Friday, 6 January 2017

Working bee #4

Not sure why it is, but we are having working bees every week this summer, this time we were harvesting garlic although it was a disappointment, the bulbs were not much thicker than the stems! Nicole reckoned it was because of the mild winter we had.

My pumpkins and melon seedlings found new homes with the lads down at Woodside and we now have English lavender in the herb plots. Everything is growing lush and even picked a few juicy strawberries.

At home, work is continuing on my 'foundation planting' as its called in America. This is your garden beds surrounding the house. I wish sometimes I could remove everything my brothers planted except for the box hedging as it just doesn't really work. For example, we have a camellia bush that needs pruning right underneath one of the windows and it really does nothing but sit there, when it does decide to bud the flowers fall off an leave a brown mush, and is basically not really a plant that enhances the space at all. It could be a hedge but a hedge is pretty useless right next to the house and not actually hedging anything.

Another is the aformentioned Canadian red maple tree and the misplaced wisteria. I am dealing with these. The north facing wall has a triangular wedge bed that I have just pulled a lot of black plastic polythene from underneath rocks. It is in a terrible state and nothing will grow there, which is why it looks such a mess, I have removed most of the ginger lilies and put in English lavender, ivy geranium, nestling amongst breath of heaven and a dying ceanothus. I am going to have to invest in some top soil, sand and compost just to get things growing again and it will be a bit harder than the south facing fernery because its so dry there.

My colour scheme has gone out the window as the gazanias, one lot are bright yellow, and there are pink sweet williams as well. I was going to have a glaucous theme (lambs ears, snow in summer, echeverias)  but then the gardenia and frangipani in the corner were crying out 'sub-tropics' while the lavender and echium were shouting 'mediterranean' and then near the end somehow the creeping violets wanted to also be in on it and were humming 'woodland'. So I am not sure what theme this garden wants to be. I am going to call it 'fusion wonderland'.

It can't be any worse than the kitsch garden which is gracing the cover of this January's NZ Gardener which has pink flamingos and artificial turf.