Charming March...

March! My goodness. An anagram of 'charm', which I'd love my garden to exude this month, needing only a little gentle prodding (weeding, pruning, raking, etc.) from me. Actually, the weather forecast is not so charming, so I should be out there right now making things look their loveliest before the storm hits.

Saturday 1st March

This afternoon I went to the Ellerslie Flower Show. It was really fun. And when I got home, mildly thoughtful and inspired, I took my camera to look at possibilities for my expanded Welcome Garden. I really need to think, think, think about how I could sensibly garden this new area. Ha! I need my consultant!

 There is more to be hung, too.
Garden Bunting in the Trees

So as soon as Non-Gardening Partner came home from his bike ride with Rusty the dog I grabbed him. What did he think? How should I clean up the mess? Throw everything over the fence boundary, he told me. It's the neighbour's mess anyway. But I can start filling in the ruts in the lawn, and I can peep at the nursery sale tomorrow to check out any bargain bin natives.

2014 Garden Trends...

This is heady stuff, real gardening when compared to the contrived competition display gardens I've been looking at. Flower shows are fun events (and funny events) to experience. And what are the garden trends for 2014? I'm not totally sure, but lemon-yellow is the paint colour, wood is in, and the garden room has been overpowered completely by its furniture - bed-boudoirs with huge hanging curtains (hello, spiders!), clutches of cushions, replica baths, and enormous garden-lounge suites.

 Exhibition garden at the Flower Show.
Wood Is In

Having spent the last six months cleaning up fallen trees, I can't easily equate wood left lying around to a garden design feature. Aargh! Well, perhaps not at the moment, when there's yet more pine tree mess to get rid of. Not that I'm grumping...

A Hang-Up-Bunting Garden Girl...

Anyway, I'm more of a Hang-Up-Bunting garden girl, rather than the Curtains-And-Cushions type. Remembering to bring things inside when it rains has something to do with it, possibly...

 Bees love blue flowers.
Agapanthus and Bee

Monday 3rd March

Not so much garden-doing got done yesterday, just more garden-thinking. Mid-afternoon (after a short walk in the hills near Arthur's Pass) I started cleaning up the garden plots down the driveway, my temporary potato patches over summer. I scavenged next door for appropriate logs of wood to use as edging, and repositioned some sprouting Agapanthus.

This could be my cutting garden for next summer, maybe? More and more thoughts swirled around my head regarding the new Welcome Garden. New trees? Oaks? Flowering cherries? Elms?

Cedrus Deodara

Less ornamentally, NGP is thinking of a row of Cedars (Cedrus deodara) along this newly exposed boundary - they won't be worried by the wind because they're slow growing, Will they grow as tall as we are while we're still alive, though? NGP, usually very cautious, did mention the words 'trickle irrigation', sending a pulse of warm love gushing through my heart. Wow.

 Easy to clean up, really - just takes time.
My New Garden Area

The first cold southerly blasts arrived overnight. This morning I am off to look at some nurseries in the rain. But I will not necessarily be buying. Just looking, thanks! Then lunch at a suburban nursery cafe with my oldest gardening friend, when we will compare our impressions of the Ellerslie Flower Show and moan affectionately (?) about our respective NGPs. Women of extreme leisure have nothing better to do...

Rusty the Dog :
Dear Rusty, faithful friend, and such a good listener...

But first, while the rain has stopped, a walk down the road with my dog Rusty, so I can stare back up at my Welcome Garden. There will be deep dog-discussion and much gesturing of arms as to the possible new planting schemes. For example, there is definitely room for three specimen trees. Just up there, look! Eek!

Much Later...

Oh dear. I spent a couple of hours clearing the big pieces of pine rubbish and making a start on fixing the broken bits of paddock lawn. But my gardening spirits cooled off as the cold wind roared around my ears. Everything is such a mess. Here comes that 'It's too big for me' feeling again.

 Deeper colours in early autumn.
Westerland Rose

So Simple...

So I retreated inside, had a hot shower, and watched an episode of my historical TV soap. Thankful that I am not young and beautiful and have to marry anyone ugly, I can approach tomorrow with a lighter heart than the soap-heroine. It's so simple, really, and just involves being patient and logical. I use the rake and wheelbarrow, and saw up anything that's too heavy. A garden border will run down the fence-line - I dig its edge, and only repair the lawn on the lawn-side. Most importantly, I do a small, manageable portion of what needs doing. Then I'll feel proud, and won't need low-budget TV to 'make my day'.

Tuesday 4th March

Aha! The storm is almost in full swing, and I've made a small start. In two hours of cold, spitting southerly gale-force winds I've done with my rake and wheelbarrow what a big grader would do in two minutes. Not a problem. I can't drive a grader, anyway. Unfortunately the Beethoven-blustering weather has just been too unpleasant to stay out any longer. It's like a tiny snatch of winter. Brr...

And now the power is off, and all the in-house things I feel like doing (web-gardening, TV watching, making muffins, doing the vacuuming) require electricity. Did I really mention the vacuuming? Charming!