A trial run...

There's A Path in Here Somewhere...

This afternoon I'm expecting two lovely visitors, who will be a trial run for the Garden Club's twilight visit in four weeks time. If the paths work, the lawn edges are trimmed, and the water features are presented well, then I should get away with 'it'.

Sunday 10th January

Alas, 'it' encompasses large and disgraceful things too numerous to mention. I need to weed underneath the roses in the Hazelnut orchard, and canes need tying up. The Wattle Woods borders need total tidying. The very back of the Shrubbery needs weeding, mulching and watering.

All the little Agaves in pots need to be wheeled to the back of the glass-house where my plants-in-waiting should live (not on the drive, to get run over by cars). Roses in the Dog-Path Garden desperately need dead-heading. I could go on, and on, and on...

But back to the paths and the watering. The Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden has completely lost two paths, so this is where I will work first. But even before that I'll put on the hoses in the Shrubbery (can't be too careful, having planted so many new old roses in the heat of summer). The Wattle Woods interior and the top of the Frisbee Border need help too, I think.

 Getting ready for the visitors.
Mowing the Lawns

Aargh! There are huge pieces of gum bark in Rusty the dog's Lavender garden. This needs clearing out...

A Twilight Tour...

Thoughts... I wonder if the Garden Club realises how terribly modern it is to have a 'Twilight' tour. Packs of teenage girls might want to join, in case they meet a romantic vampire in the Moosey Garden...

 This came to my garden with my very first rugosas - years ago!
Unknown Rose - Possibly Topaz Jewel

Enough! I am procrastinating, and this is a morning for advanced action. Wish me luck!

Much, Much Later...

I worked so hard! I decided to trim rather than dig to make the paths passable, and I scraped loads and loads of rubbish from the Wattle Woods in a flash! My visitors are rose lovers, but country is their style - so all my black-spotted leaves didn't spoil things. They think they might be able to identify my woodshed rambler.

 The view from over the water race.
My New White Seat

New Garden Seat

The new white wire seat they dropped off is installed on Duck Lawn. The recently trimmed Leyland hedge forms a rough backdrop, but of course the sitter faces out towards beauty and greenery.

There's a 180 degree gaze from the Hen House Garden to Middle Garden, and all the lovely trees and shrubs across the water race towards the house to enjoy. And the white flowering Lychnis rather complements the seat's colour - that's a nice touch!

Shabby Chic?

I rather like the look of a beautiful white seat abandoned in a rough paddock - there's a nonchalance about it all. And I'm wondering - is this the 'shabby chic' style I'm trying to understand? Hmm...

And by golly I'm glad I've got gnomes for visitors to meet and enjoy. The family which lives by the pond are a real hoot, and provide a fun talking point. I didn't have gnomes last time the Garden Club visited.

The Garden Mess!

But - oh dear. Naturally as I walked the visitors around I saw all the garden mess - too much garden mess. I saw weeds I hadn't tackled, edges I hadn't trimmed, gardens I'd completely forgotten about, and all the areas which suffer in summer through lack of water. I heard myself apologising on more than one occasion. Silly gardener!

 Golden Elm, a purple Cotinus, and a red Prunus.
Tree Foliage

Beautiful Trees

The visitors saw things I take completely for granted - like the large trees which encircle the Driveway Lawn (a deep purple Prunus, a Cotinus, and a yellow Golden Elm) and my beautiful Dogwoods on the water's edge of the Dog-Path Garden. So there's the trade-off!

And now I'm inside, it's raining, the wind is whistling and roaring, and the temperature has dropped. But it's late in the afternoon, and I've had a lovely day.

Monday 11th January

Right. I have learnt my lesson. If a path starts to go somewhere, then a nice visitor is quite entitled to wander down it to see where it goes. And if it leads to the messiest, most forgotten piece of garden in the Moosey property, then a sensitive gardener (me) has to get over it.

And next time, do one of two things. Either tidy and weed the offending destination area before the visit, or block the path with a large pot or a chair. No visitor would be rude enough to push past an obstacle.

Brooding at Dawn

Waking up at dawn the day after the visitors, then brooding over the state of the path which lead to the mess just won't do. So after my cup of tea I'm off to clean the whole area up. Cordylines need buckets of water thrown on them, and I need to get the hoses in as close as possible to help the Pittosporums. I think it's only a superficial mess...

 But this one is, I think, rather common.
Yet Another Unknown Rose

Non-Gardening Partner is always blunt (and helpful?) at such times. 'Your garden can't all be perfect at once' he says. But sometimes - for example when the local Garden Club visits again (aargh!) - I think I want it to be. I don't want to be unfavourably surprised by a gardening disgrace, like that Cordyline glade and its weedy path. And blaming the lack of irrigation just isn't on. I've got legs. I've got buckets. End of argument.

 The results of my day's work.
Ha! Spot the Cleared Path!

Four Happy Hours Later...

The network of paths which I was so embarrassed about is now clear. I've pulled out old Honesty from the gardens, and I'm watering with the hose. And - hmm - the mess wasn't as bad as it seemed when I had my visitors in tow. Funny that!

I've widened the entrance path, and the grasses along the edge look amazing. Those Cordylines were actually OK, and I'd rather they experienced life without irrigation and got their root systems organised on their own. So no buckets required.

Cat Company

Minimus the little grey cat played near me while I worked, climbing trees and leaping in and out of the garden foliage. She should be worn out, and have no energy to chase Lilli-Puss around the bedroom later tonight. Their relationship is a bit sad - Minimus just wants to play, but silly Lilli (by far the bigger cat) gets scared and runs away. Cat interactions in the Moosey house are volatile at times - apart from big Percy, who gets on with absolutely everyone. Lovely Percy - Percy the Peaceful...

Tiger :
Dear Tiger, You need to improve your attitude to life, as befits the Senior Cat and Feline Role Model at Mooseys...

More cat thoughts - eek! Not only is Tiger the tortoiseshell now Senior Moosey Cat, but I see that 2010 is the Year of the Tiger. Oh dear - all this elevation will go to her head. She needs to behave properly - stop trying to bust into the pantry, for example...