. I swiped a rose catalogue from the nursery - I'm very tempted by the Burgundy Iceberg. And there are some new David Austin roses I've never seen before. So a great gardening weekend ends as it began, with the head gardener dreaming and scheming and planning to spend money on plants. Hmm...