June Queen's Birthday
It's New Zealand's long winter weekend, Queen's Birthday, and bare root roses are on sale in the supermarket - so immediately I have plans for a huge new rose garden behind the pond. I am far too random - only severe rain will bring me to my senses.
Saturday 5th June
First of all - Good Morning to the ridiculous rooster who is standing by the cat feeding bowls crowing at me through the glass door. It's the beginning of Queen's Birthday Weekend - it's not her birthday, but New Zealand gives her this symbolic weekend, especially for gardeners.
Should I be seriously concerned for my mental health, since I spend so much quality time talking to a rooster and hens? Imagine what I'd be like if we ever got a pet pig...
Today I am going to keep gardening behind the pond, where a totally new garden area is being created slowly but surely. I am accumulating a wall of dry burnable rubbish. I wonder if I would get away with planting roses here? Hmm...
This has been one of the best gardening days in my whole life! Stephen has been helping me for over two hours carting rubbish out of the new garden area to the fire. A huge load has been burnt - just in time, before the rain.
Ha! I have zoomed around trying to take artistic evocative pictures of winter, to combat the Chelsea Flower Show summer series that the Moosey photography team in London insist on sending me. These diary pages will soon be filled with some wonderful rival images (see below).
Wonderful Winter Series - Image 1 - Rose Resting
The rain has come, the temperature is down to six degrees, and I have just got home from unselfishly planting six of the sale roses in son's town garden. I've kept two Black Beauty roses for me. Do you think the six roses would make a decent birthday present for son? Even if he actually isn't interested in gardens that much? Hmm...
Sunday 6th June
I wonder if I can get garden help again today? It was amazing how quickly my work went yesterday - even burning the huge pile of rubbish was more enjoyable. I wonder what approach would be successful? - Certainly not guilt - I think I'll try praise of manly strength and stamina...
I've also found a spare Bantry Bay rose (as one does) which can grow on the cleared fence-line in the new garden, next to the two Black Beauties. Nice.
My potential garden helper kept well clear. So (sulking a bit) I worked for two hours on my own - good for character building, I suppose. Anyway I planted the roses and reorganised a path and spread ash and manure over everything. I now need some bargain bin pittosporums to fill in the spaces (there are plenty of seedlings around, but I've never had much luck transplanting them). I will not make the mistake of thinking that this area would be nice for rhododendrons. It can be for natives only - and the odd rose.
I, Moosey the Lone Gardener, have cleared and burnt another eight barrowfuls of rubbish. I have now reached the Pump House, and the path around the pond is reclaimed. I do not necessarily like burning, but I have done what needed to be done.
Monday 7th June
We are off to move the sheep down the road. Then I am going to continue my new garden. It's peaceful and atmospheric - the tall gum trees, the dappled sunlight, the rustic Pump House and the pond with gentle sounds of trickling water. I must remind myself of the following:
This is not a suitable area for rhododendrons!
Right - I am back. The sheep were well behaved - perhaps they even enjoyed their two kilometre stroll down the road! Then I burnt a lot more rubbish. Then we went for a drive into the foothills - there's not much snow yet on the mountains. Then I burnt some more rubbish - it's now past sundown and the fire is still smoking away. My Queen's Birthday Weekend has been one giant burn-up. Happy Birthday to the Queen from the New Zealand gardener Moosey.