Garden Journal 2013

Happenings May
Most of this year so far has been spent re-working vegetable beds and hen pen. Elsewhere is mainly mowing and weeding.

Happenings June
Mowing only with the ride-on now, paddock too wet for the tractor. The grass is still growing strong with all the rain and fairly warmish temps. Should start to slow a bit soon, we have had one or two cold southerly chills over the last week.

Trimed around trees and hen pen with the weedeater. Sprayed thistles along the hiway boundary behind the existing Leyland hedge which is now about 30% dead and will be removed in the summer when we can get the equipement on the paddock. It is too wet now and would just make a huge mess. Have bought upright poplars from our local nursery to replace them. I have put the new bare-rooted stalks in a slurry and will start planting them next week.

Pruned apple and pear trees. Weeded hedges around house.

Clearing the Herb garden.

Happenings July
Taking cuttings of Paris daisy from the Plane Tree garden and more box . Repotted lavender (french) cuttings gathered a while back. Planting poplars on boundry x 100

Planted avocados beside olives and a sugar maple in the Maple garden. Weed around new pond garden where almond is planted, added compost. Started weeding cherries, add compost.

July 22 started with the first thick fog of the season, got a couple of pics. One looking across the pond and through the willow and another of a splendid 50cm spider web which appeared over-night. No plans required! So clever. Taking cuttings of the red-stemmed shrub which was itself a cutting and I have no idea what it is or where it is from.

Happenings August
The first ducklings arrive at the paddock on the 17th. Mother duck (dixie) has her work cut out keeping them out of harm's way. Harm coming in the form of swamp hens (pukes, who have already spied them) and hawks. I always tell myself not to look at the pond at this time of year and don't count the ducklings!

The paddock has been mown with the ride-on right through this Winter so far! Very unusual because it is always too wet between May and November for the tractor and about July and October/November for the ride-on. There has been less rain about so it has had a chance to dry out a bit between soakings and it still remains soft. It does not take much rain to water-log it though as there is absolutely no drainage this time of year.

We have had four Indian Runner ducks visiting over the last couple of days. They pop through two boundary fences to get here and are very comical and cool. However they have chased the resident mallards away from the pond and one of those is mother (Dixie) and her ducklings. Not happy about that because she spends so much time here with them swimming and foraging. I have hustled the runners back home but they just turn around and come back. Bad ducks! Might have to go and block the hole in the neighbours fence.

Happenings September - Spring!
A stale crust is the drug of choice for the abandoned ducklings at the paddock. I think, indeed am hoping that mother duck is sitting on another pile of eggs. She hasn't been seen around for the last 10-12 days and these babies are living at the pond and making frequent trips up to the house. I don't like to encourage them but oh they are so adorable! Have to remind myself of this when they become big ducks and are a pain in the butt with their poop everywhere. I'm hoping that they will survive, not guaranteed without parental protection, as there are hawks hunting for food for their young. Oh, blast nature! Gives with one hand and whips away with the other. Ebb and flow, yin and yang and all that stuff. It's not easy being a sook in the natural world.

Happenings October
We have been able to mow the paddock again early this month which is a good thing. Grass grows really thick at this time of year. However, the ground is still very soft and in some places very wet. I managed to get the mower stuck and the bloke managed to push it out :)

Three of the abandoned ducklings are still here and well grown so they should be ok. There is a female duck sitting on a large nest of eggs in the long grass/hay (purposely left) beside the hen pen. They should be hatching soon.

October 7 - Weed trimming around the paddock and below the pond. Wisterias are starting to flower. I have four growing below the pond as shrubs. The purples are flowering already with the most glorious scent being right up there with that of gardenia and freesias. The white 'snow showers' - Japanese - is spectacular when it flowers, always later than the others.

The little yellow daylily by the pond is flowering although covered in recent mowing dander and futher across the paddock in the hay is a weigela below the Cercis tree. The weigela really needs a bit of tlc but still pumps out the flowers.

October 22 - Working in the Herb Garden. (see herbs)

Weeding around pond, white wisteria buds are getting fat and ready to open! Love this plant!

Happenings November
We have had very little rain so far through this month. Paddock is drying fast and is already hard to dig. The spring winds have been mild and it is heating up fast, too hot to garden during the middle of the day!

The much waited for white wisteria has been blooming brilliantly this year. The flowers have been well over 400mm long!

Loving the yellow coloured pokers beside the pond.