There are two ways to Garden

The Bull at a Gate kind. Flat out, limbs trembling, fingers shaking. One eye on the clock, the other on your hands as once again you cut yourself, instead of the branch with the secateurs. The kind, that at the end of the day, leaves you exhausted and with no real sense of satisfaction of a job well done, or even finished. For if the truth is told, that kind of gardening is never satisfying.

The other kind is far more relaxed. The stop and smell the roses kind. Where you enjoy the journey as much as the work. Where it doesn’t matter if you stop in the middle of weeding to admire a particularly nice leaf, watch a fern frond unfold to face a new day or smell the flower that has just bloomed. This is the kind of gardening, that when you are finished gives an enormous sense of “right”. Of a job done well – where all the planning and decision making was worth the effort. Where one jobs leads to another and they are all finished by days end.

Guess which kind I did today – and no it wasn’t the first one.

One job did seem to lead to another. Ashley picked up several loads of Dead Concrete (it is what they wash out of the concrete trucks at the end of a job – lots of sand with some concrete in it. Enough to pack down hard, but not to set – like concrete…lol). I wanted a fresh load of it spread on the path up to the house where it is particuarly wet now we are watering again. There were holes in the drive that needed filling and some to be spread along the vegie garden paths and in the shade house. The path was done, but I had to move the huge pile of weeds I had put there. That lead to building another compost heap.

Those who are particuarly good at compost heaps would cry at the look of mine, but it does work. When we had the dam cleaned out, all the silt from the bottom was dumped in the orchard. It doesn’t seem to have effected the fruit trees at all, they are loaded with fruit. We have been gradually moving loads of this silt into the compost heaps, laying it with lots of weeds and prunings and piling on the sheep manure. It is working. Our soil is clay. There is no other way to describe it, however when mixed with prunings from the garden and the manure and turned reguarly it does break up very well and will be suitable for making new garden beds. I don’t both mulching any of the weeds or branches, the heaps need all the air flow they can get, but they are still breaking down nicely.

Then I turned my attention to the cat cage. There were sixteen pots of dicondra that had to be planted as a lawn alternative in there, plus sundry other plants to go in, all after it was weeded. Not mentioning the other more established plants that needed dividing and replanting. All done and the whole cage heavily mulched with chip bark.

I have been trying to decide on the purpose of the cat cage other than to contain the animals at night and when we are away. A garden should have a purpose shouldn’t it, other than a place to put plants. It isn’t an area to sit down in, although it can be very pleasant there on a hot day. It is more a space between the garage and the house – a lush tropical jungle that invites you to slow down and admire it as you pass through. A place where the animals can feel safe and relax in the cool. Well that is the idea anyway. I think today I might have come a little closer to acheiving that aim.

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4 thoughts on “There are two ways to Garden

  1. I’d love to see a photo of the cat cage one day, it sounds quite lush, we have one too, it’s a small yard attached to the old cubbyhouse, the cats sleep and eat in the cubby and move in and out between cubby and cat yard through the window, it has boxes for sleeping inside very cosy in winter, we’ve only two cats and I hate having our pets living outside but they started spraying in the house and had to go, at least this way they are safe at night and it’s big enough to leave them there for a weekend away (when daughter comes to feed them)

  2. I’m certainly a subscriber to the second method of gardening as well though it doesn’t always work that way.

    I had the joy of walking around the garden with my 4-year old son this afternoon introducing him to all the wonderful fragrant flowers. Hopefully he’ll grow up to be a gardener one day as well.

  3. Have you thought of planting a shrub or 3 in the cat cage?
    Our cage is half of the (usual) garden variety garden shed that has a trapdoor/hatch giving entry to a roofed enclosed yard that has the trunk of a(growing) gum tree in one corner….a good scratching pole :-)I have to sneak in there occasionally with the mower to lower grass level.
    The half shed the cats occupy is separated from rest of shed by weldmesh and there is also a door of the mesh so that they can still see out or catch the breeze.Works well!

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