Good for the garden, bad for the gardener...

The first October week ends with some rather nippy weather. Rain, of course, is always good for the garden and bad for the gardener - for this gardener, at least, who does not fancy being muddy and cold.

 There are just a few patches of yellow around.
The Daffodils are Nearly Over

Thursday 5th October

As well as the weather, the weekly spam titles in my e-mail have taken a startling turn - do you think that somehow 'they' know? This week it's all about me aging, and me getting too fat, two things I am definitely doing (gracefully?) at the moment! Aargh! Don't worry - my spring-being-sensible-eating-healthy plan has kicked in - a great excuse to buy loads of fresh asparagus.

My Glass-House :
My glass-house is a great place to work when it's windy or cold.

This morning I'll be working in the glass-house - the wind is rather too cold to do much else. I have two huge bags of potting mix, and lots of seedlings to organise. The exciting thing about having chooks is that one can't have too many silver beet seedlings, or spinach seedlings, or even lettuce seedlings! I could even have a chook vegetable patch! Hee hee...

Animal Report

Rusty the dog will not be with me - he is in the deepest dog-disgrace ever known to a Moosey dog. He will be spending the day either shut in his dog-motel or on his lead, with me at the other end. No further comment. Haru the sociable lamb is brilliant - she runs to the fence for her bottle, and then runs back to the flock. Often when I check the sheep all three lambs are together, heads down, concentrating on their grass munching. Nice. And the Moosey cats are as lovely as ever - I have my special kitten painting of Fluff-Fluff and Beige-Puss in a photo-frame on my desk. What beautiful little boys!

 Beautiful after spring rain - scruffy if it gets too dry.
Pale Blue Violets

Right. It's time to brave this cold, ridiculous weather. Two days ago we had 62mm of rain - a month's worth all at once. Yesterday was so cold and stormy that the walking trip was cancelled. I will be sheltered in the glass-house. If I work really, really hard I am allowed one piece of left-over home-made sushi with my morning coffee! Yum!

Afternoon, Late...

+5 My seed work went really well. Fluff-Fluff kept me company, sometimes sitting on the pots, other times trying to 'help' by hiding in the bag of potting mix. I now have a nice little troupe of variegated pelargoniums, and trays and trays of annual pink lavateras and yellow pansies. More variety would be nice...

 Inside my glass-house.
Scrophularia in Pots

In two non-gardening rainy days all plants in the Birthday Rose Garden have doubled in size and green-ness. Some little blue irises are flowering, and many of the peonies have buds. And immediately over the water race a rhododendron is fully flowering for the first time. It is a fruity, apricot-tangerine colour, and looks very tropical and flamboyant - and big! My goodness! What a nice surprise! No matter how hard I try to keep an eagle eye on everything, there's always a plant which slips through my surveillance.

Friday 6th October

I've done two hours weeding in the vegetable garden and the borders along the back fence. A lavender quintet is planted between the two Mermaid roses. I can see little shoots growing from the rose bases - my drastic pruning has shocked them into producing new growth. About time, I might add. Funny, though, how Friday still feels like Friday, even for a busy, fully retired lady-gardener. One winds down a little... Where's that good book I'm reading?

 Shining green leaves. Pity that it seeds around a bit!

Saturday 7th October

And funny how Saturday has that traditional weekend feel. I am recharged, full of plans and ideas, itching to write a list - just showing off, I suspect. What a busy weekend I am going to have. Firstly the perennials in the glass-house can come outside - hey, wait a minute! I'm supposed to be writing a list!

Glass-House List

Move perennials outside.
Stachys, scrophularia, catmint, lupins, and heuchera all move to the back benches.
Move pots outside.
Daisies, pelargoniums, cannas, and succulents all move to suitable sheltered places in the garden.
Sow seeds.
More herbs and more assorted flowers - and silver beet and spinach for my chooks.

But there's more...

General Garden Maintenance List

  1. Lay newspaper and mulch in Pond Paddock.
  2. Sow grass seed where required.
  3. Spread compost in the new Wattle Woods.
  4. Clear up piles of firewood, rake and weed all paths.

Ha! Two lists, and they don't even mention the church plant sale (must visit, must visit) and the rose nursery (ditto, ditto). And the organising of non-gardening partner - timber supplies for hen-house maintenance, lawns to mow, heavy logs to shift, trailer load of compost to pick up... And then I have to do artistic things like take photographs of peony buds, dwarf irises, and new rhododendrons - and paint the welcome sign.

Much Later, Apres Gardening...

The plant sale was disappointing - I went in clutching my wallet, and came out clutching one bag of purple and white irises. But I am happy to report the purchase of seven new roses - three rugosas (Pink Grootendorst, Roseraie de l'Hay. and Souvenir de Philemon Cochet), two bush roses (Nancy Steen and Michelangelo) and two David Austins (Tamora and Charlotte). They are all planted in the newly weeded and composted Hen-House Garden.

Pink Rhododendron :
I am really fond of pink rhododendrons.

Tomorrow I will attack the Wattle Woods. Piles of new compost wait to be raked and spread. The pink rhododendrons are flowering even more madly - I wonder what they are called? And when did I plant them in here? It's amazing what fresh air and sunshine can do.

Finally, all the glass-house plants on the list have been shifted onto the benches outside. Everything is watered. Plants are like children - feed and water them and they usually behave!