October resolution

 Gnome and flowers.
Garden balance

Wow. A new month. A new resolution - why not? This month I resolve to maintain a delicate balance at all times. That means weeding and watering as well as wandering around gazing at beautiful things. Putting things in as well as pulling things out. Creating as well as destructing.

Sunday 2nd October

October has only been part of my gardening life for two days, but already there's a new sense of equilibrium. Yesterday, as I was walking towards the Allotment Garden to do some weeding, I looked sideways at the front of the Stables garden. Eergh! Not a good look. An unnamed ground cover had spread everywhere, and looked very scruffy. Euphorbias had seeded where the ground cover wasn't growing. I stopped and made a decision.

This garden needed one and only one plant that was generously out-of-control. Two - definitely OTT! So I removed the ground-cover - slowly, slicing up a thick carpet of it, roots and all, with the spade. It isn't an overly invasive thing, and I have another patch growing in a rougher, more suitable place, falling over a little stone wall.

 A weeping Prunus tree in the driveway.
Rusty and the Blossom

New Lawn

Late in the day I sowed some lawn seed. But first, the immaculate (not) preparation! Creeping Charlie had escaped from the Wattle Woods garden and invaded parts of the grass. So I removed the thickest slice and spread so-called 'lawn construction' mix all around. The dogs didn't understand the concept of level raking of new lawns. Rusty! Stop stomping all over my seeds!

Then I watered things - droplets from the rose on my new watering can for the new lawns, bucketfuls for the new roses recently planted in the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden, and the rhododendrons recently shifted. Hose on the Allotment Garden climbing roses, and the freshly cleared Stables garden.

Hiking in the Hills

Today, as part of life's balance, we went hiking in the hills, a day trip mainly over tussock land with a few brave stands of beech forest. Then when we got home I zoomed into the Allotment garden and started working. Firstly something sensible - I removed a piece of the rose Corylus which had started to sucker and spread everywhere.

 Two friends.
Hiking on the Tussocklands

Then I gave thanks for legs, knees, lungs, and mind which could all keep going happily at 1200 metres for four hours, and then contemplate two ferociously concentrated hours of big-time weeding. Yeay! A brilliant end to a brilliant day.

 In the Driveway Garden.
Kowhai in Flower

All in the Mind...

Balance is so much in the mind. My hiking friend and I discussed the possibility of doing some online learning - something like Norse mythology - so we would always have fresh, new, mind-expanding things to talk about. Other than moaning about bureaucracy or regurgitating last night's tabloid-slanted TV news. If any of my other friends should read this - aha! A hint!

Monday 3rd October

And mental balance is easy after a great night's sleep, which is easy after a great day spent in the great outdoors, and I know there are too many 'greats' in this sentence! OK, you dogs. Enough vague stuff. Let's get real. Let's get the moon balls, find our shoes (me) and start the day the usual way. We are off to the dog park.

Much Later...

I did my seeds - pricking out Salvias (perennial white Clary sages and the pretty pink, white, and blue Horminum annuals). I watered my new lawns. I weeded the Allotment Garden, and watered the newly planted roses. This garden is full of bright orange and yellow Calendulas in flower - though, to be fair, they've hardly stopped flowering all year. And of course Calendulas self-seed madly.

Alkanet :
Alkanet is a large perennial with furry, slightly prickly leaves and spring blue forget-me-not flowers.

Alkanet has gone silly in here too, so some of the plant tops have got the chop, to allow light in. The roots are never lost, though, and pretty soon it'll sprout up again. But Alkanet is such a wonderful bee plant - I say this somewhat sheepishly. It was growing here when I first arrived. It was. I honestly didn't plant it everywhere. I didn't. Not me.

But what I did plant, without much planning, were some later flowering Camellias to surround the Driveway Lawn. Nonie Haydon is the prettiest, pink and fluffy, flowering now, in sync with the cherry trees. A masterful - or should I say mistressful - stroke. Who can resist a fluffy pink Camellia?