A totally full-time gardener...

March is going to be interesting, different, and hopefully lovely, as I get used to being a totally full-time gardener. Cross fingers that my journal ramblings don't get too boring...

Wednesday 1st March

Two more days, involving three more hours in the classroom, and then I am an officially retired teacher! I can find all the Mathematics I need in the garden (for example, pruning trees at the correct angle). I can spend more time with my new best friends (kittens Fluff-Fluff and Beige Puss).

 My Dog-Path garden seat, surrounded by stones.
Seat by the Water

I have also realised that I do not need to do two or three things at once any more. Anyone who has been a mother will have had lots of practice at the multi-tasking-for-life skill. Now I can actually have tea ceremonies - not the elegant Japanese kind, but never-the-less they can be unhurried, contain certain protocols, and be on a garden bench surrounded by a well-cared-for garden. No more slurping while walking to the car to go in to work.

So today I have been practising for successful retirement by NOT drinking my coffee, watching the cricket on TV and reading my book all at the same time. Now I'm about to go outside - no rush - to plant the divided up Renga Renga plants. I am in a RIP Iris confusa mood - and I do mean rip, as in rip them out - I fancy that mass plantings of Renga Renga will look better. My target area is the top of the Wattle Woods - one of the first areas to be planted, when Iris confusa was all I had to fill up this dry shady space.

March Nursery Sales

Great excitement - my local (nursery, that is!) has its big March sale this weekend, promising me a fully stocked bargain bin. Now I remember - this is the first of the great Easter Plant Sales. 8 am, this Saturday - hee hee!

Thursday 2nd March

Even greater excitement! I get a special invitation to preview the nursery sale, one day before it is open to the 'general public'. How good does that feel! Little things can be big rewards. And I deserve to be rewarded for working hard clearing the Wattle Woods. I'm afraid that another patch of Iris confusa has been removed - there isn't enough moisture for this plant to look any good. It's like a head of very unhealthy hair - when I try and comb out the dead bits great chunks come out, roots and all. As long as I apply moderation and remember that it looks lovely when well-watered in late spring (that's the Iris confusa flowering season).

 My stylish purple flowering biennial.
Angelica Gigas

And before I go into work for the second to last time (hee hee) a word of thanks to the plants which are flowering at the moment. Sometimes the summer sun is so bright and glaring that I forget to notice you! Blue and white agapanthus, red dahlias, and Angelica Gigas with your silly purple flower-heads - you are most welcome!

Friday 3rd March - The Big Day

A ceremonial note on the very last morning that I have to in to work. Just one more class (one more hour) and then a farewell, with cheque for dedicated teaching service from the social club, which I immediately plan to spend as I drop in, valued customer, to preview the plant sale...

'One more hour and my work will be throuuuuuugh! One hour! One houuuur!' - with apologies to the Bee Gee singer with the rich, high voice.

 Lovely colour in the late summer garden.
Blue Agapanthus Flowers

Am I Blue? Hee hee...

What else can I say? Probably rather a lot which would be inappropriate in a gardening journal. Retirement will be a jolly good reason to get more learned about terribly serious things - like pruning, and dahlia types, and the control of moss on lawns, which no longer need to be abandoned, scruffy, ill-kept, un-mown, on weekdays. Ha! Phoenix will rise from the teaching retirement ashes - a New-Age Gardener is Born...

To more mundane things - the big hedge trimmer is coming this morning to do the first cutting and shaping of the Leyland shelter trees over the water race. The driver of the trimmer reckons he'll have no trouble either fitting through the gate or dodging a rhododendron planted on the garden's edge. Should be interesting when I return, tear stained face, sadly contemplating life without teaching - hedge mess, one massacred rhododendron, fence posts strewn around the paddock...


Hee hee! I am back! Grinning from ear to ear, ready to hit the nursery sale tomorrow morning (the bargain bin was locked away from prying eyes, but I found some cheap pots of Aeoniums and lots of bargain rhododendrons). In post-retirement euphoria I have tidied up the Moosey Office, which I suspect will now get a lot more use. With a celebratory glass of wine I will write my first retirement list, then watch the rugby. Yes!

Saturday 4th March

We are back from the nursery sale, with Aeoniums, Pittosporums, Flaxes, and a lone bargain bin Ceanothus - not the expansively wild pickings I was imagining, but lots of fun. The nursery sale of my dreams was much better (visited when lying snug in bed at dawn) - it had tables of luscious coloured flax hybrids underneath a sign for two dollars each, and bags of blue leafed veined hostas - past their best, five for ten dollars...

The Hedge Trimmer :
We get the big trimmer in once a year to keep the shelter belts under control.

My real time gardening morning is on hold, due to inclement weather - eight degrees (Celsius), windy (southerly, direct from the Antarctic), and wet (this bit is OK - good for the garden and all that). The hedge trimmer is parked (abandoned?) in the front sheep paddock, and we have an unseasonal fire blazing in the log-burner. The kittens are fascinated - their very first seriously warm thing! So is it time to get the winter firewood organised? No way - summer isn't supposed to have finished yet!

What a Wimp!

OK - If I wasn't such a wimp I would be outside in the mud digging planting holes for Pittosporums and squashing the Aeoniums into my spare large blue pot. After taking puppy for a wet-and-wild wind-blown walk down the road, of course. When the weather gets tough, the tough get gardening...