I will not be intimidated...

I will not be intimidated by cold southerly rain forecast, followed by snow to 400 meters. I am inspired, recently returned from visiting pre-summer gardens in England and Brussels. Should it snow I will retire to the glasshouse.

 Big red flax, and a Copper Beech tree.
Colours in the Winter Garden

Sunday 4th June

There is much to do. Much earlier this morning (at 3 am!) I got up to record my gardening revelations regarding the use (or non-use) of synthetic black weed-mat in the Welcome Garden. Well, that is just the tip of the iceberg - an unfortunate phrase, considering the predicted day's high of nine degrees Celsius. I have much, much more to do today. A list is needed - apologies, for I sense it will be a long and involved one.

Winter Garden - Outside Task List

Shift stones from back of Pond Border.
It's official. The back of the Pond Garden, by the Gunnera, is being extended to the fence-line - giving more space, removing a silly strip of unmowable grass, and freeing up some stones.
Remove Weed-mat, replace with newspaper.
Enough said, after my 3 am attack of organic gardening guilt.
Systematically rake and mulch up the driveway.
The leaves go in bags, the mulch goes on the weeded garden.
Clear more of the Welcome Garden, and lay mulch.
The rubbish starts a new compost heap behind the small Leylands. Lay mulch anyway - newspaper can always be inserted later.
Justify, then organise new path.
Hee hee. The path can lead to the compost heap!

I'm also going to spend some money - a new garden seat, some trays of colourful pansies and polyanthus plants for my house pots, some sturdy native plants (quite a lot, actually - the phrase''mass planting' comes to mind) for the Welcome Garden. But there's more!

Winter Garden - Inside Task List

Ha! I will need two sets of thermals - perhaps the cheery stripes, and the subtle, serious navy blue? And one set of warm indoor clothes, positioned by the back door - and my wallet. And some cold courage. Simple!


Four hours of damp, hard work and the Welcome Garden is hugely improved - enlarged (hee hee), with a stone edge, the beginning of a cute path, and mulch. So far a spare Hebe and one surplus red Cordyline have been lovingly installed - I am buying the bulk plants tomorrow, when I'll definitely finish all tasks on list. Success! Now the cold rain is wetting my nearly finished, newly mulched garden. I did buy the new wooden garden bench to go in the Pond Paddock - and I covered the Gunnera crowns with folded-over leaves, to give protection from frost. I didn't get to the glasshouse - never mind.

 One of the last roses to stop for winter.
White Sparieshoop - Still Flowering

Monday 5th June

Seven degrees Celsius - aargh! I've been keeping warm raking up leaves, sweeping up leaves, and collecting and laying stones along the edge of the Welcome Garden - which is slowly but surely looking more welcoming! Must be that beautiful red cordyline (which has much fatter leaves than the four hundred and thirty six I saw crammed into London pots).

I still haven't bought the native plants, but my new garden bench is assembled. It will be wheelbarrowed into the Pond Paddock tomorrow. Another task which has been put off (yet again) is the glasshouse work - I expect there will be a frost tonight, so I can comfortably start work under cover tomorrow morning. And I am not allowing myself to write any more lists in this journal until the last one has been fully implemented (if that's the correct word).

Tuesday 6th June

Red Pelargonium :
I really only grow one type of pelargonium - variegated, with a cherry red flower.

No frost - lucky! So first thing I'll dig out the remaining daisies and pelargoniums - they've certainly been leading a charmed life, still in the ground this late. I will try to work hard all day, and maybe - just maybe - I can dig out the grass behind the Pond Border. And then - just maybe - I can install the new garden bench with proper garden ambience.

Maybe I can get enough stones to finish the Welcome Garden. Then I can take lots of wintry photographs. But first - I am cooking myself a real English breakfast, in memory of my quick trip to London. Ha! So much to do! And there are strong rumours of winter sun - yippee!

 And a Viburnum Tinus in flower.
Red Cordyline

Lunchtime, Very Sunny...

I've totally organized the variegated pelargoniums, and also raked up leaves by the glasshouse. Gradually the sun has warmed up the land. Next door's cattle beasts have been silently staring through the fence. Fluff-Fluff and B-Puss - that's B for Bashful, today - have been skittering around, jumping on and off the wheelbarrow. A quick lunch, then my happy day in the garden continues - I'm off to buy the new plants.

I also need rather a lot of newspaper to put underneath the mulch, and might sneak down the road at daybreak tomorrow, swiping all the neighbour's recycling newspaper piles. Hmm... Would it be more polite to put little leaflets in their letterboxes telling them I'm going to do this? Gardening crime rocks quiet country neighbourhood! It will be garden gnomes going missing next! Oops...