91/366: stoned again

With my love for river pebbles reaching fever pitch, I am gradually replacing some areas of mulch with (obviously) longer-lasting stones.

Using the mini pebbles in this narrow garden between the path and the bluestone wall means there is less space for weeds to sneak through than if I used the larger version.

I have planted some dwarf mondo grass along the way as a little feature clump at intervals to add some easy-care greenery. The tag promises they won’t grow too large, but only time will tell. Meanwhile, there is room for some growth.

90/366: pressed for time

What a surprise! I went outside to do something entirely different, and ended up taking a stroll down Memory Lane, a place I often like to visit.

I managed to be distracted by the Black-eyed Susan, a flower of which was lying on the patio. Even when I cut it back, it manages to find a way to survive. Maybe I’ll train it onto some trellis where I would prefer it to be? It seems to be having a battle with the Asparagus Fern.

Aha, I thought, it might be a good idea to press that. Not having pressed any flowers for years, I sourced the flower press. Even though I am rather a hoarder, most of the time I can still find things, though the percentage of success varies.

My trip to the past involved finding some flowers I had pressed from bouquets my daughters had received at the end of the Calisthenics year in 1994. I must remember those, as they could be used successfully for scrapbooking, a hobby I plan to return to in the winter months.

My favourite finding was the flower that looks almost like a water colour painting. Now, that’s a sample of life imitating art.

89/366: a plan for the golden diosma

Having been obscured for some time behind a large conifer, this Golden Diosma has regenerated itself. I used to remove plants too soon to allow them to do this, but now I give them a fighting chance for survival. In this case I have been rewarded with new growth.

I like topiary, so I have pruned part of the new growth to create several little plants within a plant. There will need to be some tweaking and refining of this to create the look I envisage. Then, as with any shaped bush, it will need maintenance.

88/366: my version of time lapse photography

Traditionally, time lapse photography is done a different way, but if I take a photo of a part of the garden, and then a similar photo weeks, months or years later, why can’t I call it that?In this case, I initially planted bulbs around the evergreen alder, and then added some annuals. Some months later this pretty effect was created.

87/366: stone on stone

On the eastern side of the house, between the bluestone wall  and the matching edging of the patio, the protective mulch  kept being disturbed. I’m not sure whether to blame the birds, the cats, or the wind, but it meant the path was often covered with debris.

To this end, plus my newfound love of little river pebbles, I have eradicated the mulch from this area and replaced it with stones of varying sizes.

I like the contrast of the green against the backdrop of the grey and black.

Now we shall wait and see if these river stones stay in place. Fingers crossed!

86/366: be careful where you sit

I had a rather ramshackle old cane chair in the garden, more as an ornament than anything else. Those old Victorian reproduction chairs are lovely. However, when they have been exposed to the weather for long periods of time, they are weakened, as I found out when I randomly sat on it. The seat caved in and that was the end of that.

Not worth repairing, I was loath to throw it out (recognise a pattern?) so I made it into a garden in a seat. As the plants grow, it should look quite nice. If not, no harm done, as it cost nothing to experiment.

85/366: cottage garden effect

Last year we were lucky enough to travel around the world for a fantastic ten weeks.

(That is when I started blogging: travelswithprincessandquiquinou.wordpress.com)

While the trip was great, my garden suffered somewhat, and it feels like I have only just got back on track now, five months after our return. The seaside daisy had gone crazy, creating a cottage effect in the garden. Although I like this appearance sometimes, I also like the manicured look of neatly pruned shrubs.  Just like me: sometimes I am really neat, and at other times very messy, a reflection of the dichotomy of my personality.

84/366: dressing up a shed

Though extremely functional, sheds can be quite plain to look at. I decided to give ours a facelift, so I enlisted the help of my husband, to construct a nice little verandah for it, utilising some leftover timber and roofing from the original pergola after it was replaced.

A couple of artificial plants in pots and a coat of paint, which my visiting sister helped with, and the shed received a lovely transformation into a little cottage. It sits nestled between the trees in the middle tier of the garden.

83/366: don’t chase the birds away

It’s always lovely to see some birds in the garden. Since we have two adorable cats, birdlife here is not as prevalent as we would like, so when we do see some, it’s very pleasant. Sometimes there are even beautiful rosellas up in the trees.

If the cats injure a bird, we are very unhappy with them. However, mice are a different story, and we praise them for being good mousers. I wonder, since the hunting gene is innate, whether they get confused with our mixed messages?

82/366: renovate or relegate?

The rose arbour was becoming a problem. At the rear end it was leaning to one side due to the weight of the overgrown climbing rose, and it was too high and too late to try and start pruning the rose, as we didn’t have a ladder high enough. Then, if we did actually prune it, we still had the wonky posts to consider.

Decision made, we compromised and got rid of the back and sides of the rose arbour, leaving the front arch only, which always reminds me a little of the Stargate.                   Wish we could use it to travel to other planets!