BIG gardening trouble...

 Bees have to feed in early spring!
Bumble Bee on Erica

Hmmm... I could be in BIG gardening trouble. I have a leading bid on an online plants auction to dig out (and purchase really cheaply) forty assorted roses, all 'pinks, peaches, and pastels'. There are miniatures, shrubs, and climbers. Eek!

So I lay in bed this morning playing the 'fate' game. If I totally plan where to put them, I will not win the auction and thus be spared the personal embarrassment of over-reaching, yet again, into excessive anonymous rose digging-up. For, quite honestly, I cannot think where to plant ten more roses, let alone forty...

Today's Plans

In light drizzle I will continue my one woman crusade against coarse leafed green Carexes. I may also do a complete make-over of the plantings underneath the variegated Elm tree. Dreadful, suckering tree! Out come the roses (aargh!) and perennials, and in go shade lovers. I will ignore the forty assorted roses auction until it's over.

I will organise the back of the Shrubbery with respect to weeding, etc. so my garden help (she comes on Tuesday) can lay the pea straw. This feels a bit like tidying the house before the cleaning lady comes... And I need to continue the general winter trimming, since I reckon the weather has slipped into pre-spring. Such beautiful colour, lots of budding promises, and even the green colours look warmer. And it is warmer. Yesterday most of my lawns were mown, so the borders will look even better with a cosmetic edge clip.

 The lawn needs mowing in this picture.
Springtime in the Shrubbery

Right. I'm off outside, ignoring my rose fate.

Later, Phew, Lucky Me...

Another bidder paid one dollar more than my bid in the rose auction. This means (hee hee) that the forty dollars I would have spent can now be redirected to something else - a present, to celebrate common sense prevailing, or something like that...

 Graham looks a bit like this shrub.
Pink Azalea

I worked in the drizzle for two and a half hours, by which time I was soaking wet. I've trimmed the big Miscanthus zebra grasses, shifted a hebe from the Glass-House Garden into the Elm tree garden, trimmed Hydrangeas in the Apple Tree Garden, and cleared the path which wanders past Graham, the little pink rhododendron. While he's in flower he's as pretty as a piglet.

And now, lucky roseless me is going to watch the latest (recorded) episode of 'The Bachelor'. Oops...

Monday 30th August

How wet do I want to get today? I'm going to start my seed sowing off. I want lots of seedlings, and also I want lots of new pelargonium plants from cuttings. This should keep me happy (and dry) in the glass-house until the drizzle stops. I still can't believe my luck in not winning those roses. I would have been digging all week, and then I'd have had to sneak out with the trailer - not easy when ones own car doesn't have a towbar...

Saffron Queen Rhododendron:
The rhododendron Saffron Queen has her own page with photographs.

Mustn't forget to mention the lime-yellow rhododendron Saffron Queen, covered in flower buds in the shelter of the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden. Last year Saffron Queen sulked. Actually she's lucky to be alive in my garden at all, after being thrown out and abandoned underneath the Leyland hedge. Being grateful for the rescue is a nice touch.

Four Hours Later...

I've only stopped to come inside because I'm a bit wet and cold. The morning was spent fixing up plants and starting seeds in the glass-house. Now hopefully all my repotted Pelargoniums etc. will grow big and strong. Then Rusty the dog and I had our usual lunch on the verandah of Pond Cottage.

 Sitting on the Plank over the water race.
Histeria the Tabby

Then I decided to reach out mentally to Daughter of Moosey (whom I miss a lot) by tinkering in her Birthday Rose Garden. Alas - fiddly weeding between self-sown cornflower annuals and pale blue dwarf irises (yet to flower) is not the most spiritual activity known to woman. But in the name of the mother-daughter bond I collected a barrowful of weeds, and I'm slightly furious (?) about the last lot of hay mulch used in here. It must be the reason why there are so many weeds - right? Ha! I'll try some pea straw tomorrow.

Tuesday 31st August

Hee hee. My garden helper is arriving soon, and I plan to greet her outside with wheelbarrow and gumboots, as a hard working Head Gardener should. First impressions, first impressions.

 This one goes around the vegetable garden to the woodshed.
A New Moosey Path

Look Out, Shrubbery!

And look out, the Moosey Shrubbery, look out! For by the end of this morning you will have been weeded and mulched and pathed and planted (what else can one do to a Shrubbery?). The garden is wet from overnight rain, but my garden helper is a tough medium-old bird and I will, after all, be out there setting a good example - not lolling on the TV couch watching 'The Bachelor'. Oops. Back in four hours.


And four extremely highly productive hours they have been. The back of the Shrubbery is weeded and mulched, a Hebe, a Berberis and another Choisya are planted, and the path has been properly organised. I am sooooo tired! But feeling a sense of much accomplishment - and I have rather enjoyed gardening with company (I mean human company) for once. My conversations with Rusty the dog are quite one dimensional, and I always end up telling him: 'We are really lucky people - except you're not a person, you're a dog'. He needs to be reminded of that?

 The daffodil wave is still flowing!
Bright Daffodils

Rusty found a hedgehog covered in the pine needles - hopefully he didn't disturb it. Surely with spring here the hedgehogs are out of hibernation and on the move? And talking of spring - how beautiful, all of a sudden, the light quality and the garden colours are. More and more yellow daffodils, another rhododendron starting, and now the baby pink Camellia at the side of the house in flower. Then there are the subtle plants - Bergenias whose flowering stalks start off so shyly, tucked in underneath the leaves, and Honesty which puts itself in the most inhospitable places - under pine trees, etc. I never plant it there! Lovely plant.

+50!!And, of course, there is the lunch ceremony on the verandah of Pond Cottage. I grab the coffee and food tray (which always includes one dog biscuit) and Rusty the dog trots ahead, leading the way. What a good dog he is...

And August! What a grand month you've been - wonderful, wonderful month in which to be a gardener. And a piano player, a lapsed mathematician, a hiker, and a reader of silly detective novels...