As reported, friends Kris and Bob went back to California earlier this week. While it was great fun having them visit for three weeks, suffice it to say that not a lot of work got done around Struan Farm. I'm now needing to crack into things big time. It's that time of the year.
All of the gardens at the Homestead and new(ish) house need to be weeded and cut back, fertilised, mulched. The autumn leaves are starting to fall in the Pet Paddock, at the Cottage and by the pond, so those will get raked up and put onto garden beds and into the compost bins, with help from Mike. Bulbs get planted once the annual shipment arrives from NZ Bulbs. (More tulips, daffodils, and some ranuculus inspired by friend Linda Ducruet. I'm thinking they should arrive next week.) I started planting the new griselinia hedge down the drive at the house before Kris and Bob arrived, this needs to be finished. The veggie garden troughs that are done for the season need digging, compost, and maybe "green manure" seeds planted if I can get around to it (those are grown and then dug in to put nitrogen into the soil once they get to a certain size). Three new garden beds have been dug up and fertilised/composted--they're ready and waiting for me, calling out for plants. And last but not least, I've ordered five bare root Luisa plum trees from McGrath Nurseries in nearby Cambridge. Need to figure out where we'll put those "in due course."
I started with the small new garden in the front of the house to ease back into things. John planted our new weeping cercis here this past weekend, I'd purchased it a few weeks ago at Big Jim's Garden Centre in New Plymouth. This tree has recently been introduced into NZ and isn't large, won't get much bigger than it is. The foliage colour works well with the colour of the house, and it should be pretty when flowering in spring. I dug out a buxus/box hedge that ran across the smaller existing bed and redeployed those plants, also popped in several shrubs to give this enlarged area some more colour and texture. We only need a few bags of fresh mulching bark to finish this and then it can all settle in. I won't trim the buxus until the roots are re-established, so the hedge will look a bit wobbly in the meantime.
But I'm off and running, back playing in the dirt, hooray!