Have I done enough gardening this month?

Eek! August is nearly over! Have I noticed everything that is starting to grow and flower - the daffodils, the muscari, the purple honesty? Have I remembered to do half the garden maintenance tasks necessary for early spring? Have I done enough gardening this month?

 Underneath an old tree lucerne by the water - is this a good spot?
My Latest Garden Bench

Monday 29th August

Garden-time is zooming past too quickly - this must be a medium-old-lady phenomena. Short term memory will be going soon - then I'll only remember planting my first young-thing roses (Othellos, sweet smelling, dark and brooding like their Shakespeare namesake).

 With a green Phormium.
Pink Azalea


I'll remember when I first discovered that Catmint was a perennial and liked being trimmed back - a second flush of flowers - a magical early garden moment! Whereas now, right now, I should have finished the rose pruning, and the mulching, and the early spring weeding - before the seeds are set - and I can't remember where I've put the hoe.

I had a garden visitor yesterday who sat on the patio and commented that the Moosey garden wasn't very colourful. Privately I apologised to my patches of house garden daffodils, and my little blue crocuses - and the pink Azalea still blooming deep in the Island Bed, and the Nandina with clear reds and greens, and the warm pink and cream flaxes. I have two possible explanations:

  1. The Moosey garden is too green. But is this not the loveliest colour on earth?
  2. The Moosey garden is so big that spring colours get lost. I should definitely think bigger and buy in hundreds of new miniature daffodils, for example.

And if these fail to appease my slightly hurt gardener's pride, I can go back to the winter garden one month ago (that is if the long term memory allows it) and remember when things were a lot worse! Ha!

 Not colourful enough? Humph!
Colourful Flaxes by the Willow Tree

Back to today. What should I do first today? Do I have a choice? Weeding? Or weeding? or how about doing some weeding? Rusty the puppy and I will kick-start the morning (which is just a little chilly) with a long road walk. What about another dog-picnic for lunch? We could go to the mountains - visit nature's garden, full of beech trees and hebes and mosses...


It is an absolutely stunning day - warm, still, sunny, peaceful (though I think I can hear one distant chainsaw, and my old r * * * * * * ). I pruned two more rows in the Hazelnut Orchard, then sat down on the sunniest garden bench for lunch and reading - and fell asleep. Oops. My fingers are a bit sore again, so I thought they could be excused weeding - just for today! Do I have any problems? No way! Except puppy thinks that sleeping gardeners are pretty boring.

 These are lovely foliage plants too.
Spring Bergenias in Flower

Tuesday 30th August

I have time for a short, sensible weeding session before I go into work at lunchtime. I have even laid out my optimistic (i.e. clean) gardening clothes on a nearby chair. I did eventually do some dusk weeding yesterday around the house gardens - and it all seemed so easy! Perhaps a new rule - weed when already super-tired, so the analytical brain and emotional bits can just switch off. Then again, there's the good old perennial idea (hee hee) - hired help!

Puppy and the Hedgehog

On our starry starry night walk around the orchard last night puppy came across a huge hedgehog, and completely lost 'it' - that centered, responsive, well-behaved gardener's best friend dog-attitude. He squeaked and howled and broke into awful falsetto barking. I had to race back to the house to get the torch, imagining that puppy had, for example, broken his leg. Returning with the plots of recent detective novels racing through my brain (dog finds body of murder victim - in my Hazelnut Orchard?) I shone the torch on a very large, very spiky hedgehog, which puppy had been unsuccessfully trying to dig 'up'. Aargh!

Right. I have a mail order plant catalogue to peruse over my second cup of hot tea. I can buy darling Dahlias and/or glorious Gladioli, and get endless garden pleasure all summer - plus a garden explosion of colour (I think that comes from the Begonias). Is it really is that simple? And since when were groundcovers 'graceful'? There was nothing graceful about the invasive groundcover Hypericum I recently tried to dig out. Have I succeeded? Watch this space!

Lunchtime, with Clean Fingernails...

Ha! Weeding is easy! I've pruned another row of hazelnut trees, and weeded the rockery. Maybe the more one weeds the easier it gets? No more gardening today - what a pity! The sun is shining, the birds are twittering - it would be lovely to stay home and potter some more.

 Puppy often waits by the plum tree for his morning walk.
Spring in the Driveway

Wednesday 31st August

Aargh! It's my last day to complete all the August gardening tasks. What were they again? Weeding, rose pruning, weeding, rose pruning, weeding some more, rose pruning some more? Hmm... Actually I am doing very well. Today, if I weed the garden underneath the variegated Elm tree, the Driveway Garden, and the back of the Wattle Woods (by the dry-stream bed, oops, that which is supposed to be a little zigzag of quiet, running water) - I could reward myself with new plants.

I have to water the Camellias by the glass-house again, and repot the Silver Astelia which was mauled by puppy. I have one anonymous pink rose to shift, and more Hazelnut trees to prune. Puppy and I will then walk towards the West Coast (we won't get very far, but it sounds impressive). There is stuff to burn when we get back. And if it seems that I am talking about the very same things that I've been talking about for weeks, then such is the gently repetitive life of a real gardener!

After the burning I will properly test out the new Willow Tree garden bench with my book and a cup of late morning coffee. I will think about my whole garden, and I will be content.