Garden In Disgrace...

My garden is in disgrace. It has let itself go to seed, so to speak. There are too many weeds. Everything is too messy. Welcome to the first 'Humph' of the gardening year. As the hard-working Head Gardener, I refuse to take all of the blame.

 Winnie the puppy on the Frisbee Lawn.
No Irrigation!

I'm so cross. I always have a lot of weeding to do. That's OK. But patches of new weeds have arrived courtesy of the new top-soil and compost I spread last year. I could spend a hundred hours working and still not fix the problem. Parts of the garden are parched through lack of water (like the Frisbee Lawn, see above).

Lawns are Supposed to be Green...

Lawns are supposed to be green, or at least greenish (like the house lawn which gets irrigated three times a week, rather excessive). And as for the dry parts of the garden - it takes me ages to shift the hoses around. It is just not fair. Poor old me. Moan, moan, moan.

 So pretty.
Nancy Steen Rose

Sunday 11th January, Later...

I can't believe I wrote those grumpy sentences! Me, Queen of the Modular Gardening, the Little and Often Legend, the Don't Moan Just Do It Woman who single-handedly runs the hugest of huge country garden. And who gets out there and weeds for two hours, and then gets out there and weeds for two more hours. Without the hint of a 'humph'!

I totally 'nailed it', by the way. I've cleared the weeds along the Allotment Garden, and spread lots more mulch. And the house gardens are cleaned up, with all edges trimmed. New roses are flowering, the raspberry daylilies and the house dahlias look gorgeous, and I haven't left too many weeds behind.

I regret that one of the Graham Thomas house roses is no more, and the other only has one cane left. They've lasted eighteen years, but for a rose this is nothing.

Tuesday 13th January

Yesterday I cleaned up a patch of weedy rubbish between the Allotment Garden and the Welcome Garden. I dug out clumps of Lamium (the invasive one) and threw them into the wasteland next-door. Oops? No way. It's a total mess over there. I found stones to form an edging, and I barrowed in mulch. Some blue Nigella had self-seeded from a small compost heap, so I cut the old plants into pieces and scattered them all around. However I may regret leaving three Queen Anne's Lace plants happily flowering here to set and drop their seed. Oh well.

 With Winnie the puppy and a real Frisbee.
Greenish Lawn

And I'm proud of myself today as well. I've already done three hours concentrated weeding at my friend's country garden. Things flower later for her (she's inland, higher than me), and a lot of her phlox clumps are badly mildewed. So ugly! I have given her the following choices :

  1. Dig out and burn.
  2. Dig out and gift, with mildew warming.
  3. Apply Google-searched solutions like milk and water, fuss, fuss, fuss, and wonder if the flowers are worth it.

Some phlox varieties are susceptible to mildew, I know, but she has no idea yet what colours she's got. If they're all the species lilac colour I'd have no hesitation. Get rid of them (for me, they are mildew-free, but so invasive).

 No mildew in my garden, touch wood!
Lilac Phlox

Now I'm back home, but am I resting or loafing around? No way. I've been cleaning up gum tree bark from around the dogs' kennels. For every load I dump I then pick up a load of mulch for the Welcome Garden. When, oh when will I finish this never-ending task? Never mind about that - best to just keep on doing, and not think too much.

 Lovely gardening cats.
Fluff-Fluff and Tiddles

And today I have a gardening kitten keeping me company - Tiddles the polydactyl tabby, supervised by Nanny Fluff-Fluff. Tiddles has the curviest tail.

Wednesday 14th January

What a blessed day - rain! Rain! Well, more like steady drizzle, but better than nothing, and so important for the paddocks around us. And the garden, of course. So I can catch up with some web-gardening, and start my second Christmas Jigsaw, hee hee. And listen to the almost musical plop plop plop dripping of the rain outside. Oh joy!

 Please ignore my mess by the Stables.
The Rose Swag in Place

An improvement down the boundary of the Allotment Garden, purely cosmetic, but never-the-less very pretty. Non-Gardening Partner has hammered in black steel warratahs (costing seven dollars each), and hung rope (a 30 metre pack for eight dollars) between them. So I have a budget rope rose swag, and several ramblers can now be liberated from their pots. Yippee! And ten millimetres of rain, according to our rain gauge. Nice work, weather! Thank you, clouds!

It Doesn't Take Much...

NGP reckons it doesn't take much to make me happy. Well, I reckon that's a good thing!