What to do?

 Browns and greens...

Humph. My garden is soggy and winter-messy. Wadges of wet brown leaves cover little green things (like patches of daffodils). The original wooden sheep fences, around which the house gardens are 'built', are coming to bits. What to do?

Thursday 10th August

Try my very best, and not moan, that's what to do. Today I cleared for four hours. I pruned the Hydrangeas, and the Ballerina roses by the pond. I cut off dead fern fronds. I raked mess off the Pond Paddock grass. But everything was too wet to burn. And nothing I did seemed to improve the 'look' at all. The lawns are terribly mossy.

I remember reading that winter is a good time for evaluation, for seeing the bare bones, the skeleton of the garden. Well, all I'm seeing are shrubs that are too big, roses that are spindly, Phormiums that need dead leaves removing, weeds, and lawn with large swathes of moss. Pretty green! Humph. Sorry about this. I have been a bit sick with a head-cold, and my gardening mood is still rather heavy and sniffy. Not the best time for meaningful evaluation.

Our new dog is arriving soon...

So what will cheer me up? I know! Our new dog is arriving soon - she's a full sister to Winnie, a year and a half younger, and her name is Pebbles. Now this will be fun. A two-piece dog-pack again!

 So pretty.
Pink Camellias


And the baby pink Camellias are flowering - one, a tall shrub by the side of the house, the other over by the glass-house (I suspect they are the same variety). I love the Camellias. I picked some blooms, together with some snowflakes and yellow 'Cheerfulness' jonquils, for the house. Tiger the tortoiseshell has already dismantled the vase arrangement, trying to drink the flower water. The water in her cat bowl is just nearby. Cats!

So what to do about my Garden Blues? Ask Non-Gardening Partner for help with the fence and the moss, I reckon. Then just keep on cutting back ferns, pruning roses, raking up leaves, trimming, rationalising, and reorganising any garden beds that aren't working. Shift any roses that are too squashed - yellow Tamora and a white Iceberg near the Wattle trees come immediately to mind. Trim the remaining ornamental grasses (Miscanthus) before the new shoots appear. Stop moaning, analysing, and evaluating. Just concentrate on doing.

And it doesn't matter if I hop around here and there, leaving some areas unfinished, some problems unsolved. In August one task (like rose pruning) applies throughout the whole garden. I must have faith! I must trust that what I do will make a difference. It will. Will. Will...

Friday 11th August

Right. Today. First, Winnie and I went for a forest walk with our friends. After coffee I went to the library and got out three impressive glossy books on garden design, to shock me out of my disgruntled garden mood, hee hee. Desperate times require desperate measures.

 No need for the garden blues!
Jonquils and Rosemary

And then I worked hard for four hours. First I cleaned up the Shrubbery and its little secluded courtyard. I dug up lots of Lychnis seedlings from the path, and replanted them in gaps. Alas - one of the garden benches needs mending. That's a job for NGP (who agrees that the moss is the biggest problem it's ever been, and promises he will deal to it in the next three weeks).

I spent the last hour burning my rubbish, taking advantage of the flames to add trimmings from the huge Miscanthus by Willow Bridge. Naturally I pruned more roses (the standard Blushing Pink Icebergs and nearby neighbours). I trimmed more ferns and raked up more leaves. Then I sorted out firewood, collected all my hand tools, and came inside smiling.

I think I feel better...

I think I feel better about things (it really doesn't take much). And there are far more colours in the garden than brown and green. So dare I have a wine and a peep at one of those scary garden books? Hmm...

 Cheerful flowers!
Yellow Wattle Tree

Just for the record, they are, in no particular order :

  1. My Garden is a Car Park and other Design Dilemmas
  2. Liberate Your Landscape
  3. From Art to Landscape

Aha! 'The Creative Self - begin with who you are' (to quote book 3). A great phrase to hang my gardening hat on. But what if who you are is unsatisfactory? And who you are first thing in the morning can differ greatly from who you become by the end of the day...