Hello and welcome, August.

Hello and welcome, August, month of lengthening days and imminent spring blossom. And rose pruning, and lots of super-hard work clearing up the garden for spring. Ooh - such anticipation! Promise that you'll be a kind August, though, so all the gardeners in the world will feel encouraged and confident.

Car Full of Agapanthus

Friday 1st August

I've just arrived back from chamber music with a car full of - can you guess? No, not more pots. Agapanthus! My flute player's postie had requested that the area in front of her letter box be cleared of vegetation (some lovely Agapanthus clumps, not so old as to be difficult). So I've enjoyed some beautiful Bach, followed by some easy digging with a lady's spade, and a quick zoom back home in a car full of greenery.

I'm going to plant them in the new garden at the back of the Shrubbery, alongside the new path. I love my new path!

But first - the big task I need to do today is to clean out dirt and silt from the little wriggling stream through the Wattle Woods. And I mustn't forget the little pond behind the Cottage which the stream feeds. The river pumps which provide the water source are out on dry land for winter maintenance.

 So pretty.
Pink Camellia

And while I remember, yippee for the big pink Camellia in the Wattle Woods, covered in flowers yet again. I never feed it. I water it in the height of summer, that's all. Some shrubs just keep on giving, selflessly. I love you, wonderful no-name pink Camellia - thank you so very much.

 Such pretty spots.
White Hellebore

Much Later...

Hee hee. I've worked down the length of the little stream, and all is cleared, with much scooping up and splattering around of rather stinky mud. I've had to trim a lot of overhanging Phormiums, and also rake up masses of fallen gum tree leaves. It was too windy to wheel anything over to the bonfire. I'll do that tomorrow.

I Love the Wattle Woods

I love the Wattle Woods. Apart from the wriggling stream (complete with two arched footbridges), and the loveliest of Camellias, it's home to a patch of delightful cool white hellebores, and one of my large brown tea-pot pots. I think I've got this placement right!

Covered in splodges of drying mud, I've been sitting on the patio in the late afternoon sun listening to Albeniz and reading my serious big garden library book, the National Trust Gardens of England. I regret to say that the only garden included herein that I've visited in person is Sissinghurst.

Tea-Pot in the Wattle Woods

I also regret that I find myself semi-envious of these gardens - particularly their staff of three or four, plus volunteers, and therefore the ability to plant 10,000 new bluebells and 700 dahlias - just like that, without blinking an eye. But really, envy is so silly. I love my small, try-hard, one-woman garden. I love recycling, making the most of what I've got, trying to turn mess into beauty. So there. I wouldn't mind my garden being a little bigger in scale sometimes, though, so I could have a Laburnum tunnel or a Lime tree walk. Oops. That sort of slipped out.

Too Muddy!

OK. How about a shower, a hair wash, and some clean clothes? I am really far too muddy to be inside.

 Must be a sign of spring, surely?
Pink Azalea Flowering Now

Saturday 2nd August

It's another blustery, super-windy day, so naturally the gardening things I immediately feel like doing (raking leaves, burning rubbish) are unsuitable. Non-Gardening Partner's flying session has been cancelled, so we are off to get another load of compost, which I will spread down the Driveway Garden, shovelling it straight on from the trailer. Back soon.


Done. I've also shifted three deciduous Azaleas out of the corner of the Driveway Garden, doing a direct swap with Golden Celebration roses by the Dog-Path Garden's brick Koru courtyard. A so-sunny garden swaps its plants appropriately with a rather too-shady one. Perfect!

Sunday 3rd August, Raining...

Yesterday I discovered an odd fundamental gardening truth regarding scoops of compost in trailers. Two scoops contain ten times as much compost as one scoop does. How do I know this? Because it always takes me ten times as long to empty a two-scoop trailer as it does to empty one scoop. But my goodness, how virtuous one feels to have done this the day before steady rain.

Agapanthus Flowers :
Agapanthus have pretty blue mid-summer flowers, and brilliant green foliage all year round.

I won't be gardening until later today, when the rain is supposed to clear. I'm getting another trailer-load of compost (just one scoop). I have unfinished business in the Wattle Woods (raking and carting the rubbish I cleared out along the little stream). And in the back of the Shrubbery my new path needs about six edging logs to complete its circuit, and the new clumps of Agapanthus need to be planted.

Now if the rest of August is as nice as these first three days... Yippee!