Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A Gardener's Job is Never Done

It goes without saying that we all love looking at a beautiful garden. But they just don't happen like that, there is some work involved to turn an unprepossessing plot of land into a little paradise. Bliss is no exception to that rule, so last weekend the under-gardener and I had quite a few tasks to perform before we could sit down and enjoy the fruits of our labour.

First off, were the hedges around the vegetable garden that needed a bit of a trim. Everything had grown so fast over the last 6 weeks, the hedges were no exception and looked a bit messy.
And it's not just the cutting of the hedges that needs to be done, once the cutting is finished there's a lot of cleaning up to do.
I trim all my hedges by hand as I don't like the noise of the electrical cutters. Peace and quiet, that's what we aim for at Bliss, and we're not afraid of a bit of hard work either.
There, all tidy now! Next were the strawberries that needed some straw around them before the skies opened and everything got soaked. Strawberries do not like to be wet and the fruits and crown of the plant could easily rot away if they stay into constant contact with wet earth.
So out came my pink bucket filled with straw and I got cracking.
Now the strawberries (yes, that's how they got their name in the first place) will keep nice and dry and the straw will help to keep the slugs and snails off the strawberries too.

The next job was to plant up a container for the garden cottage. It will go against the new partition wall, the under-gardener built a week or so ago.
I put a plastic bag in the basket to keep the soil from drying out too quickly, but I added a few holes for drainage. We don't want the plants to get waterlogged and rot away. The under-gardener put 2 hooks into the wall and this is how it looks like now. Very nice, don't you think? I thought the new partition needed a bit of something to make it look more interesting.

A plethora of flower containers at the new and improved garden cottage.

Then I went on the pick some more elderberry flowers for my new batch of champagne that I made later that day. I now have 12 bottles of elderberry flower champagne so far. After all that work, it was time for a nice cuppa tea in the vegetable garden. Mmmmmmmmm, bliss.
There is a lot of box at Bliss and they all needed a trim too. For my box topiary I have a special pair of scissors that I use for trimming them.
I was soon happily snipping away at the 2 box cones in the left border and 8 box balls in the right border and after about two hours they looked like this, all nice and tidy.

Of course, all work is done under the strict supervision of this person here, Vita, who's always keeping a watchful eye over everything that goes on at Bliss.
If you look closely (click to enlarge), you'll see another supervisor, Dolly, at work who's keeping an eye on the under-gardener who's busy on the other side of the garden.

Although a lot of hard work goes on at Bliss, at this time of year we never forget to take time to smell the roses.
Sombreuil has such wonderful fragrance, it really is one of the very best roses to plant if you want to enjoy that quintessential old-fashioned rose scent.

Now that the Thalia daffodils had finished flowering, I needed to put something else in my terracotta pots to brighten the place up a bit. I got some gladioli bulbs, a pink variety called Spic and Span, to put in some of the pots. They're put into the kitchen garden and the flowers will later be used for the vase.
The last thing to do was a spot of harvesting. Here are some vegetables from the ornamental kitchen garden. Very colourful, don't you think? It will make a nice salad.
And this is the first flower harvest from my kitchen garden, one of which I'm very proud. A lovely little bouquet, and all grown organically and from my own garden. It doesn't get much better than this, I think.

A garden is not made in a year, indeed it is never made in the sense of finality. It grows, and with the labour of love should go on growing. Frederick Eden

29 comments:

Hummie said...

I enjoy your garden journaling. I do it too, only mine is not as large as yours I think, but large nonetheless. It does take a LOT of time! Great exercise.

A wildlife gardener said...

A gold star to both Vita and Dolly, under whose watchful gaze your garden continues to inspire others. Fabulous rose, once again, heavenly bouquet in a pretty vase, scrumptious salad..and, to top it all, that air of sophistication provided by the pussies! Prr! Prr!

Carol said...

Your garden looks blissful as always.

There is never an end to the list of what needs to be done in the garden, but it's a fun list to have. So many can't garden the way we do, with lovely ornamentals and flowers, along with organic vegetables, that it is a blessing to have what we have.

I'm off to enjoy doing a few jobs in my garden today, too!

Susan said...

Certainly one of the best things about a hard day's work in the garden is that moment when you sit down to enjoy it all. Even better if you get a salad and lovely bouquet in the bargain.

— Susan from South of the River

ladyluz said...

Everything is looking just purrrfect.
Such a joy to see.

Hillside Garden said...

Du sagst es: A gardeners work is never at an end!

Sigrun

Robin said...

Thank you again for sharing your lovely garden and for allowing us all to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Bert said...

There's always work in a garden, that's part of the fun of it. Of course it should be within certain limits, or else it becomes a pain in the neck. The satisfaction of your work is visible in your pictures!!

marl1 said...

Het ziet er allemaal even mooi uit: de vaas, de poes, de bloemenmand( NB opnieuw nestelende vogels: ze halen al dat kokosvezel weg. oh nee Vita zal dat wel voorkomen...)En jullie hebben een hoop werk verzet!Zalig om dan te gaan relaxen...
En nu hebben we ook weer dezelfde buxusschaar...
OT: heb idd een gedeelte van een pijpje gevonden...

Pam/Digging said...

No, it doesn't get much better than that. Your shed planters look lovely. I hope you enjoyed a glass of champagne for all of us online visitors.

Julia said...

Yolanda, can we rent your garden shed? We would gladly pay high rent and are good tenants. We are very quiet, come with one cat and would gladly help in the garden! That shed is beautiful! I love the planters. I love the wheelbarrow.

We are currently looking at buying a downtown condo (without a garden) and every time I visit your website, I wonder if not having a garden is a good idea. Your garden is so beautiful, so peaceful and although I know it requires hours and hours of work, I can't help but feel that it greatly improves one's quality of life.

Libbys Blog said...

As always, I look through green tinted specs at your beautiful garden, wondering if mine will ever look anything like yours!?!? Probably would if I didn't have chooks!!!!

Birgit said...

Es ist gut, dass Gartenarbeit nicht endet, denn so bleiben wir immer in Bewegung und dass an der frischen Luft. Gladiolen im Topf? Habe ich noch nie gesehen. Da ich noch Töpfe frei habe, werde ich es auch versuchen.
Die Sombreuil ist wunderschön, ganz mein Geschmack. Fast noch schöner ist Dolly, die Schöne.
Ich hoffe, dass nun bald für uns alle die Sonne wieder scheint. LG Birgit

SchneiderHein said...

Sehr sympathisch, dass Du Hecken auch lieber leise schneidest. Ich werde ja immer komisch in der Nachbarschaft beäugt, wenn ich mich mal einige Zeit im Vorgarten mit der Rosenschere bewaffne und unserer Ligusterhecke ganz gemütlich mit der Rosenschere eine fast natürlichen Nachschnitt verpasse. Im hinteren Teil des Gartens lasse ich mir dann meistens noch etwas mehr Zeit, da ich dort nicht so sehr unter Beobachtung stehe. Ich finde laute Gartengeräte passen nicht zur Gartenarbeit. Bis auf die Pumpe und den Leisehäcksler gibt es bei uns auch kein elektrisches Gartengerät.
Zum Glück ist unser Garten ja auch relativ pflegeleicht: überwiegend Gießen, maßvolles aber kontinuierliches Schneiden und die Kräuter und Pflanzen austechen, die sich zu üppig vermehren.
Ach würde doch unsere Sombreuil auch schon blühen - allerdings würde sie im Moment wohl viel zu schnell verregnen!
Liebe Grüße Silke

Layanee said...

For those of us who love to garden the reward is in the joy of these tasks as much as in sipping the champagne. Beautiful and satisfying! I always enjoy my visit to your garden. Thanks!

Kylee said...

Love what all you've done with that gardening shed! And your spring bouquet is lovely! Love your kitties, as usual!

Betty said...

Enjoyed seeing your beautiful garden and how busy you are attending to it.....

Tyra said...

Thank you Yolanda for the tip about the rose. Sombreuil, I´ve been looking for an oldfashion fragrant rose. Strawberry, I didn´t know!! Clever girl.

Jalos said...

Op dit moment bloeit bij mijn voordeur Rosa 'Maigold'.
Ze rukt ook ontzettend lekker en ik moet er elke keer even met mijn neus inhangen als ik er langs loop.
Het is een beetje een 'rommelige' bloem maar die geur...heerlijk!
Ook een topper qua geur vind ik 'Compassion' en ook nog eens een beauty om te zien, 1 van mijn absolute favorieten!
Ook ik heb inmiddels mijn buxusjes gesnoeid, ik heb ze nog in pot en wil er graag mooie bollen van maken en ze dan later uitplanten in de tuin.
Maarre heerlijk hè zo in de tuin bezig zijn en dan nagenieten van je werk met een bakkie thee!
Ik kan dan ook maar moeilijk stil blijven zitten, ik zie altijd wel wat. ;-)

shirl said...

Hi Yolanda,

It is always inspiring to see others working through the endless job that is gardening. I too find this is a particularly busy time of the year – but so rewarding too don’t you think.

What will be your next project I wonder? For me it is the paint/staining of tired trellis – I won’t say that’s one I particularly enjoy. What a shame it’s raining again :-)

beadexplorer said...

Oh, I love the little bouquet! :)

lenie said...

Buxus knip ik altijd net voor de langste dag , herstel is dan perfect , en ik hoef maar één keer te knippen per jaar ! Zo heeft iedereen zijn eigen ding ...verder ziet het er fantastisch uit bij je , en ja .....klaar zijn we nooit in die tuin ;))

Piana Nanna said...

Yolanda, I live 20 minutes from Holland, Michigan. The famous Tulip Time Festival is going on now. We just had the "sweeping of the streets" parade yesterday. I love your blog, it encourages me to get out in my garden and get to work!!!

Reema said...

Nothing is as beautiful and more cherished than the garden in which I grew love. Nice work! :)

Annie in Austin said...

Thank you for taking us along on your productive weekend, Yolanda. Between the new paint, the extension and the dramatic containers, you've really made that garden cottage a stunning focal point.

I love how you hand cut the hedges to keep the peaceful aura of your garden intact.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

quu said...

Hi Yolanda! Here is another clay digger as well, but our climate is different than yours. In Northern Finland only crocuses blooms and perennials start to grow very slowly. Small bits of daffodils and tulips can be seen, but summer is coming. :)

You are welcome to visit my blog - it's translated also in english. :)

You may see little tip of cat tail also! Cat named Tassu is my garden help. :)

quu's garden, Oulu, North-Finland

Green thumb said...

Truly, a lot of work goes into creating things which are so beautiful, that, while caught in their beauty, we forget the kind of effort which went into making them so. Bliss is no exception.
Thanx dear Yolanda for giving an insight into making of a near perfection, that Bliss is!

Molly said...

Miss Vita looks like one who was born to rule, er, supervise. Such a queen!

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