A gardener of substance?

 Chaps! You need new clothes...
Two Silly Gnomes

It is vitally important that I make a list in the next twenty minutes (before the breakfast Beethoven piano concerto finishes). The jigsaw is banned until I can prove I am a gardener of substance. Well, maybe just a few pieces, while I drink my coffee...

Friday 5th October

So how about that list? Ha! It is actually a timetable, with activities that each demand one hour of my energetic, thoughtful time. And the idea is to start early in the day.

A Big Mistake...

Yesterday I made a big mistake. I should never, ever, ever start something big after afternoon tea-time. Very late in the day I decided to dig out and shift some Gunnera, plant some roses, and hack down three quarters of a huge Phormium, squashed and broken by one of the fallen trees. I tried and tried to keep going, but ran completely out of puff (and daylight) and slunk into the house dragging my gardening tail.

Phormiums are tough, like me, and will re-sprout, and cutting this one down won't take very long, garden-wise. There are also a few stems ready to flower. These must be saved for the nectar drinking bellbirds. But it's tough, horrible, aggressive work. OK, so that's item one on today's list. The list! Quickly...

  1. One hour to finish off the Phormium.
  2. One hour to weed behind the Cottage.
  3. One hour to sow more seeds and prick out more seedlings.
  4. One hour to do lawn edges.
  5. One hour to crank up the bonfire.
  6. One hour to do more cleaning-up in the ram paddock.

Aargh! Seven hour's worth of scary stuff...

 Cleaned-Up End Garden
About a tenth of the Phormium is left.

But All is Well...

It's now lunchtime and all is well - I've organised the Phormium, rescued some tiny pieces and put them in a pot, planted two more roses, and raked lots more burnable rubbish. And I've weeded - all of these successful activities taking place behind the Stables. The bellbirds have been whooshing round overhead. 'Mind our Phormium flowers! Don't cut down our flowers!'

After lunch I'm going off behind the pond. Oh, I almost forgot. I've bought two concrete retro gnomes to replace the chaps who were smashed by the tree. Laurie and Smoky are sitting patiently by the back door, their heads balanced on top, waiting to be glued together.

 The first spring flowering roses.
Canary Bird Roses

Well, it's now seven hours since I started, and adding up the hours on that list... I seem to have achieved everything! I've weeded. I've done edges. I've even cleared out Wattle tree mess from the Wattle Woods and dumped it on the bonfire. The only thing I haven't done is plant the dahlias. Where should they go?


The red rescued rhododendron is now flowering on one side of the grass path to the cottage, and the red Maple in a large green pot on the other side is in leaf. Inspired use of colour in planting scheme! Further along the edge is a row of deep red primroses. Of course, I never intended all of this, but I'm happy to take the credit.

 This is the side of the Jelly-Bean Border.
New Red Rhododendron

The purple and white honesty is flowering now, and I love it. I've lost most of my white variegated plants, though, and will need to collect seed. And finally, a seed report. There's always something in over-abundance (this year it's Cosmos seedlings), and something I wish I had more of (Cornflowers). It's not too late to sow some more of them, so I'll do that tomorrow.

 I love this colour.
Purple Honesty

Saturday 6th October

I've spent ages in the glasshouse, I've done some weeding, and some watering, and the garden looks beautiful. Even the rough bits! I do have a weed revelation concerning those little darlings I call 'October weeds'. Whatever they should be called, they are popping up everywhere, but mainly confined to the edges of the garden borders. And - surprise, surprise, they are also in the lawn. Well, I reckon that's where they all started off. Ha! The lawn maintenance man is responsible, hee hee. I'm stopping to pull out every one I see, before the little seeds harden off and bungy jump everywhere when touched.

Sunday 7th October

Aargh! Eight hours gardening. Not one, nor two.... Not even seven. Eight! I've done a bit of everything today - weeding, burning, seeding, edging, tidying (all the pine cone bags are now in the Stables), and spent the last hour helping NGP chain-sawing. He has built a sort of saw horse to feed the big logs across (I am the picker-upper and feeder). And the temperature has been gorgeous - a high of twenty-five degrees (Celsius). How's that for a spring treat?

 Fluffy and beautiful - blossom and flowers.

So the garden has definitely won, these last few days. There hasn't been much time at all for the jigsaw, which is proving one of the most challenging I've ever attempted. I can look at it two ways: