Planting up

One day little eragrostis, when you grow up, you will look like this:

eragrostis october

Fluffy and glowing.  But right now you are titchy, but that’s fine.

errant eragI’ve been looting all over the garden these past few days – looking for stray eragrostis grasses which are growing where they are not supposed to be.

This one was smack bang in the middle of the lawn leading to the orchard.

I had decided to leave them be over the summer as it seemed mad to lift them and pot them up and then have someone come and water them while I was away in Australia.

And the clearing away of the errant grasses was my reward for all the weeding and weeding and weeding of this steep bank. A blank canvas of dirt just waiting to be replenished with proper grasses and plants rather than rampant weeds.

My calf muscles are aching from clinging on so long to a steep slope.   And don’t even mention my knees.  They are, needless to say, red at the point where they have been kneeling.orchardhoriz

But I’m getting there. I’ve done another six metres of the bank. A cause for celebration if you look to the right and see all 16 metres of landscaped joy.

To the left it’s another story.  A sorry mess.  But I am fast running out of plants. So I have actually put a marker in the dirt and said ‘weed no more’.

And I’m sticking to it.

It’s a bit of work this landscaping lark.  And no poncy lightweight trowels. I am using my toughest Bulldog fork to bwang into the dry soil and hit the rocks.  Every second dig of the fork reveals stone upon stone. And a few worms (most cheering) and some workable soil (wild applause).


I start from the bottom and work my way up.  And when I reach the top I have to ferry all the rich soil that has naturally ended up at the bottom to the very top which is ghastly sand and a slight sludge of clay.   And I have to construct little walls at the top and a metre down to hold the whole thing up.


But the sun was shining all Saturday and I worked like a demon to get it all weeded and landscaped and then planted up.

The potting shed has been denuded of purple sage, ballota pseudodictamus, agastache, and the garden of the grasses.

mulchBut I ran out of time. I’m about a few cubic metres short of the stand back and admire moment.

Today, of course, was wet. So much for my burst out of the house (tripping over the cat) and getting the job done by morning tea.  Instead I was marooned indoors forced to do useless things like ironing. And washing up. And laundry. All paltry matters when compare with creating a garden.

And this afternoon was supposed to be devoted to collecting branches and sticks for chipping.

Observe the modern method if you will.


Yep. This is why we call our paddock basher of a station wagon ‘the wheelbarrow’. It does a marvellous job of saving me doing endless trips from the forest (or in this case Jean Daniel’s potager where he has felled some cherry branches) with a small wheelbarrow.

I need to chip and chip to cover this huge expanse of just weeded bank.  But I’ll get there. I don’t ‘do’ bare soil.  And it looks so much nicer and feeds the soil with my mix of dead and living plant matter.  And with branches I get a lot fewer weed seeds sprouting than just shoving lawn clippings over the lot.

I had hoped to chip and mulch and plant and applaud. Instead I was forced to tidy my potting shed under a steady drizzle of rain hitting the polycarbonate roof ( with Artur hissing at me from his corner – he hates it when I disturb his second home).  But I found a few more plants which can go in the orchard bank.  So if all goes well, you won’t see me indoors all day. I’ll be out planting.