The first official day of summer...
The first official day of summer, a brand new month, and the garden is looking more lovely than ever - as long as I don't wear my spectacles, or peer too closely at the rose leaves (aargh!) or the lawns (another aargh!)...
Pink House Roses
Thursday 1st December
Right. Gentle action is required. A list! A December list! Nothing like a list to organise the mind. Here goes.
- The First December List
- Bicycle ride with puppy. Maybe the whole of the country block? Daring, breaking new ground...
- Feed Fred the pet lamb.
- Put on hoses and arrange sensibly. Have a hose system.
- Move hoses every hour. Stick to hose system. Water one area at a time, properly.
- Read new book.
- More piano practice on Cesar Franck (violin and piano sonata in A major).
- Take new photographs of, for example, Fred the lamb.
You can see this is not a list of substance. In fact, the writer seems to have semi-retired from serious garden work, as well as from official, paid work. However, it must be better than no list at all. And the above items will be able to be achieved, boxes can be ticked, and a tiny bit of accountability can reappear in the life of the head gardener - who is feeling very moochy and lazy - thus waffling on in her journal, stringing phrases full of nothingness together, keeping puppy waiting (see item one)...
Puppy and I went for the longest ride. I have done everything on the above list except my piano practice. But there's more - I have even burnt the rubbish, picked new roses for the house, and trimmed the aquilegias by the pergola. A garden hint - they'll grow fresh new leaves quickly (beautiful, ferny, lacy foliage) if totally trimmed after flowering. Ha! Some gardener credibility restored!
Friday 2nd December
I've definitely had a moochy, underpowered gardening week so far - hopefully this afternoon I will be better, and busier. This morning I have a few other commitments (like lunch with younger son, and a short hour at work), but it's a bit drizzly anyway. I need to plant the new hostas and lavenders, waiting patiently in pots by the garage...
Moosey December Animal Report - Cats, Dogs, Birds and Sheep
Good morning to Stumpy the cat, who misses the Moosey House Guest's lap, and is stuck with the head gardener instead. Or should that be the head semi-gardener? All other cats are well. A huge, grateful thank you to the kind website reader who is voting for Lucky Puss in the MVP (Most Valuable Pet Competition). I think I have now located Lucky Puss's memorial rose, shifted into the new Birthday Garden. Thus a rosier future is now assured for this long departed, idiosyncratic What an odd word to spell) cat - and her ceremonial rose The Prince.
There have been no more small bird disasters (thank you, Tiger the fat little hunter cat - I don't want you catching any birds) to report. Rusty the puppy ferociously chased a duck out of the Wattle Woods yesterday, and refused to show penitence when summoned by the B.B.B. (me). One medium sized duckling got left behind, safe underneath a Hebe (later reunited). I wouldn't lurk for a minute in the Wattle Woods, if I was a duck - life can too easily turn to duck-custard!
- Fred the Pet Lamb :
- My pet lamb Fred is so lovely. He's easy to feed and to look after. I wish there were other lambs for him to 'play with' and copy, though. Lambs are supposed to be bouncy!
Fred already behaves just like a boring sheep - George the wether and the two old merino ewes are hardly vivacious, bouncing company. Put it this way - they'd bore the gardening pants off me if I got stuck with them for a day!
Rusty the puppy has a small cut on his foot (paw) - it happened on our extremely long bicycle ride yesterday. Oops - I thought he was going rather slowly at the end, but didn't notice the limp until we got home.
Saturday 3rd December
Right. I am wearing my new vertically striped summer gardening shirt. I have no excuse not to garden today. The social calendar is empty. The garden is full - of weeds, as well as beautiful flowers. There are roses to dead-head! And daylilies to admire, plus late peonies and rhododendrons, so vibrantly pink they are impossible to photograph. The Cordylines and the flax bushes are flowering. Wonderful, subtle beauty - the very best kind! And the big scrambling and climbing roses are still blooming fiercely. How long can their generous colour last?
Golden Marjoram and Sedum
This morning I require a full, careful mowing of absolutely all the Moosey lawns. It is not satisfactory to have a time delay between the mowing and the trimming of the edges (another urgent task). Then I need to weed the sloping bank of the water race - I'll have to do some shovel slicing and get my feet wet. Ha! I will need my new gardening shorts!
Rusty's Sore Paw
Puppy's foot is fine (just a small cut between his - toes?). Yesterday we tried a gentle walk and he raced and zoomed around. Today he can come in the water race with me. I will work really hard until 2 o'clock, at which time I will change into my new apres gardening jeans and white muslin shirt. I will then celebrate the first Saturday of Summer with a cool iced water, some healthy lunch, and CRICKET (the first match between (New Zealand and Australia).
Right. Since my detailed and highly interesting plans for today are now in the public domain, it's time for action and follow-through. No more writing is allowed until the cricket starts.
I am back. The cricket is going along OK, and my hands are sore from pulling out water race weeds. I stood in the water for two over hours, resulting in the seemingly permanent numbness of the Moosey feet. I know about certain gardening injuries - the secateuring of a finger (ouch), the ripping of skin by a rose thorn (eek!), but the only significant foot injury I've heard of (and never experienced) is impalement by the garden fork. Numb feet are a bit scary, for an older lady gardener.
As I've weeded I've scooped up stones from the bottom of the race to place on the cleared dirt. There must be a better way to keep these edges weed-free - if I keep slicing, forking, and digging them I'll end up with a water race that is ten feet wide. Hmm... Chemical thoughts are wafting slowly around...
Rusty in the Roses
Sunday 4th December
Aargh! Eek! Aargh! The cricket was disgraceful! We were well and truly trimmed and pruned down. Early morning question - what is worse? The New Zealand cricket team, or the weeds on the edges of the Moosey water race? What will I do today? Find the sharp spade and on behalf of the New Zealand cricket team slice out the remaining weeds? My hands are still sore from battling with the octaves of Cesar Franck as well as pulling out tenacious clover weeds. In fact I am moderately down in the dumps about the ability of my hands to do either of the following:
- Play the Cesar Franck (piano and violin sonata in A major) half decently, with two thirds of the correct notes at three quarters of the speed.
- Rip out all the remaining water race weeds by hand, so pride can at least be restored to the Moosey Garden's greatest water feature.
Pinks and Flax
While I am feeling down I might as well contemplate the brown patches on the lawns, the black spots on the leaves of Othello the rose, the mess in the Wattle Woods, and the worse mess in the Hump. I could watch the highlights (ha!) of the cricket just to cheer myself up! Hmm... It's going to be one of those days...
Morning Coffee - Optimism Returns
I blame the cricket - this garden grumpiness will just not do! I have been attacking the water race with fork, digger, and hands for an hour and a half. I can do this weeding! It is able to be done, quietly, slowly but surely, by me. I am to be rewarded - non-gardening partner has been busy sharpening my edge trimmers and fixing a puncture on my bicycle - my own bicycle! Yippee!
The birds are singing, the clear, sparkling water has been rushing past, cooling my legs and feet. My garden is full of beautiful roses. The cornflowers I grew from seed are flowering, as are my new little Dianthus plants! It's summer! I can finally wear my new gardening shorts! I love my animals, my family, and my garden!
Convincing stuff? Am I lucky? Ha! Am I in a better mood? Ha! Nice coffee, by the way.
I'll do another short weeding session, around the burning heap by Middle Bridge. Then we are going to take puppy for a long walk in the mountains - in the beech forest paths of Craigeburn Forest Park. Then we might go to the new Harry Potter movie. Nice. Much better, in fact.