My Garden World is Bigger!

Many of the big pine trees next-door are down now, and everything looks strangely different. There's more light, more sky, and I have long-distance views. My garden world is suddenly so much bigger! A change of scale is so groovy...

Monday 17th February

The little secret grass area in the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden where I've been working today is now open-to-view, though anyone interested would have to stare in at a very specific angle - with binoculars! It doesn't feel enclosed any more.

My Gardening World is Bigger!

I have had THE most brilliant gardening morning. My plan - to extend the edge of the garden between the not-so-secret lawn area and the water. Trying to get over there was fun - the route over the bridge and along the wiggly Stumpy Garden path was impassable. Join me, if you dare!

The Blocked Path :
Click here and crunch over protruding Gunneras, swish past Phormiums, trip along through Carexes, push through rhododendrons....

So I chopped and trimmed Gunnera leaves, rhododendron branches, Carex grasses, and Phormiums. I weeded the path itself which was luxuriantly covered in clover and Aquilegia seedlings. It took hours and hours. I carted out five barrowfuls of rubbish. No burning allowed, because surrounding ground conditions are pretty dry.

 My lovely grey stables cat.

Lilli-Puss and Me...

Then I sat down with Lilli-Puss on the blue chairs and told her about my plans. Some days she's really skittish, but today she was oozing cat-concentration. We watched the big tree-grabbers lumbering around next-door and listened to the water race burbling past the Gunnera. How lucky I am to have a cat to share these special moments with! Even if I have lost my new bright red gardening gloves, and the rotted horse manure I spread so lovingly around the Stumpy Garden's rhododendrons has presented me with the cutest little stinging nettle seedlings.

Tuesday 18th February

Aargh! So hot! The biggest temperature of the summer, so far - thirty-three degrees Celsius and I've spent three hours in it deconstructing the stone retaining wall and getting things ready for the garden extension.

Cricket News

Great excitement half-way through the morning - the New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum scored a triple century in the test match against India. I was standing in the water race at the time and I cried and applauded. Rusty the dog looked quizzically at me. Did I need comforting, or what? Even Lilli-Puss came down to the water's edge to see what was up.

 My faithful friend!
Rusty Dog in the Water

The rest of the day disintegrated a bit in a haze of heat. I went for a pool swim, then put the air conditioning on in the lounge (first time this summer), turned on some TV snow sports (Winter Olympics), and fell asleep. Meanwhile next-door the tree grabbers rattled and groaned. No gigantic thumps though.

Wednesday 19th February

Aha! This morning I woke up feeling very slow. This is not a problem, but every now and then I wonder when 'slow' might turn into 'old'. So I had a moochy, thoughtful breakfast with a large pot of tea, sitting outside on the patio.

+10Tiger the cat joined me on the table. She purred and pranced around, floppy belly swinging from side to side. Gradually my thoughts sped up, and I began to plan for a good, thoughtful gardening day. After a quick touch-base with my journal - hello, journal - I'm continuing my work in the Stumpy Garden. My new garden needs a rhododendron, a clump of hostas, and a large carex shifted. Then I'll fill the very bottom of the new garden with small stones, and start shovelling in the top-soil.

 With three big machines working next door.
View From My Not-So-Secret Lawn

Loud tree thumping noises are coming from next-door. Maybe the remaining pine trees by my potato patches will be coming down. Yippee! Better go peep.

 Almost enough soil.
New Waterside Garden

Later, Lunchtime...

Blast! I had to retreat inside after two hours, because of drizzle and general wetness - good for the garden, but not so good for my gardening Ipod. Again Lilli-Puss has been lolling on the blue chairs, 'talking' to me constantly (yes, I do talk back to her). More 'infill' is required for my new garden than I thought, so I've been finding compost to add to the mix. Now I'm off now to get some bags of horse manure.

Meanwhile the surrounding rhododendron garden is breathing a sigh of relief - as well as experiencing light rain, the big irrigation soaked it for four hours last night. It also nicely irrigated my gardening shoes and an Agatha Christie book I was reading. Oops. At least I didn't leave my camera outside.

Much Later, Apres Gardening...

I couldn't dig up the rhododendron, so it is suddenly more than a foot lower in the earth. I hope this is OK. The new stone wall looks lovely, with the water-loving primroses replanted on the lower, submerged level. I've thrown a lot of smaller stones around them. Now I reckon I need six more barrowfuls of soil, but today's filling can settle first.

 Green and white - so pretty!
Iceberg Roses and Grasshopper

Lovely Roses...

I like this garden much more now. It has some lovely roses, lots of delicious greenery, and the rhododendrons squashed and broken in September's tree storm have been busy creating new growth. I love watching the sparkling water as it gurgles on past and then rushes through a dark green tunnel of Gunnera leaves.

I love the hostas - a big-leafed blue on the lower level is huge and healthy. The slim green hosta clump and the green carex have been replanted on the higher garden level by the stone wall. Greenery and river stones are such a good-looking pair.

Actually, I love everything about this new area. I definitely need to spend more time here, enjoying my small up-sized garden as well as my big one.