When in doubt, don't dig...

 Photograph taken in autumn.
Just Joey Rose

OK. Let's evaluate things. I have a trailer-load of Agapanthus clumps. I have an idea for a huge new garden, wherein they could be planted. But do I really want to be digging until mid-winter? It would keep me warm...

Friday 26th April

When in doubt, don't dig, I reckon. So today I've kept things nicely small-scale. First I did some cutting back in the Glass-House Garden near my recycled rose Just Joey, which I have renamed 'Just Gorgeous'. I'd never have chosen to buy this rose, so I'm extremely grateful it now lives here. The lateness of flowering is just wonderful.

Then I helped Non-Gardening Partner sort hazelnuts - it's harvest time, and I touch base with the 'gatherer' in me. In return he helped me, and we went off to dig three huge clumps of free Agapanthus. When we got home I burnt my bonfire for an hour. Slowly I'm getting through all the dry rubbish. Lots of little accomplishments make a nice gardening day.

 Brilliant colour this late in the flowering year.
Bright Pink Flower Carpet Roses

Saturday 27th April

My friends and I have just been out to brunch. Yum - that scrumptious creamy stuff on top of my pancake tower, and the layers of smoked streaky bacon, banana, and good quality maple syrup... Two knock-your-socks-off Americano coffees should have me buzzing with gardening energy, not smiling in a semi-snooze. My goodness, this will not do, neglecting my desperately needy garden on such a sunny autumn day...

 Species, with blue flowers.
More Agapanthus to Plant!


Hmm... One and a half hours of vague weeding, nothing else. Lazy as!

Sunday 28th April

Right. My new garden idea has been given the go-ahead by NGP. It's in the front side paddock by the road-side fence, and involves a lot of digging around some existing Pittosporums. And then some more digging, though this might end up being 'scraping', as the ground beneath the grass is very stony.

It's ages since I had a major digging project, and I am approaching this one with caution, being somewhat older and supposedly wiser. You see, once that first wheelbarrowful of turf is cleared and dumped, then I am committed to:

  1. Laying weed-suppressant (damp newspaper).
  2. Laying manure.
  3. Laying mulch.

Not to mention digging for weeks on end. And what about that dreaded phrase, 'Garden Maintenance'? Aargh! Anyway, it's time to - turn the first sod over? Sounds a bit rude, in the British slang sense anyway...

 Rather big...
Proposed Site of New Garden

Later, Lunchtime...

Humph. Before I say anything more, let me gather my thoughts and take a slurp of hot tea. OK. Here goes. There are two ways of looking at this morning's efforts. Either I have been a complete failure, or I have been incredibly sensible.

Digging Abandoned

The digging project is abandoned, because my spades aren't sharp enough, the grass is too tough and I can't dig into it, and I will hurt my shoulder if I resort to a sideways ramming and slicing method. But I was demoralised and beaten even before I started, because I'd just walked past the corner garden of the Frisbee Lawn. This was obviously in disarray, and the sneakiest little voice piped up in my ear: 'Hopeless! You can't even look after this garden, yet you're off to dig a new one?'

 Great idea!
The Agapanthus Are Going in Here

Blast! After ten minutes I gathered up all my tools and retreated sheepishly back to the Frisbee Lawn. I've been there for the last two hours on my hands and knees, muttering and dealing to weeds, tree suckers, creeping grasses, self-sown Euphorbias (being careful not to touch my face). Every time I stood up I donked my head on one low Pittosporum tree branch, so I sawed it down! Ha! That'll teach it. Anyway, I'm going to plant all the Agapanthus in here.

A Failure?

So am I a failure? Or a wise, practical, realistic, and terribly sensible gardener? One who can accept her weaknesses alongside her strengths, one who knows when to soldier on and when to turn back, when to strive in an exhausting challenge for gold, and when to gracefully accept the silver or the bronze...

 Golden autumn leaves on the gravel.
Rusty Dog in the Driveway

Must go and set up a driveway ambush of Non-Gardening Partner. I want him to chain-saw down several large things (that is, trees). I fear he will see me coming, do a U-turn and disappear off the property.

Five Hours Later...

Brilliant! The chain-sawing is done (thanks, NGP), the smaller tree branches have been put through the shredder, I've cleared up the firewood logs, and made a good start planting the Agapanthus. I'm really happy. I've had another great day in the garden. And guess what? I'm glad I changed my mind. When in doubt, don't dig!

When in doubt, don't dig!