A strange time of year...
The days are getting noticeably shorter, and faster, too. This is a strange time of year, balanced delicately between summer (sun, flowers) and autumn (cool, leaf-drop). I should be digging new gardens and mulching the old, before time runs completely out.
Tiger the Kitten at Five Months
Tuesday 8th March
I don't understand how time can rush past in the middle of a March week, yet a Saturday in the garden can go on for ever (and usually I go apres-gardening far too early, having run out of oomph). I suspect that I might be part-time working too much at the moment - it brings in money, with no great responsibilities attached, but does it dull the gardening mind?
Take today, for example - today I go into work twice, with a three hour break. So I have a cunning plan - I will lay out my gardening clothes in the garage, leap out of the car and change immediately I return. Then I will garden like a lunatic - I have one another Pittosporum to limb up for starters. When my next work time approaches I will allow five minutes only to change back into proper work clothes and get the dirt out of my fingernails.
Smoocher the Kitten at Five Months
I could wear gardening gloves, of course - probably should. My hands are still scarred with tiny wounds after the recent four great flax removals. Right. Enough. Iron a work shirt. Think of the money. Teach Probability Trees (ha! ha! - what is the probability that I won't get round to limbing up the Pittosporum tree?)... Back soon.
So I zoomed home, via the nursery - oops - but I had to buy a new hand digger - and I bought two purple-leafed Ligularias which were half-price. For the last hour and a half I have been weeding the driveway, sensibly potting up any seedling plants (like catmint and salvias) that I might use elsewhere. Weeding the driveway is no reward for zooming around the nursery like a madwoman with no spare time or spare money - in fact it's rather too mundane and - dare I say - boring! Oh well, and now I go back to work again! Today looks like being a less than satisfying gardening day.
Gourmet Tea Time...
Eek! A new camera has arrived! It is a present from the Moosey Team in London - it is rather flash, and scary. This means I will have no excuse for garden images that are dodgy (I usually blame the New Zealand wind when things are slightly out of focus). I wonder if the new camera will make the garden look better? Aargh! I will just have to be brave and get technical. I can do this! A huge, overwhelmed thank-you to the other Mooseys (now I will have to be extremely nice when I write about them).
Wednesday 9th March
Aargh! I am feeling super-shy about the new camera. I've peeped at the manual, and have done a few garden circuits with the puppy, tentatively pointing and pressing. Even the click as the image is recorded sounds scary! Oh boy! Every time I've taken a picture my hand has wobbled (with nervousness, nothing more). I am going to need a tripod - then I will be embarrassingly well-equipped.
- Dahlias :
- Red dahlias look wonderful in a spacious country garden setting.
So I now have a rather large series of dahlia photographs, in just about of every shade of red through to magenta imaginable (the new camera should be better capturing the reds and magentas). I also have a series of puppy staring up goggled-eyed at me, with exactly the same puppy-expression, though thankfully in different garden locations. I have found a close-up button (there is only one?). With it I have taken rather a lot of shots of the Canna leaves (this is definitely their time of the year - this time, every year, the regulation striped Canna leaf pictures come out for publication).
Lemon Yellow Late Summer Rose - Taken with Old Camera
I have a horrible feeling that I might have to get more arty - I might even be expected to join some adult learning course. Eek! And I forgot to say (shamefully) - I've been home for most of today, but - distracted by the new camera - I've done no gardening...
Thursday 10th March
Ha! It's morning, and I have been busy for the last hour weeding the vegetable garden - in my pyjamas, as one does. I have planted 12 little gourmet lettuce seedlings (fat and juicy may they grow before the winter frosts), and removed a potful of happily growing brown tussock seedlings. These are now in a new, cherry red, fluted pot (a stylish colour pairing, if I say so myself).
Phloxes and Roses in the Vegetable Garden
Pyjamas in the Potager?
But this business of gardening in pyjamas is new, and rather random, even for me. A vision of pastel blue loveliness I may have been thirty years ago, maybe, but rather a vision of silliness in March 2005, with mud on the satin ribbon stripes around the leg bottoms... I've heard of older lady gardeners who regularly dead-head roses in their nighties and go outside with torches in their dressing gowns and slippers on fierce snail-hunts. Ha! I have finally joined the ranks of the mature...
Cameras, Cricket, and Chooks...
The new camera is a worry - how will I ever become a brilliant wobble-free photographer? And how can I get the kittens to stay still in cute garden-location poses? The cricket test match which starts today is an even bigger one. Aargh!
And my poultry have completely lost the chook-plot - the rooster has gone back next-door permanently, just like that, not even crowing a fond farewell. He's left behind his two dozy hens who sit hidden in my Olearia hedge all day and night - and squawk like pantomime witches whenever someone walks innocently past. This could seriously surprise an unsuspecting visitor. Oh well - never trust visiting poultry, I guess.
Eek! Rusty the puppy has just returned from his morning walk with my live-in gourmet cook. He is in deep dog-disgrace. Puppy (a border collie) squeezed through a fence into a small paddock where a placid flock of black-nosed sheep were peacefully (and safely?) grazing. He then decided to practice his sheep-herding skills. With the blood of a thousand canine ancestors coursing through his border-collie veins, he herded the sheep first into one corner, then another, while his embarrassed dog-walker shouted, yelled, and roared from the road-side. Oops!
Later in the Afternoon...
I raced home from work with plans to garden and listen nervously to the cricket on my new, ridiculously bright red cricket radio. But the nor-west winds were far too noisy and horrible to go outside. Oddly the cricket was quite good (I watched most of it on the TV). So there - one just never knows how an afternoon is going to end up! Tomorrow I will definitely get out and into the garden - that Pittosporum in Middle Garden is waiting! There will be gum tree leaves everywhere again to rake up, thanks to today's gusts. Hmm...