Just magical...

This spring is just magical - for the first time I have enough room in my life to see everything that's happening in the garden - like the first rhododendron (red) slowly starting to flower, and the measured succession of beautiful prunus trees in blossom.

Friday 17th September

Brrr... there's a slight frost this morning (check out my poor sculpture pig!). Today I plan to continue weeding - possibly in the Island Bed, where a scruffy spreading weed-filled violet is making life difficult. The Moosey Daffodil Festival continues to thrill and amaze - nearly every room in the house has a regulation vase full of daffodils. I think I'm right in saying that the garden is looking better than ever before, in any September I can remember.

 But is it garden art?
A Pig, A Hollyhock and Frost

Morning Tea Time...

Moosey the Best Friend of Free Ranging Chooks is back to report her weeding progress. Weeding is odd - sometimes just a superficial cosmetic show can fill a gardener with extreme pride. Thus it is for me this morning. I can see the wedded Island Bed from where I write this diary - it looks great! Again there seem to be lots of gaps for new plants - where did I put that mail-order catalogue? The big pink blossom tree is nearly in flower, and the pink Azalea and Camellia continue to look beautiful.

Saturday 18th September

Weeds, look out! My hoe is twitching, ready to slice you all off at the knees (hmm... we seem to be a little aggressive this morning). Wallet, look out is more like it - with my serious bouts of weeding I seem to have unearthed lot of dirt space - perfect for the insertion of lots of newly purchased plants. I had better keep well away from nurseries and supermarkets this weekend.

 Stumpy the cat is at least 12 years old.
A Stumpy Cat, a Carex, and Two Daffodils

Sunday 19th September

Yesterday I weeded all day. I like the hoe, but I am sick of small-scale weeding. I really do have lots of bare spaces which should be filled with new plants. It is possible that I will go to the local market today - maybe there will be some cheap perennials, shrubs etc. I only want lots of small things! And if there's nothing to buy, I can always pot up a thousand new catmint plants in protest. Frothy rows of catmint always look good in glossy border photographs...

Rooster :
Rooster - you'd better stop crowing or you might end up in the pot...

Some serious poultry management happens today. The rooster's midnight crowing is getting out of hand - unless it's blowing a gale or raining hard he is very noisy.

The plan is to put him in the henhouse overnight, feed and possibly imprison him in there for some days, and gradually encourage the hens to join him. Brown hen and solo small chicken (please can it be a female? please!) are doing well, but the extreme free-ranging of these birds will have to be stopped soon.

So what shall I do today? I feel like buying in a trailer-load of new plants! Hee hee...

 Beautiful in spring.
The Apple Tree Border

Humph... I'm back, after three hours of weeding. Have I weeded all the weeds there are to weed? No way! I need a hand-held raking fork - and three under-gardeners. Blast the vegetable garden! I'm in a slight grump because I went to buy plants and they were TOO dear! This morning has been somewhat character building...

 There's a beautiful mixture of colours in this row by the road-side.
September Daffodils by the Fence

Later...

I have failed to lure rooster into the henhouse. But I have finished weeding the vegetable garden, and I've started off several pots of hydrangea and purple sage cuttings. One cannot have everything.

Monday 20th September

Technically today is the first week day of my holiday from work, and usually I would have been crowing (eek! not a good word to use) with delight - twittering on about making every moment count, overwhelmingly loving my garden and animals (eek! exclude that noisy soon to be banished rooster), and so on. I am having a much more balanced year as a result of three-quarters retirement, and I am now certain that the Moosey Garden is in the best spring shape it's ever been in.

So what should I do first today, in order to make every moment count? I see that I haven't made a tense earth-challenging list for a while - proof of the new relaxed garden-model gardener. And speaking of garden-models, a modest comment that the September 2004 version has lost 6kgs (yippee for gardening knees and hips!) by eating lovely healthy food, and has almost achieved her goal - namely that the gardening shirt will flow gracefully over the gardening backside. Forgive this personal intrusion!

Back to today. I'd like to do the final clearing in the Hump and check on the new native plantings - as long as there's no lingering frost like yesterday. Then I could buy a few new trees, maybe the odd new shrub - I'm still itching to go garden shopping! Oh well, we'll see...

Late Lunchtime...

I have spent up large! Assorted plants are in the back of the car ready to be sensibly planted in the right locations. I have bought two lemon Leucadendrons that look like the ones I saw at the Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens. I have hebes, pittosporums, variegated carexes, and a few others. I am off to turn the hoses on so I can water my new plants when properly installed. It's a glorious day - sunny, calm, and I feel optimistic that I still have a couple of hours good gardening left in me. Now I need to make the right sunny-shady decisions, and then this excellent day will be complete.

 I hope it's a female chick!
Brown Hen and Chicken

Tuesday 21st September

I keep finding new areas to weed - oh well, at least I am also planting things (like Iris Japonica by the Wattle Woods stream). In an attempt to hoodwink fate I am not going to mention this ambient little stream (which is again operational).

My house guests (wearing head-torches) nearly caught my rooster at 3 am early this morning - they had him cornered in the woodshed, after removing him from his roosting branch with a broom (ouch!)... but the brave bird got away! Seriously, it's time that the chooks became a little less free-range - they are starting to dig up my new plantings. The brown hen and chicken are a delightful pair to watch, but they too need to be introduced to the henhouse. Oh dear - I'm going to miss them.

Some random lunchtime thoughts - I could buy fifty more new plants and find places for them all. I would dearly like some more flaxes for the Wattle Woods. When will the weeding end? There is new blossom, and the newest pink Camellia to flower looks absolutely gorgeous. And it is almost Aquilegia time! Back to work I go...

Later...

I am apres-gardening (in flowing blue denim) after another weeding and pottering session. The wee stream is still going, and I've cleared it of gum leaves and thrown some small stones on the bottom. I am really tired - what a beautiful day I've had in my garden!