Monday, August 26, 2013

Digging In The Garden, Digging Like A Mole ...

Digging in the garden,
Digging like a mole.
Murder on the manicure,
But heaven for the soul.

Last weekend we never made it to Shoestring Cottage.  On Friday night Mr Shoestring thought the traffic was too heavy and we should wait until Saturday morning.  On Saturday morning he thought the weather might be starting to worsen, which indeed it did, and he suggested that perhaps we should forego our usual weekend away.  Lo and behold, English Premier League Football season commenced that night and he was able to stay in the comfort of his apartment and watch it, which he wouldn't have been able to do at Shoestring Cottage where telecommunications are somewhat less advanced.  The clever thing, I have to admire him for his ingenuity.  And on Sunday as a special treat he turned me loose at the Takapuna Flea Markets (where you find an altogether superior selection of tat).  I found these plates to add to my mismatched china collection and I think soon I will have an entire "set" and will be able to invite some very important personages for dinner.

A bit of a fruity theme emerging possibly?

We definitely made up for it this weekend because we spent the whole of Saturday toiling in the garden.  I don't know about Mr Shoestring's manicure, but mine was well and truly destroyed, though it really was heaven for the soul.  (Mine anyway, not sure whether Mr Shoestring enjoyed it quite so much but he was very gracious and never uttered one complaint.)

While weeding and tidying things up ready for the long awaited spring growth surge I was pleased to see that a lot of nigella (or Love In A Mist, a much more romantic sounding name don't you think?) seedlings had come up after I planted one punnet of them last year.  They are so prolific that one was even growing through a small hole in the concrete edging around the garden, you have to admire seeds for their tenacity, the way they will opportunistically pop up anywhere the conditions are favourable is marvelous.  Of course, a lot of them were also growing through the lawn which is a bit of a dilemma because then there is the problem of whether to try to laboriously transplant them or whether to destroy them with the mower after they have made such an effort.  Tricky, very tricky.

After all the complaints I have made about oxalis I surprised myself by succumbing to the charms of this little beauty (yes, it really is an oxalis) with shimmering red/purple leaves and an eye wateringly bright fuchsia pink coloured flower.  I have grown it before and far from being an invasive pest like most oxalis, it is very well behaved and retiring.  In fact I usually lose it within a season or two so this time I shall try to remember where I have planted it and take good care not to smother it with other plants.  

And apart from that new ground cover there is an ever increasing variety of violets

Here are some of them, and a beautifully scented double white Parma violet also went in this weekend.  

Some of the hyacinths from last year haven't given up the ghost quite yet

Crocuses enjoying the early spring

On Sunday we deserved a break for our labours and enjoyed a leisurely coffee and lunch with Mr and Mrs Peaceable.  Between the four of us we were able to put the problems of the world to rights, including many issues which would have completely defeated lesser beings.  Good company and towering intellects, what a great combination that was.  Once again the weather had turned so we didn't even need to feel guilty for sitting inside with the fire roaring away, excellent timing to have done all that hard work in the garden on Saturday.  Mr Shoestring and I have gone back to swing dance lessons, so he had one day to recover before he had to put his dancing shoes on and limber up,for which he was very grateful.