Carpe Diem

cherriesSeize the day indeed.  What a wonderfully productive day.  And I felt a bit guilty knowing my friends in Minnesota are suffering under yet more snow.  What a long, long winter.

Here the only snow I expect to experience are the cherry blossoms coming off the trees in a few weeks time.

They are all out now, and looking gorgeous.

But there was no time for lingering today; I set myself the task of planting, planting and transplanting.  First up were the calamagrostis Karl Foerster grasses that have been in the terrace bank.  They are now joining the rest of the grasses in front of the shade garden.  Lots of compost in each hole, and plenty of water afterwards. transplanted calmamagrostis

The plants looked a bit peaky when I dug them up.  That was a surprise as they put on such tall lusty growth in summer.  But that was their problem. They towered over the rest of the plants around them and were out of proportion.

Boy it looks messy. I really ought to strim like mad to make these pictures look better. But the day after almost an inch of rain means the soil is wonderfully soft. Perfect for yanking out plants in the wrong spot.

artur in shade gardenI had a works supervisor during this process. Artur looked on baffled at my activity.  He thinks the only good activity is when I am sitting down with my lap at a perfect height for him to perch.

He has to do this with muddy footprints for maximum happiness.

Isn’t that euphorbia wulfennii luminous? I love spring for this acid green.  I started out with just five euphorbia plants which I put (as little babies) in the herb garden five years ago.  And they are such enthusiastic self seeders. herb garden euphorbias

That is one of benefits of some plants. They do the propagating for you.  All the euphorbias in the shade garden came as little self seeders from the original five.

And the herb garden is more euphorbia than any other plant.  They do a great job of screening the compost bins in front.  I love them.

Acid green.

I had a lot of spare soil around the calamagrostis grasses (leftovers from the excavation of the cold frame) and needed to find a home for it.  There is just too much and it’s in the way.  I don’t want Alice’s path to be encroached.

shade garden soilSo I brought out the buckets and heaved heaps of soil just onto the steep slope of the shade garden. It will be fun to build it up over the year so I have a more flat bed.

Weeds will cover it in no time in this soft spring.  I might even get a rush of blood and sow a wildflower mix here.  I did have some leftover seed for the bare bits left by the snow plough down by the letterbox.  But I missed the chance to sow the soil; it has already come up green.  You almost need your sunglasses to protect yourself from the green glare.

But enough gush; back to plants.  I put in six new asparagus plants up at Jean Daniel’s garden (he is away at the moment, so it ought to be a nice surprise), sowed more clover up at my nearby plot. Endured a lap attack from Artur who stalked all over my newly emerging clover seedlings. I didn’t have the heart to chastise him.  But led him back to the potting shed so he could get on with snoozing in his apple crate, and I could get the agapanthus and ballota into the barn garden. agapanthus planted

These agapanthus survived the milder winter in the cold frame, unlike my first batch which died in their first cold winter.  I have kept them in their pots and just plunged them into the soil.

I need more.  It’s all about balance and design from now until June.  That’s when my garden gets photographed for an Australian magazine. Pause there for me to have a mild panic attack about how much work I have to do until then.

Boy do I need to do some weeding.  But today was an exercise in restraint. I had six ballotas to get into the barn garden as well.  And dozens and dozens of eragrostis curvula grasses to move.

miscanthus in pool gardenOh, and a monster miscanthus.  That one had to go in the pool garden with the ten others.  But I had to build up the planting area in a big way as it’s right on the rock.  Luckily I have a huge heap of compost that’s easy to dig out and add to each plant today.  It’s a three year old heap.

The eragrostis were added to the hundreds (it’s that sort of garden) in the steep bank above the swimming pool. That was my last job of the day.  I think I managed about twenty big plants before the call of the evening meal dragged me indoors.

I’ve only about a dozen to go and then I can don my double gloves to have a great session of weeding tomorrow.  Fingernails? Skin on fingertips? Nah. But it’s all for a good cause.