Please rescue me?

 Oops indeed!
Rescued Teddy Bears

This week should see my finest hours as a compulsive rescuer - firstly of unwanted plants and shrubs (roses, rhododendrons, camellias, and so on) from other people's gardens, secondly of teddy bears (oops) donated to the Charity shops. Not to mention plants struggling in my own garden...

Monday 26th August

Today's plan is to rescue a row of daffodils on the road-side fence-line. I planted them at least eight years ago. Now the hedge has smothered them completely, depriving them of nutrients, water, air, and sunshine - fairly vital ingredients for a good bulb-life. Remedial action : into pots of potting mix they'll go, and cross fingers they'll respond. Or is it too late?

Earlier this morning I rescued my fifth teddy bear for the cottage from the Charity shop. I blame my friend for egging me on - she said he looked really sad. So how many teddy bears constitute a collection? Ha! I reckon when one has a whole roomful, then senility will have well and truly struck...

 Instant colour!
Blue Polyanthus

Instant Colour

I also stopped at the nursery and bought some seed potatoes, two of the perennial Helichrysum petiolare (having lost mine to plant death), and three pots of 'instant colour' polyanthus plants (cheating, I know). I've not even bothered with replanting, just popping them as is into small ornamental pots.


A hot coffee and my book, I think, to have a rest in the patio sunshine. I've watered the seedlings in the glasshouse, and potted up some rooted Choisya cuttings and about seventy rescued daffodil bulbs, poor spindly things. I've only done three hours work, but hey! Rescuing is hard work!

 Showing off his variegated leaves.
President Roosevelt Rhododendron

Tomorrow I go to look at some roses to dig out, and then on to a red-zoned garden which is preparing for the bulldozers. Here there will be Camellias and Rhododendrons as well as roses, and even some small trees. The only problem - when digging up shrubs for relocation, size DOES matter! Non-Gardening Partner will help, of course, but even he has his limits. It's strictly shovel-power.

 Flowering now in the Wattle Woods.
Fluffy Pink Camellia

Now allow me to redirect this page to positive things in the garden, and the shrubs flowering at the moment. The later-season pink Camellias are just beautiful, and their performance proves that I can grow some things without killing them off slowly. Phew!

 Pretty in the sunshine.
Pink Plantation Camellia

Tuesday 27th August

It's been a bit of a non-gardening day - chamber music all morning (Vivaldi, JS Bach and Faure), followed by a reconnaissance of the garden to be bulldozed (I'll be getting four rhododendrons and one pink camellia, plus some little treasures like colchicums). I've picked up two roses and a dahlia for relocation.

In between trips I've dug another bucketful of daffodils from underneath my front hedge. I really want to finish this as soon as possible. In fact, I want to finish everything as soon as possible, before I find anything else that desperately needs starting. Aargh! But that's spring for you - accelerando molto. I love it!

Right. Time for bed with my book and Minimus the cottage cat. It's only 7:30, an old-lady early-to-bed time! Goodnight.

Wednesday 28th August

Moosey, Head Plant Rescuer and Gardener, is committed to a whole day in the garden. Firstly, I want to finish digging up the remaining sad daffodils. No - let me rephrase that. I am going to dig up the remaining sad daffodils. Focus on one thing, and finish it! This journal page can lie dormant until it's done.


I've dug up and potted another 150 daffodils - now most of the earliest plantings (which included lots of fancy frillies, reds, and split coronas) have been rescued. My plan has a modification - the most recently planted ones (some of which are bravely flowering) could actually wait until summer, a more appropriate time. I've also pricked out dwarf Cornflower, Echium, and lettuce seedlings in the glasshouse. Oddly it's been quite cold, and I've come inside to unchill. Brr...

Hey - how about a list to warm me up? Haven't enjoyed one of these in ages.

  1. Trim edges of Welcome Garden.
  2. Collect barrowful of weeds from random garden area.
  3. Plant dahlias in sunny-side house garden.
  4. Drag four barrowfuls of rubbish to bonfire. Not two, not three. FOUR!
  5. Prune Geoff Hamilton (a rose) and trim last remaining Miscanthus grass.

OK. I'll see how I feel about rescuing another bucketful of daffodils (I've promised them I will). Then, as a reward I'm allowed to wash my hair (nice) and vacuum the downstairs carpets (not nice).

Thoughtful Footnote...

OK, so what did I do wrong all those years ago? I planted fussy, specially bred daffodils, hundreds of them, in long grass and sandy soil underneath a Leyland Cypress hedge. And then I seriously forgot that hedges grow sideways. Enough said...

 Oops. Here they are nine years ago - what a dreadfully slow decline!
Roadside Daffodils in 2005

One good thing... I used to ramble on about how welcoming the roadside daffodils were to come home to after a hard day at work. Hee hee! Now I am retired I only work at home in the garden. I don't need a welcome - I'm already here!