Garden Journal 2005

Happenings January
Woohoo! A new gardening year! This year I must try to get the vege stuff growing in the right place at the right time... heh

January 2 - Lots of new areas to work on :) Harvested onions and garlic, gosh, there is so much!....yippee! Weeded around vege plants.

January 3 - Sprayed edges of hedges. Planted some more plants in the MG...two lovely cream cannas and more lonicera. Hedge there is finished now, just needs to grow, grow, grow!

Hung onions and garlic in the potting shed to dry out. Finished shading for glasshouse. Shade cloth the length with stretchy curtain wire strung top and bottom of the roof section. Works perfectly! Sowed cabbage seeds and peas.

Baby swallows are peeping out of nest now, so cute! Watered all the potager plants, sheesh, where did all the rain go?

January 4 - Mowed, weeded the beech hedge, watered vegetables. Planted creamy yellow canna beside pond (finally released from the potager).

January 5 - Rains back >:(

January 9 - Suns out! :) Dug a 4 metre trench through the MG to release a puddle on the high side which was approx 10 metres long by 3 metres wide and about 6 inches deep, hmm, must remember that next time I build a garden bed! Weeded and dug for a few hours in MG and planted some Phygelius Aequalis 'Yellow Trumpet' and a hydrangea paniculata (dug from above the pond).

January 10 - Worked in the Olive Garden today, about time! Re-staked the olive trees which have suffered during winter. Too much wind and too soft ground. Pruned them...rather harshly. Dug and composted areas for a couple of wayward cypress and planted them. Put weed-mat everywhere! NO MORE THISTLES! Will lift it as I plant stuff, thats the plan anyway.

January 11 - Spent a few hours hacking back the neighbours huge shrubs which are growing over and through the fence. Underneath found morning glory :( Might have to resort to more spray for this, grrr I plan to grow hydrangeas here so have to remove it.

January 12 - Back to the MG, dug more clay and added poop. Planted lots of nicotiana seedlings.This year I am going to attempt to grow everything I can from seed or cuttings, so far there has been great success. Watered everything! Too much sun! pleasing gardeners!

Planted heirloom 'Oxheart" tomato seedlings (12 inches high) in potager and watered. Baby swallows are very noisy and hungry. They hang over the edge of the nest and twitter when I walk below just to see if I have any morsels for them! It must nearly be time they left the nest then new steel can go on the roof :)

January 14 - Watered vege, staked tomatoes. Cleaned garlic and onions, going to try and work out how to plait them. Take box cuttings. Plant more peas.

January 15 - Started sanding windowsills in potting shed ready for painting. Weeded fruit trees.

January 17 - Spent most of the day watering! No rain for six days now, very hot and sunny. Now watch it rain! Weeded and watered cherry trees. Tomatoes are ripening. First peas are nearly finished.

January 19 - Hay has been cut!

January 20 - Clear weeds from new area beneath a triangular grouping of silver birch trees and planted a silver astilia in centre. Plant two small bay trees in MG, need some evergreens. Weed lonicera hedge. Lay drainage pipe in trench that runs through MG and filled it in. Cleaned bird poo of sun-lounger :)

January 21 - Hay being baled! 510 bales! wow...thats fabulous! Stacking bales in the shed till 11:00pm is not so fabulous...

January 22 - YAY! We have lawn back, looks great already :) Went and got a truck load of mulch. Mulched cherries and wisteria and half way along lonicera hedge before running out of newspaper, mulch and energy! Ducks are back, they like the smooth lawn look too.

January 23 - Another truck load of mulch - finished the hedge and permanent plantings in MG. Mulched cannas beside pond and fruit trees.

January 26 - Man delivered another 6 meters of mulch :) Sprayed weeds around pond, pulled some. Trimmed olive lower branches from bases of olive trees beside pond, weeded.

January 30 - Went to garden centre (first time in ages!) and bought a few plants. Staked tomatoes. Watered potager. Bucketed mulch and watered between all plants in MG. Planted new plants - Polemonium caeruleum 'Bressingham Purple' x3 beside cherry tree in MG and another Hydrangea paniculata behind. Tree men came and delivered another 3 meters of mulch!....more, more :) This load is newly chomped and smells wonderfully of cedar.

January 31 - Mowed :) Weeded around the remaining fruit trees and watered them. Spent most of the day digging around the 2nd of five beech hot, so tired, so sore :/

The problem with these hedges is one of extremes with regard to water. They get absolutely swamped in winter and then dry out in summer. Last season I tackled one hedge to see if digging it over and adding a bit of compost would make any difference. Hmm, think I am safe to say it looks a heck of a lot better than the others. So this season the rest will get done and then mulched.

Happenings February
Today is only the second day I have managed to get to play in the paddock this month! Working sux :( The poor garden is getting over-grown by the hardiest WEEDS! I had to resort to spraying today, oh well, if I want to make money to spend on more plants I suppose something has to give!

However! The building bloke has been busy and what a fabulous surprise greeted me when I arrived. MY ROOF! Yay! Got lots of weeding, watering and mowing done.

Happenings March
Hmm, too much to do and definitely not enough time. So excited to get to the garden today after visiting a special garden in the South Island last weekend :)

Today was spent watering. Everything is very dry. Watered the veg garden, fruit garden and surrounding hedges, the Maple garden and cherry trees. Pruned lower leaves off the tomatoes.

March 13 - Two days a week is NOT enough to do anything of use in the garden :( However! I have got the windows in the potting shed sanded down ready for painting. These were the old windows which came from the house when it was renovated. They were in pretty rough shape but will look loads better with a new shiny coat of paint :) Roll on next weekend...painting!

Picked a bucket full of tomatoes and watered everything in sight!

March 20 - Spent most of the day sanding the french doors on the shed, what a revolting job. Watered again, no rain for weeks. Fed the ducks...they are back :) Pulled some weeds from the Maple Garden.

March 21 - Painted one window and the french doors on the potting shed...another coat is needed but already they look so much better! The pergola has been concreted in place (jutting out from the front of the shed) and I can't wait to get the deck done, yippee! A few days worth of tiling and it will be finished!! Watered the fruit trees and the potager, dug up some spuds. Hurry up next weekend!

Happenings April
Well, next weekend came and went in a fuzzy blurr. It is April already! Dug up white Carpet Roses from above the pond and moved them. Cleared vege beds of old crops. Painted windows in potting shed :)

April 4 - Bought bags of horse poo and compost, added compost to Plane Tree garden and horse poo to Maple Garden. Went to garden centre and boughtsome Euryops pectinatus, Yellow daisy and Lobeila, the large flowered ones. Weeded in the potager.

April 17 - Composted final part of Plane Tree garden, spread bark mulch about, planted more daffodils and jonquils (sp)

April 18 - Planted two Scarlet Oaks in oak patch. Planted vireya (watermelon and cream) in Maple Garden. Fencerman rammed posts into the ground in the Fruit Garden ready for the new berryfruit beds:) Watered beech hedges and Maple garden. Weeded vege beds.

April 25 - Spent the day taking cuttings. Lots of Artemisia 'Powis Castle' (I think thats how it is spelt) and more buxus. Found self-seeded Euphorbias growing in the pebble floor of the glasshouse, hehe, freebees! Potted them up also. Cleared the area between the glasshouse and potting shed. Put up windbreak cloth and neatly sat all my potted plants in rows, just incase we get some unexpected weather before I get around to planting them. Cleaned out glasshouse! :-o Picked up messy bits of stuff and generally did some housework around the garden...sheesh!

Happenings May
Watered the very dry garden (all of it) today ....and then it rained! Spent most of the day trundling truckloads of topsoil across the paddock into a pile, excavations going on.

May 2nd - Went out to the local (20 miles away) nursery and bought some trees. Planted them in the Maple garden along with some more daffodils.

May 15 - Spent today chopping back rampant sages and stuff in the Maple Garden. Took lots of cuttings, just poked them around the parent plant..hehe. Have done the same with Stachys, they needed to be increased around the garden.

May 16 - Raining heavily today so....into the glasshouse! YAY the glasshouse! Continued on the cutttings theme and have got lots of goodies in there today. Have also potted a yellow pepper (to see if it will survive over the winter inside) and found more daffodil and freisia bulbs. Worked in the potager....

Happenings June
Dug drains around potting shed, a lot of water here. Potted lots of Christmas lillies (the big, white, fragrant ones), a few Asiatic lillies and some other Spring bulbs. Must to do more box cuttings...eek! I have a need for lots of edged areas and only a few scruffy looking baby plants!

The Paddock is turning rapidly to mush for the Winter. Anything done now requires double the effort, just to clear up the mess you make in the mud trying to create something new, even walking makes mud ruts ....mud, mud, mud! However, I have just noticed that the swallows are flitting around their old nest! Spring is in the air!

I have dug a few more drains around the place to get rid of the surface water. The vege garden is bare with only a few edibles in it, although the lupins and mustard seedlings are filling in all the blank areas and are very healthy. I am waiting for my new roses to arrive! yippee! A dozen Gloire de Dijon climbers ordered months ago! That is the pain about catalogue ordering...waiting! I am going to plant these (dirt moving effort required here) in a double row from the Lime trees to the Maple Garden. Hopefully they will climb over their supports and look great :) A trip to the local rose nursery is also due very shortly, they are about to take delivery of their new season plants, hehe.

Happenings July
Received my rose order today :) 10 new climbers. They don't look like much, all pruned back to a few sturdy little stalks, but come the Spring! :D

Nothing at all happening at the paddock. It is way too wet and muddy and I finish work and it is nearly dark, how boring!

July 10 - Went to see the paddock today. Missing the mud :D The neighbouring sheep have been in here and made a hell of a mess! They are looking pretty good for the pot tho! grrrr!

July 24 - Weeded two beds in the potager and finally got my garlic planted. A month late but I read somewhere that you can still successfully plant up to Spring! I am using some of the cloves from the garlic grown last year. It will be interesting to see how well it does.

Sprayed bug stuff in the glasshouse to get rid of any creepy-crawlies. Will do a big clean out next week. Soon it will be time to start sowing seeds, hehe, more cheap vegs, and gluts :D The lupins are growing well. They will get dug into the soil in very early Spring. Wonder if I can get the timing right this year and have the beds ready by the time the seedlings need to be planted out....

Happenings August
Finally got around to spring-cleaning the glasshouse. Sprayed around garden to deal to emerging thistle weeds, these are slowly getting less. Mowed edges and paths, first time this Winter and only got stuck twice :) Serious drainage needs to be done before next Winter around the potting shed!

Daffidols everywhere! Bright yellow blobs of colour can be seen all over the paddock. Jonquils (sp) are growing in huge bunches and have a such a strong perfume! Gorgeous! Garlic is poking up through the soil and is already 3 inches high! Lupins in the veg beds are almost knee-height and will be getting dug in soon.

The rose seeds I had refrigerated way back (rosehips from Moosey) have been sown and are about to sprout their first tiny real leaves! yippee! can't wait to see what they were. I think they were a red rugosa... The swallows are relining their old nest. Spring is around the corner :)

August 15 - Mowed 1/3 of paddock with the ride-on! hahaha, took over 3 hours but didn't get bogged ;) Weeded in potager and around berry fruit. Very hard to weed after the Spring growth starts. Started potato sprouting.

Bought 2 'Just Joey' roses, these are gorgeous when they flower and as a bonus they were in the 'Cheap Roses' dept. The Christmas Lilies I planted in pots are growing well (have no idea what I am going to do with them) and the Asiatic Lilies are just starting to poke their first leaves out :)

August 21 - Mowed the rest of the paddock with the ride-on mower, took most of the day, with a break to feed the ducks. No getting bogged anywhere! There is a lot less water around, very little rain compared to most previous years. I wonder how this is going to affect the summer?

August 28 - Mowed the paddock again, don't want hay this year!

Started to weed the Maple Garden. There are a few patches of really large fresh thistles there and they aren't wanted either! Cut back all the sages and other perennials, new growth starting there.

Happenings September

September 4 - Mowed the paddock, again! Thank goodness there has been no rain, the grass is growing 6-8 inches per week without it! Found some baby ducks! :D SPRING!!

September 5 - Mowed a bit more*yawn*. Planted lots of lavender, did some weeding, did some watering.

September 10 - Didn't mow today :) Dug weeds and planted lots of lavender seedlings. Weeded Maple Garden. Planted Rockmelon and Pumpkin.

September 11 - Rained all day :(

September 12 - Weeded Plane Tree garden. Lots of spring bulbs flowering still and the white carpet roses which had been ripped out from above the pond and replanted here are covered in leaves and one flower!

September 25/26 - Mowed the paddock from top to toe! sheesh...

September 30 - Tree man came and gave the leylands their first real short-back-n-sides. They look so cute :)

Happenings October
The rain is back! Rained all day yesterday and today I gardened in my rain jacket and pants. Still got wet cos the arm seams (cheap warehoose plastic) pulled apart whilst I was digging! Chopped down the lupins and mustard in the potager. Weeded paths and beds. Planted tomatoes, peppers, aubergine, peas and a few herbs, parsley, tarragon and some self-seeded dill which was growing in another spot. Spread bird-friendly bait around. The melon and pumpkin seedlings I planted a couple of weeks ago were promptly chomped by slimey things...

Tied a few stones to a new lily with pantyhose (of more use in the garden than what they were designed for) and tossed it (nicely) in the pond...wonder if this one will grow ;)

Happenings November
Not much has happened in the garden this month due to other stuff. Lots of seeds were sown for the potager tho and on the last weekend of November. Dug over all spare beds. Planted out (organic/heirloom) seedlings of Golden Pepper, peas, onion, sweetcorn, pumpkin, hulless pumpkin, cucumber and leeks. Planted marigolds all around and nastursium (sp) seeds. Staked beans and tomatoes. Planted seedlings of sunflowers. Hmm, 'lost' my sprouted potatoes....I know I sprouted them....

Happenings December
Mowed around trees and garden edges. Trimmed lower palm fronds and gave them a good water. Staked peas for support. Pruned lower elder branches (east boundry). Fed the 50 ducks lazing in the newly mown duck circle.

Random Dec days :) Have spent days weeding, picking peas, huge broccoli heads and making plans for parts of the garden that have to be done next year, erk! so much to do! Like the path in the potager has to be lifted and re-laid on more sand, it was bad enough doing in the first time!

There are lots of new areas to be created and worked on, as well as the existing ones. The ducks are all over the place! They follow me to the garden and snuffle around waiting for slugs to be flicked out to them :) They may get a bit of a shock early in the New Year however, when the house building starts ....YAY!!