Summer ambience in the garden is more than a gigantic rose show - it needs the lawns mown, all the edges of the garden borders neatly clipped, the paths through the gardens cleared, all the garden seats and benches fully functional...
Tuesday 14th December
But the Great Moosey Rose Show continues - some roses are ready for their first dead-heading session, others like the luminous pink John Clare are only starting to flower. The irises are all over now, and the Lychnis plants have taken over all possible gaps in the flower gardens. My motley collection of Verbascums are lovely - but each flower-head is weirdly curved like a question mark (why am I here?). And the bulk of the daylilies are almost ready to flower - parts of my garden will soon turn beautifully orange.
Sir Edward Elgar Rose
Another amazing discovery was made by me late yesterday - my garden really looks better when there's no wind. Think about this for a minute. Actually I must report fully on yesterday's grand gardening day. It was wonderfully positive (no wind, see!) and I retired smiling, with that alcohol-free rosy glow that gardeners understand. A great day! So simple! No wind!
Yesterday in the Garden
I spent the whole day weeding and clearing (yet again), in the delightful partial shade of Middle Garden. I sawed off some lower tree branches, and chopped up all the purple flowering variegated honesty. I trimmed some large euphorbia seed-heads, and dead-headed roses. Rusty the puppy was - well - helping isn't exactly the word. He makes me garden slower - then I shouldn't get so tired, should I? My (very artistic) younger son, living at home for a week, says that my garden shapes are working and that my plants seem to be co-operating. Praise indeed!
Back to Tuesday 14th December
Oops - got quite sidetracked up there! I'm going to visit lots of different garden areas again today, carrying my complete gardening tool kit, of course. This will be a good test to see if the Moosey Garden is actually big enough. If there is no wind I'll probably conclude that it's ridiculously small, and that the garden behind the pond needs to expand. Then I'll get all tired digging, and I'll need to buy in lots of new plants, but I've not got much money (we've been over all this before)...
More compulsory socialisation - a visiting friend and I have been wandering around the garden on a find-where-brown-hen-is-laying mission, after sitting elegantly on the pond decking in chairs drinking decaf coffee and munching Christmas cake. No luck with the hen. But my garden seems to look really good! I've spent a rather annoying morning collecting and burning gardening rubbish - wafts of smoke are still spoiling the outdoor country ambience just a little. I will return.
Wednesday 15th December
It's a magical, calm, early morning. There are roses everywhere - Mary Rose through the bay window is at her most beautiful, accompanied by blue salvia and a host of white Nicotianas. Puppy is up and having a pre-breakfast snooze with the big old dog. This morning I am going to work hard for a couple of hours only - then I have yet another Compulsory Socialisation with my walking friend - we are going to visit the real, big, Christchurch Botanic Gardens (with old lady thermoses). Yippee! More garden reporting (except I am really hopeless at writing about these visits).
Surfing the Rose Wave?
Actually I sometimes wonder why I write so much - less writing and more action in the garden would be a very good idea. I also have waves of photographic garden subjects - I'm still on the rose wave, while the new puppy wave is remarkable restrained. The new kitten comes today. Oh dear! Life is so full! And I have more compulsory socialisation this Friday. I used to spend much time talking to the cats, chooks, and the deaf old dog. There are definite benefits in conversing with real human people!
Except I spend a lot of time telling the nosy next-door cattle yesterday that my Wattle Woods stream has once again turned into a dry-stream bed. My visiting friend says this is trendy - but I want the living magic of running water, not some silly arty scooped-out wiggle filled with stones. So do the moisture-loving plants living nearby. Hmm...
The big Christchurch Botanical Gardens were amazing. The old-fashioned rose gardens were in full flower - and with such brilliant companion plants, too - lovely swathes of low growing delphiniums, and other perennials flopping naturally into each other. I have to go back - there's far too much to see in one visit. There were gardeners everywhere, too - what a brilliant job that would be, if one needed to have a job in the city.
I did a bit of puppy-gardening in the Hump. I've collected pine cones and re-routed the path. It's a dry dusty mess in the main area - hard to know what to do in here when the spring honesty has died down. Rusty the puppy has been zooming around chasing sticks and old plastic planter bags, and doing a bit of puppy-digging...
Puppy Walking the Plank
Thursday 16th December
It's raining - again - great for the garden, and I don't care if all the Iceberg roses get spotty. This morning the new kitten comes! Eek! - Might be a good day to finish the Christmas Jigsaw (which is a pretty picture of an English cottage garden entitled, rather aptly, 'Gardener's Cottage'). Wonder if it's a famous gardener's cottage attached to a famous English garden? One year I shall get a Moosey garden photograph made into a 3000 piece jigsaw for Christmas - actually, this could be a little obsessive, hee hee...
Why are some gardeners such poor chroniclers? Because they sometimes can't spell a rose name wrong. No wonder I couldn't find the rose Friesia (spelt correctly now!) in my big rose book. It has two other names, and Sunsprite is the main one. Ha! Now I need to find out who Sally Holmes is - my Sally Holmes roses in the Island Bed are beautifully blooming.
Moosey New Kittens Report
Oops. Earlier this morning I brought home two kittens. One is a ginger tabby, the other a brown and black tabby. Oh dear! It just seemed the right thing to do. Rusty the puppy is perplexed. Taj-Dog is just plain nosy. The cats are extremely peeved, and are growling and hissing.
Late Friday 17th December
No gardening today. Everything looks super-green after the rain. The new kittens are great fun. They have named themselves, from their instant kitten-personalities - the tabby puss is called Tiger and the ginger puss is called Smoocher. I am having a slow day - I've been collecting pinecones with Rusty the puppy, out walking, and sleeping.