The new waterside garden...

I need to think very seriously about the new waterside garden. I need a shortlist of - say - six great ideas. And I also need to think about the possible integration of bridges and paths. Building a garden around a new Monet style bridge would surely create some sense of cohesion!

Tuesday 14th August

It's a worry, when a new seedling idea pops into the gardening mind, germinates, and starts to grow randomly. But my only constraints are digging energy and that elusive thing called 'vision'. Hmm... I need to look in some gardening books, maybe... And do heaps of thinking. I walk past this proposed garden every day to feed the hens. So it will be much enjoyed...

 The Moosey scarecrow is asbent from this line-up.
Garden Club Scarecrows


Today it's wet, cold, and gloomy, and I have got myself involved in a Scarecrow Making Workshop. In a fit of Garden Club friendship I put my name down weeks ago, and now I'm feeling petulant - I don't think I want to go. I don't want a scarecrow! So let me turn this into a positive experience, and at least decide what my scarecrow is (Male? Female? Witch? Country bumpkin?), what it will wear (Pyjamas? Scarves and floating skirts? Checked shirt and dungarees?), and where it will go (By the hen house? In the orchard? In the rubbish skip?). I am totally uninspired, and struggling. How about a tuxedo-ed 007 James Bond? Hmm...

 With some wallflowers, yet to flower.
Red Flax


I suppose I had fun. But my scarecrow (an old lady in a floating garden visiting dress, shawl, and gumboots) has been consigned to the deep depths of the garage.

Wednesday 15th August

There will be much excitement today as I pace around the proposed new garden area. And much mental straining, squinting of eyes and peering into the middle distance. Blank canvases are so difficult - I just can't 'see' anything, well nothing with three dimensional space and proper proportions, anyway.

I can't start digging until the frost fades - at the moment it's minus two degrees (Celsius) and all the lawns are silver. And nor should I start something totally new! There is plenty of old boring stuff to do, like finish my seed sowing, finish the Welcome Garden planting, finish the proper potting of the new red fountain cordylines, finish the Hen House Garden path...

My walking group is hiking up, across, and down Mount Richardson today, and I have absented myself for very shaky reasons - it's too cold, and lots of fresh snow fell up there yesterday. To confuse any feelings of laziness and guilt, my gardening day will have to be supreme.

Later That Afternoon...

Oh dear! I have actually started digging, after laying out pieces of firewood and stones to mark the curves of the new garden. I've been working for only three hours, but I'm really pleased with my efforts. My glass-house is now being embraced gently by garden - it looks so much nicer! So I am digging a new garden, while so many things remain unfinished. Hee hee.

 Before the digging started...
The Glass-House Garden Idea

I think I know where one tree goes (I've marked the spot with a pot), and the new curved bridge (hint) goes across the water to Duck Lawn. It will be able to be seen from the other end of the property. The three Scabrosa roses destined for the fence line opposite the Welcome Garden are to be redirected to the front of the glass-house. There's a good reason for this (there always is). In approximately one month the Hump trees are to be topped, and there will be much crashing down of large logs and much branch and leaf mess. Planting anything in here, at the very end of the Hump, is silly at the moment.

 I daren't look!
My Messy Glass-House

The only down-side to the day - I didn't finish planting my seeds. And my cat company was disappointing. I started off with six cats, but only two lasted the distance. Fluff-Fluff sat on the glass-house bench in the sun, while Histeria the black tabby kitten leapt on and off my newly dug garden.+5

Mouse Alert

Aargh! Mouse Alert! As I write this B-Puss has come inside with a wriggling rodent to show me. Rusty dog! I need your - ahem - services. Huge apologies to B-Puss, who is now wandering around, perplexed, looking for that which he has lost. What a good cat!

Thursday 16th August

I'd like to thank my humble Hellebores, particularly the patch by Rooster Bridge, for looking so beautiful at the moment. These flowers shine in a mass planting. And some new miniature daffodil clumps in the Birthday Rose Garden, right on the edge, are just starting to flower. Unfortunately these are best appreciated lying full length on the wet grass, nose to the trumpet, so to speak.

 Winter rose.
White Hellebore

Hmm... Is this a good digging day? Because there is much digging to do - I wonder if I can finish it before the weekend? Finish? Ha! When have I finished anything? I must structure my gardening day mentally so that I can still be digging in the late afternoon. A system of food rewards, to be administered on the hour - or a rose buying reward, and a five o'clock movie (Harry Potter?) to finish...

Food and Roses

The trick will be to start too early and keep up the blood sugar levels. Food and new roses can be my rewards. I will be digging near the running water - this should sooth me into a gentle rhythm. And wouldn't it be grand if I could get nine cats for gardening cat-company? Nine cats are not too many...

Much Later...

Six hours digging. Six hours! What a legend! It's too late to go to the movie, so I'll stay home and crow. Hee hee. I have probably dug nearly one half of the new garden and path area. I've wheeled in some home-made compost, planted some irises and the three Scabrosa roses, and laid most of the proper path. And I've sown the rest of my seeds for summer flowers.

 For my flower gardens.
Seeds are Sown


And something else has happened, another oops in the life of the Moosey Garden. Younger son came outside to view the new work in progress, and to comment artistically about proportion, curve shape etc. He was very encouraging about my plans, and loved the idea of the arched bridge. Then he made the greatest suggestion - that a huge part of the back fence is removed, and the small strip of garden there be converted back to lawn. So rather than being confined to two long narrow grass strips, the back lawn would become a larger, more curvy, shapely thing. It's a brilliant idea, design-wise. Garden-wise the only serious casualties are the two thuggish Mermaid roses.

The more I think about reclaiming the lawn here the more I can sense it will work. It's so practical. I'm about to dig out the main piece of the new garden by the glass-house, so I remove these turfs (or is it turves?) carefully and relay them where the thin fence garden was, literally swapping lawn for plants. The flax, the large Senecio, the daylilies and the cherry rambling rose can stay. And getting rid of the fence is my perfect chance to also get rid of the Gerbe rose growing in front of my compost heap. This rose is mean-spirited and unspectacular, except when covered in black spot in late summer. Aargh!

Lawns and Gardens

And if I need more pieces of lawn I can remove the small strip of grass leading to the woodshed, and turn it into a proper path. The two gardens on either side of the rose pergola - the vegetable garden, and the messy garden around my compost heap - can be integrated and reshaped so they look like one. Ha! Younger son has been my design catalyst - what a pity I can't turn him into a digger!

 With a flowering Viburnum.
Fat Red Cordyline

Right. That's my work for the next week - or month - sorted. Oh dear. What a creative day! Just think - if I'd gone to see Harry Potter I'd have missed out on son's input, and thus the back lawn would have stayed boring, narrow, and uninviting.

Friday 17th August

Oh dear. Oh dear. It would have been much easier to have gone to Harry Potter! This afternoon I started my turf removal plan - it's gone really well, but has taken me two hours to shift and carefully lay just over a square metre. But plants I dug out, like daffodils and Scrophularia and Henchera, have been replanted, and fiercely robust clumps of Shasta daisies have been left perching on the edge of the water race while I decide what to do with them.

I have to convince NGP (Non-Gardening Partner) to help me dig out the fence posts this coming weekend. Wish me luck - it is extremely difficult to interest him in the removal of anything in the ground, living or not.