Feeling as droopy as my daffodils...

Oh dear. I haven't started October very well. Mind you - only two days have passed. My gardening, however, has been uninspiring, and I'm feeling as droopy as my daffodils. And please, spammers, don't read too much into that phrase!

 Cats love to hide in the tussock grass.
Hello Percy

Thursday 2nd October

I spent the whole of the first October day walking in the mountains surrounded by Beech forest and Drachophyllum shrubs. Today all I've been doing is weeding. Five hours worth, mind you, and two quite distinct areas. First impressions first - now the Welcome Garden looks a little bit more welcoming. And there's room for a few new shrubs - maybe a couple of Photinias - since I chopped down a ragged old Hebe.

Then after lunch taken on the rustic garden benches (surrounded by flowering blue Rosemary and stone walls with the cutest little weed pockets) I took to the Island Bed, doing a general rough weed of the whole area. I know I haven't got all the sorrel roots out, and I haven't started on the creepy pieces of grass. That might be tomorrow's task - if I feel like weeding.

 In the Shrubbery.
Rosemary by the Stones

I do despair of journal writing if all I do this late-spring month is weeding. It's impossible to write creatively about this basic gardening activity, and who wants to hear about my sore hands? Ache, ache, ouch... I stubbornly refuse to find out the proper names of my most common weeds, so I can't even be informative.

Scary Weed

One particular weed is quite scary - at maturity the seeds explode out in a circle when it's touched. I first met this October weed fifteen years ago when I moved to Mooseys. Hmm... Memories... But that's something more cheerful than weeding to think about. I could buy the garden an anniversary birthday present...

 Looking quite messy - covered in pine pollen.
Purple Pansies

Friday 3rd October

Today I've only been in the garden for three hours. And guess what? I've been weeding the whole time. October is doomed to be the 'W for Weeding' month. But hang on a minute - why can't 'W' stand for something like 'Wonderful'? Well, I guess that's what the results of being a 'weedingful' month should be.

Anyway, I've been working up in the Shrubbery, and also in the small stone circle around the Big Gum Tree. Now a clump of big red tulips are flowering, and I've picked some fragrant spring flowers for the house. I think they're called Earlicheer - more like 'Latecheer', since most of my other daffodils are finished.

Othello :
Othello is one of my favourite David Austin roses - he's a rather fragrant bloke.

Something amazing has happened to my Othello rose - he's been the inspiration for one of the most beautiful watercolour paintings I've ever seen. It's made me think again about sharing time and talents. And how the most precious things have little to do with money. I wish I could play the piano as beautifully as the Othello painting, if that makes any sense.

Then again, thinking about money, I could hire an October weekend weeder, sit back and relax with my gardening books, or madly practice my piano. Would I enjoy the results? I'd like to think I would! Anyway, I'm allowed myself to go to tomorrow's plant sale at the nearby church with the money that I would have paid the piano tuner (only he cancelled). Connections, connections...

Saturday 4th October

Why would a disgruntled garden weeder get up really early on a Saturday morning? Because she is so ashamed at her attitude, and is going to put things right. Here goes. What rhymes with weeds?

Accompanied by early morning birdsong, I'm off into the glass-house to prick out more flower seeds.
Then I'm going to spread more horse manure on the new Driveway Garden.
I'll supervise some chain-sawing.
Then I'll try and spend time on general garden maintenance. I definitely need to trim the Miscanthus grasses, which are already sprouting new growth.

Right. I'm off. The norwest wind is howling, so the ambience will be - interesting - and there can be no fire burning. That doesn't mean that my work behind the pond in the Wilderness needs to stop. Perhaps I can finish the clearance today...

 Pretty flower face...
Lemon Pansy

Later, Mid-Afternoon...

Even though that hot, dry wind is blowing fiercely, and the trees are really noisy, yet I've worked hard, and happily, for three hours. Thanks to the church plant sale my Driveway Garden now has a Buddleia, a little Forsythia, and an anonymous rejected rose, possibly The Fairy. I also bought three pumpkin plants and a perennial labelled 'small sunflower'. It will be a type of yellow daisy...

NGP (Non-Gardening Partner) is almost available for chain-sawing. He is 'doing' sheep's bottoms in the front paddock, to get them all ready for shearing.

Seeds and Weeds

I've already spent an hour doing my seeds - and an hour's weeding. Now I'm ready to return to the garden. The first irises are out - dwarf pale blues and purples which run along the grass path through the Birthday Garden.

Aargh! I hear the chain-saw. I'm off!

 A beautiful pale blue dwarf variety.
The First Iris

Much Later...

Excellent results! I pointed to trees and NGP sawed them down - a dead Ake Ake by the garage, several Pittosporums taking up too much space, a scruffy Cotoneaster by the pond. Then I finished my day with another hour's gentle weeding in the Birthday Rose Garden. There are heaps of beautiful self-sown cornflowers and pansies in here. These pretty flowers are well worth the fussy style of weeding that they require. Must remember to give staking support to the peonies.