An uber-gardener?

 Flowering time again.
Banksia Lutea Rose

Back home after my holiday, the garden needs me to transform into an uber-gardener, immoderate and extreme, a gardener with the energy of one thousand charging buffaloes...

Eek! Even one buffalo charging through my soggy spring treasures would be awful. Anyway, the message to myself is that I have lots to do, from a general clean-up of tree litter (all small branches, luckily) to a further serious weeding session somewhere - anywhere! I've been away for a week, but a week in the life of a squillion weeds... I'll say no more.

Thursday 27th October

Good glass-house news - my seedlings survived. The heirloom tomato seedlings are ten times as big, and the lettuces are ready to go into a patio pot. The potatoes have sprouted and go in the big vegetable garden today. But I'm resisting writing a formal list of things to do, because it would be ridiculously long. What's the rule - no more than seven items, or the brain switches off?

Right. First I'm going swimming, and then look out! On the way home I'll pick up some big bags of potting mix, and as many bags of free horse manure as I can fit into the back of my car. It will be a fragrant homecoming...

 In the irises.
Fluff-Fluff Cat

Late Lunchtime...

I have a new plan, and it's really, really, really important. To stop myself feeling totally overwhelmed (and driving self to daytime TV as a personal protest) I am only allowed to list the garden things that I've done. My gardening journal will accordingly be full of ticks, achievements, positives, tasks completed. I'll try this for a whole week.

So Far Today...

This is good self-psychology. My daisies and lettuces are better organised than they were yesterday. See - progress! Now I'm going back for my second session, but I'm not allowed to even hint at what I'm doing, hee hee.

Late Afternoon...

I can report back, with undisguised pleasure, that I have planted most of my vegetable garden - carrots, spinach, parsnips, first sowings of peas. And I had to weed a bit, which I did cheerfully. Then I collected branches, burnt my bonfire, and wheel barrowed the dozen freshly painted garden gnomes over to the Moosey Pond.

 We are family...
Gnomes by the Pond

Welcome to the Garden, You Gnomes

Gnomes need names when they're introduced to the garden. I've named the two lawn-mowing men Shaun and Shane, and the three new chaps are Alphonse (with the watering can), Boris (with the barrow), and Caractacus (with the rake). The forester chap holding the little fawn is Nigel, and the two dreamy snoozers are Bert and Milton. Finally, the goofy looking gnome standing next to Nigel is called Brad. Done.

 The golden variety.
Rhododendron and Choisya

Friday 28th October

Aargh! My next dentist visit is this morning. I'd rather be weeding in cold rain for eight hours. But I can do this. And I can test my new Visa card with its sparkling chip, which will be popped into (not swiped across) the point-of-sale terminals of Europe when I do my next grand tour. Not. Chilling thought - what that dentist will be getting would probably pay for same...

Some Hours Later...

I am back, and my new dentist is a legend (she said, positively, munching carefully on peanut butter toast). And now I am off into the garden. So what will I be doing? Having fun, that's what..


There's this person I follow on Twitter who always tweets where she's going to be during the day, with appropriately shortened links. She moves around a lot. Have I stumbled on a celebrity gardener, maybe, or just an ultra-communicative cafe goer? Aha! I can match her: (tweets) I'm in the vegetable garden. (tweets 15 minutes later) I'm in the Septic Tank Border.

And Later Still...

I'm now checking in with the positives for the last two hours. I've potted up all the pelargonium cuttings, put some daisies in pots for the patio, and planted perennial Lupins and biennial Korean Angelica in Pond Cottage's garden. There's a row of juvenile Gazanias near the door.

 Grown from seed really easily.

I then checked the new gnomes. Shock, horror! Three are still nameless, poor things, and have spent an anonymous night out in the garden. The two fishing chaps are Alfred and Amos, and the chap with the small wheelbarrow is Winston. Done. And if anyone wonders how a gnome is named - one just visualises them and waits for a name to float into the mind. And waits... And waits...

Saturday 29th October

I've got the gardening Ipod, gloves, sunblock, and new plants to plant in the warm late spring sunshine. Life is great! Garden here I come. You are getting lots of me today.

 Just gorgeous.
Patio Wisteria

Late Lunchtime...

Here's what I've done so far today. I picked up some Santolina, variegated Sage, Agapanthus and two bags of Dahlias from the church fair on the way back from swimming. And it's all planted, plus seven white daisies from my glass-house production. I've got the hoses on now to help everything settle. The lucky recipient was Rusty the Dog's Lavender Garden, which, since a large Viburnum tinus was chopped down, has heaps of sunny room. The dahlias have names - Hot Curry (a tangerine colour) and Alfred Grille (cream).

No Scary Written Lists

I've also watered the seedlings and cuttings in the glasshouse, filled two patio planters with variegated pelargoniums, and another large patio pot with more lettuces. The sun is beaming down, and the Wisteria on the patio pergola smells divine. And Non-Gardening Partner has started mowing my lawns. Yippee! All the borders will instantly look ultra-beautiful - from a distance!

'No scary written lists.'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

There are lots and lots of things I still need to do today, but my new rule doesn't permit any scary written lists. This is a really good policy - I lrecommend it. It's positive and friendly. And it will guarantee less garden guilt, that's for sure.

Three Hour Later...

Yippee. I have been good. NGP has finished the mowing and I've been shifting garden seats back and forth and whipping around doing edges. There are a lot of edges.

 Late spring in a New Zealand garden!
Aquilegias and Phormium

And it's so exciting - the garden looks so beautiful (love those freshly mown lawns). There's delicate flower colour from Aquilegias and a few roses, and the mid-season rhododendrons are blooming. I have a lot of strong pinks, and I love them all. I'm so lucky. No I'm not - I planted them all!