In the gardening moment...

 Virginia Richards? Not sure.
Unknown Rhododendron

Have the courage to live completely in the gardening moment, I tell myself. Don't keep looking back, sad because the blossom is over. And don't reach forward too much - you'll only trip over something. Watch your feet!

Wednesday 28th October

Watching blossom-snow falling in the wind is a lovely thing. Mid-summer will arrive soon enough, and it can get too hot to garden - remember? Stay with spring, and enjoy the real-time changes. If I miss something, there's always next year. Unless I forget to water it...

I miss a lot of bud-bursts, by not following things through. When I planted a new blossom tree in the back of the Shrubbery the area was bare, wintry, and colourless. I was terribly excited, imaging a pretty pink focal point. Oops. Wandered past just yesterday and it's already flowered without me. Another memo to self. My bluebell patches are really short-lived. Yet again my only photographs are out of focus. Next spring, maybe.

 The Willow Tree Garden is on the left.
The Water Race

The rhododendrons in the sheltered part of the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden, all fleshy, fruit salad colours, are flowering now. Further along, in the exposed garden where the wind rages and the sun bleaches everything, there is modest yet joyous growth. Here on the water's edge would be THE spot to plant my new collection of 'bog irises' (AKA "Japanese'), payment from my plant collector friend for delivery of a roast meal. These irises are far, far nicer than my home cooking, by the way.

Saturday 31st October

We've had days of rain mid-week, wonderful for the garden. I've done heaps of socialising - playing Brahms duets, going to book group (we've just read an amazing book set in Iceland), gliding around the dog park in my huge black hooded cloak (scaring my friend's little dogs at our dog-Halloween party). I've visited country friends, and gone to the vet (Rusty is a bit limpy again).

Yesterday I did some speed weeding at the section in New Brighton. I always feel super energetic doing other peoples' weeding! Then I drove for three quarters of an hour to madrigals, but couldn't find (or hear) anyone. Not one fa-la-la-la-la. So I bought some fruity cider and drove home with a gleam in my eye.

 I love the big hostas.
The Perennials Garden

Today I make up for lost gardening time. I'm not driving anywhere. I'm socialising with my garden. I'm planting things - vegetables, shrubs stuck in pots, annual flowers, perennials... Aargh! Where to put the Hollyhocks? Do I need more potting mix? Yes. Why ask.

 My rugosa hedge in part of the Allotment Garden.
Roserai de lHay Rose

Much Later...

A long, hard-working day, with the mood toggling erratically between euphoria and utter dejection. I was trying to do a bit of everything, because everything needed to be done. This is fraught with mental danger, because as a result nothing is even half-finished. One can tick off the hours but not the tasks.


The dry rubbish needs to be burnt now - ASAP - before the weather gets summery and the fire ban goes on. With Non-Gardening Partner's help I've already collected and burnt two trailer-loads. Necessary, but unpleasant, and oh so tiring. And before I could burn I had to dig out all the old wet bonfire ash and dump it. I've started removing Alkanet, to make room for the flowering annuals. In the middle of all this trudging around I weeded and planted the vegetable garden - carrots, peas, beans, and more potatoes.

El Camino de Santiago...

Thinking of trudging, I'm reading a book about two Australians walking El Camino de Santiago, the pilgrims' trail in Spain. I really want to admire them and be inspired, but it worries me that they drink so much wine, all the time, even in the heat of the day. With blistered feet and puffy knees they race to the next hostel to book the next night's bed. They drink more wine, and then everybody snores. Hmm...

Minimus :
Dear Minimus. I'd miss you far too much if I went walking over the other side of the world.

My trudging challenge is much less daunting - I just plod around my garden thinking good thoughts. I limit myself to a cold fruity cider in the evening, and my own bed (with Minimus the grey cat) awaits in Pond Cottage. Minimus doesn't even snuffle, let alone snore. My feet and knees behave (most of the time). But I'm grateful that I get so much excitement from reading about the exploits of the more adventurous.

Sunday 1st November

You name it, I've been doing it - gardenwise, I mean. At the risk of exhausting anyone who is still reading this, and is unimpressed by my attitude to modern-day Camino pilgrims, please let me modestly list my accomplishments.

  1. Planting : lupins, hollyhocks, penstemons, peas.
  2. Weeding : by the side of the house, mainly Alkanet.
  3. Potting : tomatoes into pots, cornflowers outside to harden off, pelargoniums into pots.

Much Later...

I adore all the pink and white shrubs flowering and trees blossoming at the moment : Dogwoods, Choisyas, Rhododendrons, Hebes, and that naughty Clematis montana. My garden has been sprinkled with marshmallow and icing sugar.

Aargh! The garden moment requires me to stop ogling these beautiful shrubs and fill the trailer with yet more rubbish. Nothing like garden maintenance to test one's courage. Do I have to finish this? No. But I'm going to, even if I get blisters and puffy knees...