The NeverEnding Story of the Garden

 Gnome reading by the pond.
Books are Inspiring...

Right. What to do first? Empty the compost from the trailer, I think, so I can get yet another load, and write the next early-spring chapter in the NeverEnding Story of the Garden. There is a very good reason why nothing in a garden gets finished - it's called 'Nature'.

Saturday 23rd August

But just you wait - when I return to my journal at the end of the day I'll have SO MUCH to report.

Later, After Dark...

I've got a new rule, which is a fairly obvious one, really. It's semi-inspired by my Irish Garden book on Clondeglass with the stunning before-and-after photographs.

The Rationale : As well as being my own weeder, raker, and general dogsbody cleaner-upper, I have to be my own nurserywoman.

The Rule : Therefore I need to spend time every single day in my glasshouse working hard to create lots of new plants. Every Single Day!!!

Today I finished the Hen House Garden and barrowed the last of its hedge trimmings to the bonfire, along with a lot of other dry rubbish. Then I spread topsoil over the lawn. Then I wandered off to the glasshouse with three large clumps of unhappy Nepeta Six Hills Giant, and lots of Irises. It's the wrong time of year to shift irises, but they simply cannot stay where they are (no sun, no flowers). All these plants are now in pots.

 Soil to repair the damage in the lawn.
Hen House Garden Repaired

I finished my day poking dreamily at the bonfire, watching the lurching flames and gurgling smoke, and thinking how clever my glass-house rule is. By the beginning of spring I should have thousands of new plants ready to fill the gaps, just like that Irish Gardener.

Nepeta :
The bees love Nepeta.

By the way, he edges one of his paths, both sides, with Nepeta Six Hills Giant. In the photograph it looks amazingly lovely, flopping down in a huge arc to tickle the path surface. Ha! I reckon that after a few rainy days it would be a flat, soggy mess and would trip people up. Trust the pictures in a glossy gardening book? Sure can't!

Sunday 24th August

Before I get another load of top-soil/compost I have to fill the trailer with hedge trimmings. It's been a week and I've only cleared one side of one hedge, which makes rather chilling reading. But first - planting action! I have four spare miniature Agapanthus clumps, and they are going to fill the edge of the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden, around a large old tree stump. This will look nice, I reckon. Also I have to continue my weeding and mulching down the driveway.

Hellebore and Gardeners Thumb

By the way, my soft natural latex weeding gloves are brilliant. Using two pairs a day, I have twenty-five days of pain-free hand-weeding to look forward to. Look forward? Aargh!

 A rather large ball of fluff!

Much, Much Later...

In fact, eight gardening hours later. Eight is a lot. Eight is more than six, or seven, which are usually my limit. I've done what I set out to do, as well as some glasshouse work planting lupin pieces. Non-Gardening Partner has again demonstrated the man versus old-woman power-index. In one day he's collected and burnt all the Deodar trimmings from hedge number two. It will take me one month to do the same for hedge number one. Today I made a start on the orchard side of the big Leyland hedge. Slowly, slowly. I might be a little more of a perfectionist than NGP, however.

Big Fluff-Fluff, supreme gardening cat, has been following me everywhere. When I stop briefly to do some weeding he lolls underneath my hands on the soil. I managed to plant two more roses at the corner of the Driveway without him getting too dirty. He did leap into the planting hole, luckily before I'd tipped the water in. This image of course reminds me immediately of my Cats' Memorial Row. Aargh! Bitter sweet memories.

Young Minimus, too, has been checking on progress. She seems really interested in what I get up to in the glass-house. No paw craters in the seedlings, please...

 Cottage cat.
Young Minimus

Now I am going to do some piano practice. My friend and I are playing some Beethoven duets. It's rather a giggle, albeit a fairly intimate one. We are wedged closely together (like two fat women stuck next to each other on a bus, hee hee), and she keeps squashing me and pinching my 'D'. As when eating a meal on an aeroplane in economy class, elbow flourishes are completely impossible. It is a musical first for me. By golly, one has to like the person one duets with! And I do, I do...

So that's two very satisfying (and hopefully not too boring) chapters of the NeverEnding Story of the Garden, fully researched, organised, and written. How many to go before the official spring launch? Eek! Not many, if any!