Mellow May

 A New Zealand rose.
Autumn Rose - Nancy Steen

Autumn's 'mellow' is sneaking into my gardening bones. I'm so much slower getting up and going these mornings. I amble around, rake up a few fallen leaves, then wander off to peck and poke at a few weeds. No sense of urgency - welcome to mellow May.

But why should there be any rush to do these autumn tasks? Tomorrow more leaves will have fallen, anyway. And the weather will be what it wants to be, with it's own timing, regardless of me. It won't decide to whip up a nasty storm if it sees me being lazy sitting on a garden seat.

Tuesday 2nd May

I've spent two days clearing the Hen House Gardens, which are magical in autumn with the afternoon sun streaming in. I've bagged excess Oak leaves, dumped horse manure, raked the paths, trimmed the Gunnera, even dug a straight line edge along the Leyland hedge. Cosmetic stuff, this last task, but very pleasing to the eye.

Out, out, Pittosporum...

Two struggling old-fashioned roses have been dug out and potted up. I've also started to seriously saw down an oversized Lemonwood (a large leafed Pittosporum.

Lemonwood :
Proper name Pittosporum eugenioides. Have I spelt that right? Looks odd...

It was pushing over the path, blocking lots of sun, and took ages to remove just one branch. Oops - it was too heavy for me to drag out of the garden. Aha! Some weekend chain-sawing is in order - and one of those sessions where I consult my clipboard and point while Non-Gardening Partner does the business.

One of today's tasks is to shift in some little clumps of miniature Agapanthus. I planted them years ago in the depths of the Shrubbery, and they might enjoy a new garden location. I like edging paths with these plants - such pretty things (and they might even flower, with some sunshine).

 From the Copper Beech tree.
The Koru Courtyard under Leaf...

Another is to continue raking up leaves and putting them in bags. Then let the leaf moulding begin!


OK, so what have I done this morning? Cut down the dahlias and cleaned up the house garden by the bay window. And I reckon that someone (NGP?) has been clearing leaves from the guttering and dumping them in here, that's what I reckon. Back I go. Perhaps a different location, so I feel fresh, like I'm just starting up. Trick myself into a burst of gardening energy?

 Minimus my cottage cat.
Mellow May

Wednesday 3rd May

A fuss-pot friend was coming to visit me for morning tea - her first time here. So - naturally - I've cleaned up the downstairs. 'Quirk' is not appealing when dusty, and no-one gets away with disorganised clutter. People suspect you'll end up being one of those hoarders on the TV.

So all my cat ornaments are back in position, the family photographs are dust-free, and I've put up May's calendar page on my noticeboard. I've even vacuumed the dog couch, and all the doors are thrown wide open to expel the winter dog odour. So - naturally - my friend has just rung to cancel. Hee hee.

My downstairs looks really interesting when tidy. And it feels rather lovely. I should do this more often? This thing called housework? Aargh! I'm better to stick with some mellow outdoors tidying.

Sweep the house patios! Sweep the house decking! Rake the leaves off the Pond Paddock! And off the Driveway Garden! Clear that Hump! Burn that mess! Tote that barge! Lift that bale! Oops. A bit of 'Ole Man River' seems to have sneaked in. And everything sounds really, really urgent. Sorry about that.