No half measures...
The flax removal continues - with wheelbarrowfuls of slippery flax leaves, and much flourishing of secateurs and the big kitchen knife. No half measures - I am reminded of my great Pittosporum Hunt last autumn...
Saturday 5th March
Yesterday I had to make every moment count (in other words, I went in to work twice). I also had a Latte Club lunch - there were just two of us, and we sat in the big leather-style sofas in the shopping mall and pretended we were real people talking about the new supermarket. Latte Club is a 'teachers with dreams of winning the lottery and leaving teaching' type of club! But in the second session of making-every-moment-count I got more of the large JAM Garden flax down. It is now totally cut off at the knees. I have small puncture marks and wee scratches all over my hands and toes - the flax fought back! And in the last session I did visit the local nursery, and looked at their well priced plants. My goodness!
Rusty the Helpful Puppy
The kittens (up-sized now) are lovely. Puppy is lovely too (though he is still chasing birds - any bird will do). I have two zombie-hens gone broody in the Olearia Hedge. Rooster now runs madly away whenever he sees me in the garden. My poultry self-esteem is at its lowest ebb.
But something really exciting - I have been asked to 'design' (the word is a little presumptuous and embarrassing) a garden planting scheme for quite a large area at my work. They have project money far grander than my wildest dream-plant-budget. This is exciting stuff! None of the work plants can be redirected to the Moosey Garden, but the nursery can give me some extras as complementaries! Yippee! Now I can get some new replacement coloured flaxes - like Jester, and Cream Delight, and Yellow Wave!
Goodbye, Large Drab Flax
Right - today has already started. It's Saturday and the sun is shining. There is cricket (ouch!) to listen to on my brand new super shiny bright red cricket radio. I will wear gardening gloves and gumboots and get that last flax down to ground level. May today's gardening be more successful than the New Zealand cricket team...
The cricket is already a disaster (and it only started at 10:30am) - but my gardening morning has been a quiet success. The garden where the largest of the large flaxes used to grow is now open and sunny - a much better look. I have possibly one flax to go - it is in the Stables Garden underneath the Variegated Elm tree. I also have a theory about these ill-fated plants (it concerns buying coloured flaxes from bargain bins and getting exactly what you paid for).
I can't remember having such a focused, single-minded week in the garden ever before, though. Good on me! My London relatives also have a flax-focus - some coloured hybrid flaxes. It's been so cold that they're not yet allowed out to grace their rather barren (with rather too much roof showing) rooftop garden.
I wonder if I could have a rooftop garden? Maybe on top of the garage, with windswept tussocks? I suspect rooftop gardens have to be in London to be trendy. If my silly New Zealand gardening magazine is to be believed, all London Gardens in general are trendy. Go you lovely New Zealand coloured flaxes in pots half way around the gardening world!
Flaxes by the Water Race
Right - enough flax nonsense. I will have a cup of tea and watch us get at least a couple of quick wickets (ha! ha!), then I will return to the garden for the final flax showdown (hmm... axe rhymes rather nicely with flax). I also have a poultry scheme for friendly removal of hedge-nesting hens, followed by happy containment in a large wire cage...
Sunday 6th March
Yesterday I did return to the garden after lunch, but I cut down overhanging branches of the Apple tree (as one does) in the JAM Garden, rather than moving on to the shadeless Stables Garden. I had little-cat-company (The two kittens were madly climbing the Apple tree - I had to saw quite carefully). Again all my rubbish is cleared up. A few apples have been sacrificed - they are almost ready for picking, anyway.
Today is one of those magic mornings where all is calm, warm and still. I've been out to get puppy out of his dog-motel, we've been around the garden for a pee and a poo (well, puppy has!) - passing by the roses over the water race, which are fabulously flowering again. The ornamental grasses are strong and shiny, and even the swathes of Iris Japonica look good. And the taller flaxes living, growing, and secretly expanding by the water's edge look just great! Ha!
Late Summer Roses
No firm decisions on my renegade poultry as yet - rooster deigned to visit the house decking yesterday afternoon with the white hen, barging right past the kittens and pecking at the dried cat food in their bowls. At dawn his crowing was ever so far away - what's up? Brown henlet (my spell checker keeps wanting to call her Hamlet...) in the Olearia Hedge screeches painfully whenever anyone puts rubbish into the bin - you build your nest right next door to the big plastic wheelie bin - you take the consequences?
- Pittosporums are trong growers - tough shrubs that turn into trees before you can blink.
Today I am off outside before the calm is shattered - wind is forecast. I have one more flax - removal to go, and pots and pots of irises to plant out (before I forget). Then I might pick some roses for the house, and limb up one of the variegated leaf Pittosporums in Middle Garden. The Great Autumn Sawing Festival has started? Hmm...
Monday 7th March
Yippee for the garden, and for gardeners who have to go to work (earn some money, back for lunch) - it's raining this morning! The rain started last night - from my bed I had lovely visions of the Frisbee Lawn turning green again, and the native garden in the Hump bursting back into lush green growth. So when I return the temperate, scruffy, late summer Moosey garden will have transformed into a semi-tropical wonderland?