Loose ends...

'Tis the day before the Garden Club visit. I intend to tidy up all the loose ends in my garden. This includes loose weeds, loose paths, and loose edges. Perhaps a few loose shrubs will need a trim, too, by a gardener in loose trousers...

Monday 8th February

I've been lying snug in bed visualising trimming the edges of the house lawns. What's there to visualise? Just get out there and do it, I reckon. So I've got up earlier than usual. This morning I attend to details. No detail is too small. I'll drink lots of water. I'll leave no weed unpulled, no path unraked, no plastic pot un-picked-up...

 Such a strong colour - I love it!
Kronenburg Roses

Yesterday the garden looked quite flowery and colourful, so I'll take lots of photographs. Things that took my tired eye - the golden Coreopsis in the Shrubbery, red roses (Hot Chocolate?) in the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden, the brilliant white Shasta daisies along the water race. Textures - the beautiful towering Eucalypt trees in the Wattle Woods, the Anemanthele grasses with their fluffy seed heads... I think there is much to admire in the garden. With those positive thoughts swirling around my head I will get outside and start my work.

Three Hours Later...

I've completed my first session. The Hump paths are raked and clear of overhanging grasses, the Driveway gardens are weeded, and I've even pruned overhanging tree branches. Raked paths - raked paths - they are definitely the answer. Have I actually got too many paths? Don't think so... But I definitely have a lot of edges to maintain.

 Such a sweetie!
Kaya the New Moosey Cat

This Will Be Easy...

Right. I've had a late morning tea. Now I go out and tidy around the Frisbee Border. This will be easy. The Lychnis plants are definitely coming out - there's not much else that can be done. The Frisbee Lawn has its summer status - in other words it's dry, and not very green. I will trim around its edge. Easy!

Two More Hours Later...

I'm back. The Frisbee Border is done, and I've cleaned up Rusty the dog's Lavender garden. His pink-flowering Lavender hedge is trimmed, I've pulled out Lychnis from the side of the garage, trimmed around past the rockery and back along the water race edge. Kaya the black cat has been semi-gardening - she's been schmoozing a piece of catmint, and miaowing at me whenever I trundle past with the wheelbarrow. Now comes a big decision. As my energy (both physical and mental) starts to flag I'll choose one more garden area.

Bees and Butterflies

One observation regarding the garden. This is an amazing time for butterflies and bees. Orange Ligularia flowers, blue Agastache, pink Echinacea, and those insignificant little red flowers on the variegated Scrophularia are all bee magnets. The little bumble bees also like my dahlias. Buddleia bushes are in full flower now and their purple flowers are covered with butterflies. The garden really feels and sounds busy.

 Underneath the rose Crepuscule.
Ligularia Flowering

Aargh! I've just thought of something I need to do. One of my big Phormiums has split apart (as if it's been sat on and squashed by a large monster). Do I want to dig pieces of it up, and then trim and repot them? This is, after all, a working garden, not just a set of frozen tableaux... Bearing this in mind, I'm off to cosmetically weed and trim Middle Garden and the Hen House Gardens. If the flax calls out to me as I wander past...

Ha! Three More Hours Later...

An eight hour gardening day! I've done some more edges, and weeded along the edge of Duck Lawn. The big flax is still there - I cut off the flower-heads (they're really heavy, and are the cause of the flax splitting up) and sort of propped up the pieces. I've thrown mulch around, and built a silly wee seat with a short plank and two logs. I've burnt all my rubbish.

 With Rusty the gardening dog.
Shasta Daisies By the Stream

Eight hours is a lot of gardening hours for me - it must be nearly a record. Hurray for me. And hurray for the white Shasta daisies. I love them!

Tuesday 9th February

Ha! It's GC Day - the Garden Club's twilight tour happens today. How exciting! It's my garden grooming day, with much attention to details - for example, picking up all those random plastic pots which litter the garden. Any roses with disgraceful foliage will just have to be ignored.

 With just a few overhanging flax leaves.
Grass Path

Rake Those Paths!

I'm going to rake the paths in the back of the Shrubbery and finish mulching the old-fashioned roses (thus covering up the horse manure). I'm putting the hoses on early, but I promise to roll them up and get them off the paths (lest visitors, lulled by the twilight shadows, should trip up and hit their head on a path-edging stone). How exciting! A group of graceful ladies, wandering around my garden paths, sitting on my seats (must remember to clean the spiders off them), looking at my views (must remember that water features draw the eye). I'm off outside.

Later, Lunchtime...

The bonfire is blazing - I've been raking paths and picking gum tree bark out of the gardens. The bright red cushions look great on the white wire seat behind the pond. I'm almost ready - I think I'm almost ready! I've blocked off two paths deep in the Wattle Woods which are just too dodgy and edged one of the main ones with the remaining stones. Pots by the garage are watered. All I really have to do now is pick up all those abandoned pots etc.

Orchard Roses :
My mottley collection of orchard roses have to thrive on neglect and lots of fresh windy air. Sturdy archways are provided...

And there's bound to be more. I'm too scared to even check the roses in the Hazelnut Orchard. Put it this way - they were seen to a few weeks ago. And I've been watering them, so there should be no horrible summer casualties. Gloire de Dijon seems to get in a dreadful sulk and drop her leaves at the first sign of summer sun.

And so the most heavily chronicled garden preparations in the history of garden blogging plod along, word by word, step by step, thought by thought. What next? What else do I need to water?

 Hee hee...
Garden Tea-Set

Two Hours Later...

I've stopped. If I've forgotten anything (and I will have) well, that's just too bad. Except I'm about to sew up two more groovy red cushions, and perhaps some purple and cerise ones for the green garden bench by the Sleep-Out. Garden accessories are one of my latest little crazes - like that cute little tea-set on my garden table.

Part of me thinks the garden looks absolutely wonderful and I am an amazing gardener. Another part sees messy gum leaves, weeds, rough, patchy paddock grass where there should be lawn, dead rose leaves, thistles, and that nasty creepy weed with little leaves (which has to be scraped out) growing everywhere. Hmm... I guess the glass is simultaneously half full and half empty. No - it's completely full! I love my garden unconditionally.

Later, Waiting For the Ladies...

Blast! Bad move - I decided to test out the orchard roses for any obvious problems. Oops. Bantry Bay had flung his canes around higgledy piggledy, Lady Hillingdon was doing a terrible sulk, Coconut Ice (so well behaved last year) had decided to grow the other way out from the archway, thanks very much. I like a free spirited rose, but honestly! So I'm going to put the irrigation drippers on, and show them that at least I keep my part of the bargain.