Better Late Than Never

If you’ve been puttering along on this blog for a bit you will be aware that our Summer has been a bit of a no-show, a non-event, AWOL even….. I’ve whined about it here and there and it has been the subject of endless comments between myself and the lovely Alys and several others.

My gardening plans for the past three or four months have also been no-shows, non-events and AWOL – I was too busy painting, or it was raining, or, or, or –  and nothing got done.

Poor Sid presided over a random collection of raggedy – desperately in need of a good haircut – climbers and a motley crew of assorted dead or dying herbs, perennials and wild flowers and his meditative Guardian Cat  was weighted down by the neglected sprawling of a lavender gone wild.  The spiders were having a field day and spinning webs from one side of the courtyard to the other and growing extremely large on the bounty that was thereby captured.  The pots sported a random assortment of dead plants and sprouting weeds.

In short my beloved pocket handkerchief outdoor space was a woeful sight and I was feeling somewhat ashamed of myself.

However, as we know, all things pass and finally – some two months after it disappeared, Summer has returned to us.  It has shown up hot and heady and rarin’ to go – better late than never, I said happily.

And so, on a warm and sunny morning, with the help of my YD who is enjoying two weeks vacation from her highly intensive job, we decided to set to it, fix it up, return it to a fraction of its former glory and give it a do-over.

I was thinking to just have a tidy up, a clean up, to make the best of a bad thing and let it go this summer.  YD had other ideas and reminded me of my wish to do something with the inspirations received from the blogs what are writ by the likes of the previously mentioned Alys and Narf7 and Wendy and Robbie –  ‘Better late than never’ she said.  So off we went to Bunnings.

Bunnings has become her favourite store since the Outdoor Entertainment Area adventure – which I must mention to you, my dear friends, I have still have not spent an evening in due to the inclement conditions of our Yuletide Celebrations and subsequent weeks.  The rain would have been okay but the bitter cold and howling southerly winds were quite another thing to deal with!

From the garden centre at Bunnings I purchased punnets of lettuces and perpetual spinach, parsley and lobelia [the deep blue, hanging variety] I saw a well grown 25cm pot of petunias and something else I’ve just forgotten the name of for less than $10, a heliotrope ‘Black Cherry’ which I had to have as soon as the scent hit me [I grew several of them in my Wellington garden and am still totally in love with them]  and YD bought me a little fushia with the most gorgeous pale pink and purple flowers…….Which was quickly nestled in alongside Sid and his Guardian Cat


I also purchased two brightly coloured plastic containers that look like quite deep baby baths for $4 each and two super dooper large bags of organic compost mix with the bio-grow stamp of approval.

Back in the courtyard we maneuvered carefully around each other and the assortment of goodies and began the cleanup.  It didn’t take long, the whole thing is no larger than six pocket hankies sewn together.  The dead matter was pulled, the soil turned and composted and the colourful tubs had holes vigorously punched into their up-turned bottoms and were also filled with soil and a goodly amount of compost and the seedlings all transplanted into them.


Sid was given care of the three wild thyme plants I had filched whilst up in the high country just before Christmas.  He seemed to be somewhat thoughtful about that ….


If you look here though you can see the new growth despite the lack of care this one has received since coming into my possession…


The existing furniture was given a wash down and any remaining spiders hastily moved on to find new places to spin their webs.


Same chair, just panning to the right:


And now you have done the full 360 degrees 🙂


An hour later it was all done and I was waiting for the sun to go down so I could give everything a good drink.  The bumbles were already dropping in to say hello and then were buzzing off again to spread the word – good times have come, good times have come!!!

Orlando, who had watched the whole frantic debacle from the safety of the conservatory, refusing to come out until the place was all tidy and ship-shape again.  When at last he did emerge, he just as quickly disappeared again.

As a final job, I was about to get a clean bucket of water to wash down my cobweb infested Bay tree when I noticed this:


Can you see?


If you still can’t see, click and click again and peer past the assorted webs to the far side….


Just the perfect place to get a bit of Vitamin D in the late afternoon sun!

I think that by the time Winter arrives, my courtyard garden will be looking most fecund –  almost as good as all those fecund gardens of you real gardeners ….. All together now “Better late than never!”  🙂