There are still bushfires and hot days but the nights are cooler and autumn officially starts tomorrow. There still has been no rain.
The first garden job was that of review: a tally of what has survived and what hasn’t. Most has survived, and especially the basic structure. The main area that needs major redesign is the area where the cubby was. My image is that of a paved area surrounded on all sides by greenery. I don’t do paving, so I am enlisting the help of my wonderful garden buddies Judy and Greg.
Next job: pruning, removing burned dead bits of plants, removing whole burned dead plants, then another review. 'Review' is probably too mild a word, 'obsessing' would describe the process better. Fellow garden-holics will understand what this is like.
Next job: re-arranging the garden, which means moving things from one place to another. (The last time I moved an itinerant smoke bush, I swear I heard a gentle resigned sigh coming out of the earth.) This re-arranging is very exciting for me. It is SO satisfying when you move something and it just looks as if it belongs to that spot. On the other hand, it often looks as if it doesn't belong, so onward it goes in an endless search for perfect beauty.
There are no rules to help me in this re-arranging but there are guidelines. I aim for repetition but also do one-off features like this prominent dogwood on the upper right side of the photo.
There needs to be an identifiable structure, but predictable symmetrical plantings are outlawed.
Another job which is ongoing and enjoyable is digging out the compost and spreading it over the garden, preferably while it is still chunky. I realized the other day that my wornout slippers were not biodegradable after all.
After this, in a few weeks or earlier depending on my patience level, I will visit my two staple nurseries to buy a few new things. By then I will be reasonably clear in my mind about what I need for a particular spot, so the shopping will be purposeful, or at least impulse buying will be minimized - hopefully ... Although I must say the best things in the garden (as in life) probably come about through serendipity.
My two staple nurseries are Kuranga Native Nursery for Australian native plants, and Diggers Club for a good range of drought resistant plants. Both have a good mail order service, but I prefer to drive the distance despite feelings of carbon guilt.
So the garden continues.