Wanted : Weeding Fairy

Wanted : Weeding Fairy. Must be able to work magic. Apply within... Yes, I need a Weeding Fairy. Until yesterday my desultory efforts consisted mainly of random bend-overs in passing. Yesterday I 'grasshoppered' around, never settling, leaving behind unfinished business. I didn't even get my knees dirty!

 Evidence in the green whee;barrow.
Allotment Garden Weeded

Sunday 14th August

This morning, while the TV Olympics rattles on, I intend to sort myself out. I need some mental techniques. Visualisation? Nope, that never works. A stern list, learnt off by heart? A procedural mantra, mumbled to myself when I do my athletic focussed stare at the garden border?

I could aim for some sensible percentage of weeds removed. But gardeners know it's impossible to remove all the baby blighters. Maybe a results-driven performance quota - at least one barrowful per half hour seems about right. And why all this rambling on, anyway? Who weeds their garden by analysing and writing about it? Surely it's better to just get out there and weed. Yes, but I am filling in time, because the temperature is still a chilly three degrees (Celsius).

In the meantime the dogs are bored (no, we do not go to the dog park on a Sunday morning), and as for the Olympics - I've not been quite as keen to follow them this time. Coming fourth in the whole world is an amazing achievement. The local New Zealand press hints that it's a failure. Balderdash.

+10+10+10Right. I haven't quite gone anywhere yet. The dogs started barking at me rudely (dog park! dog park!) so I did the vacuuming. That shut them up. Now a second cup of morning coffee, and then out I go. I will be methodical. My technique will be impeccable. I will be well equipped with scissors, hand tools, and five pairs of the lightest throwaway gloves - the arthritic fingers get 'weighed down' with traditional gardening gloves.

 Such a pretty colour.
Frosty Calendula

The Plan...

The plan is mundane. I start in the Allotment Garden by the big blue container. Then I move slowly along, not deviating. I am allowed to throw out any self-sown Calendulas whose leaves have been eaten.

But I cherish seedlings of foxgloves and yellow daisies and replant them if necessary. I think about planting the rest of the miniature roses, in a row, along one edge. I sit down, or kneel carefully (not so comfortable - I should get some knee-pads). I remind myself that I am a self-disciplined garden weeder, experienced at following my own instructions. I have spent years training for this!

Three Hours Later...

Hmm... Weeding is - weeding. Lunch is lunch. I haven't nurtured or planted anything yet, but I will.

And Four Hours Later, Dusk...

So I've been weeding all day. And I rescued seedlings of pansies growing in the driveway and replanted them in the garden. I've pruned the Allotment Garden's roses, and the prunings are on the bonfire with a lot of raked up leaves.

Salvia uligosa :
The bees love this late summer blue perennial. It creeps around like a mint does.

The Salvia uligosa is beautiful in here, but it tends to spread and take over all the space. So I've shifted and replanted some irises out of harm's way. They are a maroon-purple-brown - one of those odd, stylish colours. I might shift some Salvia clumps closer together, too.

Monday 15th August

Yes, dogs, we are going to the dog park. But not right now. You have to wait. What am I doing? Writing stuff. Actually, I am creatively writing!

 By the red and green Astelias, stalking black Buster.
Fluff-Fluff in his Last Photo

Well, in theory, I could be - if I had anything creative to say. The weeding fingers feel a bit worn, but painless. We've walked thrice (groovy word, that) around the driveway, past the beautifully weeded Allotment Gardens, the green and red Astelias, and the Cream Delight Phormium. We are so very proud of our winter garden! Escher, that includes you. Please don't bark at me, or I will get the scary vacuum cleaner out again.


And while I think of it - I spent seven hours yesterday breathing in the not-do-subtle smells of a mass dog-toilet. The narrow strip of messy land which edges my Allotment Garden is the favoured spot. Doing what all garden-proud dogs do - going next-door. Oops.

 Such beautiful detail!
The Foxglove Fairy

Six Hours Later...

Ha! No applications for the position of Weeding Fairy so far. So it's just been me, weeding the wee garden with the stone wall, just above the Allotment Garden. I reckon I did pretty well, too. I pulled out a lot of the older Euphorbia polychromas, so the Agapanthus in here can now get more sun. I also had the bonfire going, and this entailed raking up dry barrowfuls of mess from other places.

A Pruning Fairy...

But I now need a Pruning Fairy as well. It took me over an hour to prune four vigorous flower carpet roses, clean up grass clunmps from around their bases, and deposit the prunings on the bonfire. Just four! This is the gardener with close to three hundred roses in her garden. And this is the month for pruning. Eek!

And a Bonfiring Fairy

Tell you what - a Bonfiring Fairy would be jolly useful as well. She could poke and prod at the heap, and collect dry gum leaves to mix with the rose prunings. The two fairies could work their magic together!