Tag Archives: Garden

No change today

“Better a little which is well done, than a great deal imperfectly.”Plato, classical Greek philosopher and mathematician

and  “Well begun is half done.” Aristotle, Greek philosopher and student of Plato.

Ready for the paving

The sun is shining, there is no wind, the area has been cleared but where are the contractors?  I was full of excitement this morning when I saw the sun shining after a weekend of almost constant rain and wind.  Surely the contractors would be here bright and early to finish what they started on Friday.

But no sign of them yet.  With the rain over the weekend, the area that was cleared is showing a great abundance of sprouting weeds.  But I guess the paving just goes over the top of that – hmm?

On Saturday, in a frenzy of excitement that while the patio was not finished, it was at least started, I went to the local Garden Center to buy plants for the gardens to be made around the patio.

Garden Centre

Lotte quite likes going there and she is a great favourite among the staff.  She wanders around on her lead, of course, checking out what is new since the last time we were there.  Well, I think that’s what she is doing, maybe she is just checking out which other dogs have been there before her.

The choice of plants is amazing.  I wanted several plants for different reasons


Something that didn’t mind having its feet wet for the jardiniere.  There are no drainage holes in the jardiniere and so it fills with water as can be seen here.  This shot is not helped by the fact that no weeding has been done here for weeks. I settled on a Heucherella ‘Brass Lantern’.  I am assured by my trusty friend in the garden centre that this will thrive in my concrete pot.


Something to fill in the spaces left when all the old plants have been removed.   I thought the Hebes would do well there and my friend at the GC agreed.  Here they are in the box just dumped there on Saturday in the pouring rain.

I have lots of pots from my living in apartments with only balconies instead of gardens, so I needed some more plants to fill a couple of these.

Australian Radermachera

Radermachera Summerscent

This is an Australian evergreen which I am reliably informed will do very well in a pot, is drought and sun hardy and tolerant of shade and cold.  And as a bonus, it has highly scented flowers.  A perfect plant for me!

Acacia Fettucini

Acacia Fettucini

and this Acacia Fettucini will also look good once planted as it will droop over the side of the pot.  There was a very large specimen at the Garden Center not for sale.  I am hoping mine will spread and droop in the same way.  And I love the name.


Then I saw these little pots of instant colour and decided that is just what I need to brighten a winter garden so I bought ten.  They will look good and welcoming in smaller green pots on the steps to the front door.

Camellias in pots

Camellias in waiting

And finally, some decision will have to be made about the four camellias I bought and then had no place to put them.  They have languished in pots at the front fence for months.  Finding a place for them in this very small garden will be a challenge.

So whether or not the contractors arrive this afternoon, I shall be busy and I shall start with my instant colour pots.  I do wish I could paint as they are the prettiest little darlings.  Blue tending towards purple with little yellow smiling centres.  This will be a lovely way to spend a cold, but sunny afternoon in Winter.

I found this quote from Abram L Urban in one of my books of quotations but cannot find anything about him.  Do you know of this writer?  I should be very pleased to have something to add to this quotation.

“In my garden there is a large place for sentiment.  My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams.  The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful”


Concrete truck

The concrete cometh

It’s now 12.30pm and just as I was about to stop for lunch, the contractors arrived followed shortly by the concrete man.  So the patio will be worked on this afternoon and I am told they will be back to put the finish on it tomorrow.

So watch this space.















Gardening and other pleasures

I appreciate the misunderstanding I have had with Nature over my perennial border.  I think it is a flower garden; she thinks it is a meadow lacking grass, and tries to correct the error.
Sara Stein, My Weeds, 1988

I love looking at gardens.  I appreciate the work that goes into keeping them looking so beautiful.  But I don’t have the inclination to carry out that work.

Here in Wellington we have The Wellington Botanic Garden It covers 25 hectares of land on the side of the hill near the central city.  One of the real attractions is the Lady Norwood Rose Garden, with more than 300 rose varieties in 106 formal beds.

This open space  is a particularly peaceful place to withdraw to as it is within 2 kilometers of the thriving commercial hub of the city.


On my walks around our suburb with Lotte my Tibetan Spaniel, I see the results of many hours of patient work in gardens.  I have had large, well-tended gardens in the past, but the tending was done by others.  I have lived in an apartment with a large terrace filled with pots and plants.  These I tended.  And now I have a very small patch in an inner city suburb that requires tending by me. Today was a day for mowing the lawn – all 4 sq meters of it (well I don’t know how big it is but it certainly isn’t any bigger).  Now all I can think of is that old children’s song ‘One Man Went to Mow’

Preparation time approx 10 minutes

  • Find key to outside cupboard
  • Remove tools and paraphernalia to allow access to Flymo
  • Find power cord for outside use
  • Connect cord to Flymo now we are ready.

Mow lawn – time approx 10 minutes (because of the heat and the rain over the past week the grass was much longer this time and consequently took more than the usual 5 minutes to cut)

Tidying up – time approx 30 minutes

  • Rake grass and put into bag for disposal (no room for a compost heap here)
  • Unplug Flymo and return to outside cupboard
  • Replace all other paraphernalia
  • Lock cupboard and return key to its rightful place
  • Return power cord to its rightful place
  • Pour a cup of coffee and relax knowing that it will all have to be done again in a week’s time.

As you can see it takes longer to begin and to finish than it does to actually mow the grass.  A suggestion has been made that I turn this absolutely tiny area into a patio with paving and lots of pots (of which I have plenty).  Meantime, until the decision is made mowing is what I do.

And now the weeding – but first, another cup of coffee.  And I  just know that Mother Nature thinks my tiny herbaceous border is really a meadow.  Why else would there be such a proliferation of weeds.  Doesn’t matter how often I tell myself weeds are only flowers in the wrong place.

Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. Lindley Karstens,

OK, that’s done but need another cup of coffee before I start on the back patio.

It’s an ongoing task – the leaves fall from the plane tree and I sweep them up; the next day they are all back.

Squirrel in tree

Is there a family of squirrels who live in that tree and delight in watching me sweep leaves? Well, I hope they enjoy it for I most certainly do not.  But what did I say about gratitude?  So I am grateful that I have a courtyard to sweep and can provide a home for these squirrels so close to town.

Cup of coffeeAnd now armed with another cup of coffee I am ready to take my book into my newly tidied garden and relax for the afternoon.  Having said that I certainly agree with the sentiments expressed :

Science, or para-science, tells us that geraniums bloom better if they are spoken to.  But a kind word every now and then is really quite enough.  Too much attention, like too much feeding, and weeding and hoeing, inhibits and embarrasses them.           ~Victoria Glendinning – (The Hon. Victoria Glendinning, CBE British  biographer, critic, broadcaster and novelist.  1937 –