The big Easter plant sale...

 Miscanthus grass, small Cornus, and Phormium.
Autumn Textures

The big Easter plant sale at the local nursery gets top billing this week. What will I buy? And how much money (eek) will I spend? And how many times will I return, just in case the bargain bin has been restocked with more tempting plant treasures? Watch this space, Hee hee...

Friday 22nd April

Well, well, well - I just might be losing my touch. We're back from the plant sale. I can't believe what I said to Non-Gardening Partner as he loaded three trolleys of plants into the back of his big car. 'I think my garden might just have enough plants now'. NGP blew the rudest raspberry noise. 'You are NOT allowed to quote me' I said fiercely. More rude noises.

I am pleased with my purchases, which I will now list in a series of sub-lists. All plants were extremely cheap, so regardless of whether I needed them or not I grabbed them.

My Bargains

1. Roses
Gold Flower Carpet, William Shakespeare, and a climbing Nancy Hayward. She looks extremely bright and beautiful.
2. New Zealand Natives
Hebes (2 Wiri Mist, 1 Buxofilia?), Pseudopanax (2 Arboreus, 1 Goldfinger), one green Cordyline, one Yellow Wave Phormium.
3. Shrubs and Perennials
One scarlet Potentilla, 2 cream Helianthemums, a Photinia and a gold Escallonia, and an odd Hydrangea that I felt sorry for.

I also have three pots of variegated Solomon's Seal - called, rather pretentiously, Stairway to Heaven, and four dollar pots of pelargoniums for the glass-house, to provide cuttings in spring. That's quite a mixed bag, but I know where the natives are all going (in the back of the Shrubbery), and Nancy can go on an archway in the Hazelnut Orchard. I have vague misgivings about her - either she gets mildew, or she's so garishly pink that no gardener with the remotest touch of class can abide her, hee hee. I can't quite remember which.

 Possibly Fisherman's Friend
Late Roses

The roses and perennials would do well in the summer-sunny Glass-House Garden, which needs topping up. 'Topping up'? Aargh! To be more accurate, it needs a decent design plan with focal points, structure, features, a theme, punctuation plants, and whatever else well-designed gardens have. However I'm inclined to just dig out some of the sprawling blue Salvias. Then if the garden still looks shapeless and silly, I could plant a specimen tree in the middle perhaps? Hopeless!

 A beauty!
Red Dogwood

Get Planting!

Sitting here in my good jeans writing all these energetic details down is one thing. I need to get active and get planting. It's a gorgeous sunshiny day, and Non-gardening Partner might even help me finish cleaning the bricks.


It has taken three hours to plant ten shrubs. THREE HOURS! This seems really excessive, and my euphoric mood is tinged with grumblings. So I'm having a mental health break before I take the rest of my plant bargains over to the Glass-House Garden. I also have to clean some more bricks, which should finish off my mood nicely. Grr... Deep breath, count slowly and calmly to fifteen...

Much Later...

Success! I've planted everything else in the Glass-House Garden. Sensible me - I shifted the Salvias but replanted them right at the back by the water's edge. I weeded a lot and rationalised (i.e. shifted together) the Penstemons. There was room for everything.

Lucky, Lucky Me

Last of all I tipped my barrow load of burning on the bonfire and looked up. Well - goodness, goodness, goodness me! There was my most beautiful Dogwood tree, still in full red autumn colour. And there, on the bridge, was little Minimus, my much loved cottage cat, full of cat-tenderness. It was a beautiful end moment, and so simple. Lucky, lucky me, I said, and grabbed the camera.

 Being nosy!
Minimus the Cat

Apres-Gardening Puzzle

And now an apres-gardening puzzle. In honour of Bob Flowerdew, a British Gardening bloke whom I much admire, I wear my hair in one long gardener's plait. Apart from getting vegetation in it, or getting it wet when I go swimming, my plait just sits there. So why have I just spent ten minutes with dollops of conditioner and Rusty the dog's brush (oops) in the shower getting all the knots out? Remind me - how exactly do all these nasty knots get in?

Hee hee. What a day! Just wonderful. I've never had a Potentilla before, and the new Pseudopanax shrubs will do well in the shrubbery. And a four dollar William Shakespeare - that's a nice bargain!

Saturday 23rd April

We are calling into the plant sale on the way to swimming - just in case. And then - the gardening day, which I think is Earth Day. Aargh! I should have marked this on my calendar? The inhabitants of my sheltered cocoon (me, a dog, and six cats) take little notice of popular trends, politics and/or special days. I guess for me every day is Earth Day. And Cats Day.

Rusty :
Dear Rusty. Dear dog. Have a great Dog Day! Such a decorative dog for my garden photographs, too...

And Dog Day. I must get Rusty the dog out of his kennel. He will be thrilled to see me, and then zoom! Over to the red Cordyline to pee for at least forty seconds, and then to the house for breakfast. Two dry triangular dog biscuits! Yummeeeeee! Maybe a crust of toast... Such are the simple joys of a country dog on Earth Day.


Aargh! I need more bricks. And more bricks, And then some more bricks. Blast. But there's more...

Some of My Sale Plants

More Plants...

I need to fill the trailer with rubbish and burn it. I need to plant SIX more sale price shrubs (an Olearia, red Cordylines, and Hakonechloa. I need to put Nancy Hayward (a rose) in the orchard and tidy up the other roses there. I've had some thorny, scratchy complaints from the mower of the grass between the tree rows - also the sprayer of weeds and suckers, so best if I co-operate. Aargh! So much to do, but such a lovely feeling...

Three Hours Later Still...

I've almost run out of oomph, but not of happiness. All the new plants are in pots, I've planted some bright pink summer phlox in the Glass-House garden, I've cleaned the remaining bricks, and I've also done a 'reccie' (?) in the Hazelnut Orchard. Before we go off across town to pick up more bricks I'm going to shift two or three roses out of the line of weed-spraying fire, and plant Nancy Hayward next to Bantry Bay - they can have a pink battle next summer. Then and only then can I relax in a chair, look back upon my gardening day, knock back a glass of home-made naturally fermented fruit wine, and celebrate Earth Day. Whereupon I will fall noisily to sleep in my cosy little cottage in the forest to celebrate Earth Night...

Footnote - Oops

I think I've got the Earth Day date completely wrong. Oops...