Mary, Mary, quite contrary

Please Throw the Fisbee

Oops - it's March! One sixth of the gardening year has already been used up. And my goodness, my March gardening moods are proving to be very fickle. Mary, Mary, quite contrary, me.

Sunday 1st March

Yesterday it was really hot, so I decided to garden for hours and hours. At least I chose to work in the water race where I could keep relatively cool. I rebuilt some of the stone walls without Winnie the puppy knowing where I was. She enjoys kicking the stones down. I missed her? Yes, but not her obvious enjoyment of the deconstruction.


Today the temperature is much more pleasant. So, naturally, I've been hopeless. I've half-heartedly planted some new perennials (Shasta daisies and Aquilegias). I've hunted around for my lost hand digger and scraper - no luck. I've mooched around, puzzling about possible permanent plantings along my fence-less boundary.

 Black Buster and big Fluff-Fluff.
Cats in the Shrubbery

Again I've been rattled by the lack of privacy. 'Sod's Law' : whenever I wander down my exposed driveway a random vehicle (car, van, buzzy farm-bike) from next door zooms past. I can ignore the mess, but the people are much more intrusive. I find myself shouting rude phrases out loud, like a crazy old lady. Oops.

Tennis Balls and Frisbees...

And I have thrown Winnie's tennis ball squillions of times. She never gets tired of it. Ask me if I do? Second thoughts, better not. Oh, I'm getting better at throwing the Frisbee, too.

Winnie and her Tennis Ball

It's hours later, and I've turned all those semi-negatives into one huge positive! First, a huge grovelly weeding session in the narrow garden border along the back lawn, trying to deal to clover. Aargh! I shifted three more roses into the Allotment Garden and watered them. They're all recycled ones, and I have no idea of their names.

Eriostemon :
A beautiful clean and fresh looking shrub.

I have the gentlest list of plants (in my head) to possibly buy at the nursery sale : Pittosporums, and some of those pretty Australian shrubs with the starry white flowers. Name? Oops. Ah yes - Eriostemon.

And up to a dozen Viburnum tinus (they're tough performers, and form a lovely evergreen informal hedge). They're the perfect screening shrub, and don't mind a bit of neglect. Not that I deliberately do that, of course...

 Edged with ferns, grasses and Phormiums.
The Water Race

Working in the Water Race

Then I dug out a huge coarse green Carex on the edge of the water race, making room for one of my rejuvenating rhododendrons. See, I'm thinking ahead to next spring! Becoming over-confident, I started digging one, but I gave up. Too hard? Just too late in the day.

Now the irrigation drippers are on the orchard roses, and I'm super-clean and super-proud. It doesn't take much to reach this highly satisfied state. Just four or five hours gardening...

Monday 2nd March

OK. The dry norwest wind is gusting. It's only thirty degrees (only), but the sun is too hot for me. So this is not such a good day to be buying and planting new plants, right?

I am hopelessly impatient with screening plants. I want them to bush out and block the view within weeks. If they don't, I decide they are too sparsely planted. This is nonsense, of course. Then I squint my eyes and try to imagine three years growth. Oops. I see that several Phormiums are not in a good place. They'll be squashed flat, invisible, if all goes according to plan.

Then I go all drippy and romantic, and start thinking about rugosa hedges and the like. Aargh! More roses! No, no, no! This is not the point.

 Self-sown, growing nicely in the Allotment Garden.

The Allotment Garden Plots

Moving onto a non-flowery topic, I must rationalise the vegetable plots in the Allotment Garden. I need a potato patch, and this should be shifted each year. But would two large plots be enough? I seem to be filling up all the others with roses and perennials, hee hee. And of course they'll be smothered again with self-seeded forget-me-nots and Calendulas next spring (I hope they will be).

Tuesday 3rd March

I'm writing this at the end of a gloriously productive and highly sociable day. First I took the dogs Rusty and Winnie on a long forest walk with my friend and her dog Jenny. Then - ooh goodie! Cafe coffee and new library books. I love new library books. I understand how useful a Kindle is, but I enjoy the old-fashioned feeling of real books - peeping past the covers, reading the first pages, and so on.

Anemanthele :
Such a useful ornamental grass, though it does self-seed.

Then I gardened for four hours. First I worked in the house gardens, raking gum leaves off the lawn, clearing Anemanthele from the Island Bed, trimming the large Choisya and the Sally Holmes roses, dead-headed so many dahlias. I had superb kitten and dog company (must have thrown Winnie's tennis ball a hundred times, and her orange Frisbee almost as much).

More Roses...

I relocated some more roses in the Allotment Garden. In went Rhapsody in Blue and a recycled hybrid tea which I suspect is Aotearoa. I added a peony from a pot and some Commelinas. Good work, Moosey. Filling up the gaps without spending any money on new plants, hee hee...

 Name? Hmm...
Allotment Garden Rose

One of the roses which moved in here a year ago is suddenly bursting forth with lightly fragrant white cupped flowers. I'm a little worried - can I name it? I'll try. But what if it proves to be a climber?