Garden memories...

 In front of the Walled Garden.
Head Gardener at Armadale.

Simple things lift a winter gardening spirit - like seeing again all my summer holiday pictures, and me smiling in front of a Walled garden in Scotland. I absolutely love these garden memories - and I'm glad I courageously interrupted other visitors to get Head Gardener photographs!

Saturday 11th August

Ha! I have just been working, working, working - putting all the new photographs on my Scotland's Finest Gardens pages. My Moosey's Finest Garden will just have to wait! I love my web-master very much, and to show my appreciation I'll be sending him heaps more new photos.


You see, finally there are specks of real colour, like the first wee daffodil by the house decking - just one, all on its own, beautifully yellow. The first pink Camellias are looking lovelier each day, as is the fragrant red wallflower. I walk past it to feed the chooks, and as long as their food doesn't compete for my nasal attention...

 Yippee! Spring is springing into action.
The First Daffodil

Right. Yesterday I fancied something different, so I weeded along the water race and planted little hebes and a divided red flax on its sloping bank. Muddy knees, muddy bottom, but a non-tiring afternoon, in the warm sun, with cat and kitten company. Today I am planning something more vigorous.

Finish The Paths

I have paths to finish - aargh! That word - finish - should be banned from this journal, as it causes much older-lady angst.

Another aargh! I need to grab my garden helper (who is busy pruning in the orchard) and get him to collect some more wood shavings with me for the paths. I can also pick up a bag of potting mix to properly install my red fountain cordylines in their eye-catching pots.

Much, Much Later...

I had a great day, even though the nor-west wind was fierce and noisy. I've finished the main Hen House path, and I've also weeded along more of the water race. My garden is starting to look well groomed - that's exciting! Those path surfaces are a good trick, though - they actually look so good! My cats enjoy walking and running over them, too. Hee hee. Now if I could only get the garden helper to wheel in the wood shavings...

 Hissy for short.
Histeria the Kitten

Sunday 12th August

It's Finish The Paths Day. In anticipation that my path making will be successful I am going to take some 'How-To-Build-Botanical-Gardenish-Paths photographs this morning. I estimate I have another 15 barrowfuls of shavings to spread. I'm using up old rolls of weed-mat for the base layer, and I can't see why these paths shouldn't last. A slight hiccup yesterday as my chooks got out - the wind blew open their door, and they started gleefully path-scratching in the wood-shavings.

 Against the winter sky.

Enjoying Weeding?

Ghastly to admit it - I've rather enjoyed my quiet muddy-bottom weeding sessions of the last two days. It's being near the running water, and just enjoying the shining flaxes and grasses which I've planted waterside. As yet I haven't planted any roses...

I'm going to claim a slightly sore shovelling shoulder (as one does, as one does) and see if I can get help for an hour. This does not let non-gardening partner off the 'waterwheel, Monet bridge, and Welcome Garden steps' hook, however.


Another wonderful day in the garden. Most of my seeds are sown. Two more Wattle Woods paths are covered (thanks, NGP). I've cleaned out the chook house, properly potted up the red cordyline near Henworld, and cleared the length of the small wriggling stream.

And regarding that little stream - NGP, bless him, has found a design for a waterwheel with little buckets, which slurp their water into a chute, or in my case the top of the wriggling stream. It's the perfect birthday present, in my personal opinion...

New Plans

And I asked him about the possibility of developing quite a fat garden area opposite Duck Lawn, by the water race, near the glasshouse. Yes - as long as I leave the grass wide enough for vehicle access I can.

Wow! I might start thinking about a couple of small trees. We reminisced about how overgrown and messy the water race used to be when we first arrived. The visual improvements are huge. And we are so lucky to have a built-in water feature.

 Clean green leaves against clean blue water.
Waterside Flax

Monday 13th August

It's cold and wet - six degrees Celsius - and I'm inside plotting and planning. Oh how I wish I had vision! The brand new, never-before-thought-about garden area by the water race has me completely perplexed.

 Glorious David Austins...
My Old Roses Book

Thinking in the Rain

This morning in the rain I tried walking around imaginary trees and shrubs, to get the feel of things. Hopeless - no better, just wetter! Here are my initial, soggy thoughts:

The plantings would need to link to those over the water, as if the water came running through at the end of the design process. This means green Astelias, and shining grasses. Aha! Perhaps this is a place into which my ninety-plus Gunnera seedlings could be transplanted. There is no place here for roses...

New Rose Book

Defiantly I lit the wood burner and curled up with my new rose book - 'Glorious Old Roses' its title, with luscious photographs, like those in a glossy new age foodie book. I was expecting massive Rambling Rectors and Banksia Luteas, but no - it was more than half full of David Austin roses.

Hmm... I know that DA is a VIP - more precisely a Very Important Rose Breeder (VIRB) and I know he has taken all that is glorious from old roses and incorporated them into his breeding programme, but...