This is the first spring that I've been properly home in my garden, ever. I am enjoying the quick-fire changes in the garden - colourful flowers bursting out of the greenery, and shrubs blooming without warning.
Thursday 19th October
What a good life! I am so lucky. My spring morning routine is so peaceful. Shake my hair, feed six cats and a reformed, very well behaved dog, make that first cup of tea, check the mail (hello, my dear friend Liza!), fill in the day's gardening intentions and/or review the previous gardening day - in The Official Moosey Journal, of course...
Yet Another Beautiful Rhododendron
Then feed Haru the pet lamb, and contemplate her sheepy social life, stuck in a paddock with boring, nosy old George, Fred the bleater, and Charles the Scaredy Ram. And then visit the hens - today's breakfast is gourmet salad greens tossed with old grainy bread, chopped apple cores and old brown bananas.
I am going out to lunch with some of my walking friends! Yippee! Yesterday our trip was to Ryde Falls, a smallish waterfall in the Mount Oxford forest, one of nature's wonderful water features. There was much profound dreaming - waterfalls have unbelievable energy forces, leaving bush-walking gardeners lost for words - for once! I love my own, person-made water features - the sparkling water race, and the pond. I'm sure I have room for a waterfall somewhere!
- Tricolor Flax :
- I love the spring blossom season.
Now to the garden. First I will do the glass-house chores, then check that my new standard roses (Blushing Pink Icebergs) haven't blown down in last night's wind. All that gusting and puffing - I'm amazed there is still blossom on the trees. I must create a host of new catmint plants for the sunny lawn edge of the Dog-Path Garden.
I've seen the first of the firsts, if you know what I mean. The first blue iris, the first purple Japanese irises by the water race, the first New Zealand native toi toi plumes in the grasses by the Stables, the first pink rose buds opening on the woodshed roof.
And Another Rhododedrnon
More and more rhododendrons are covered in colour (oops - I seem to have quite a lot). The Mexican Orange Blossom is blossoming. All sorts of scruffy Viburnums are flowering. The Ceanothus by the new garden bench is blue. Peony buds are ready to open. The new hostas in the side Pond Paddock garden are shooting up. It's the gigantic Moosey's Eleventh Choral and Orchestral Garden Symphony. Beautiful garden music - an Adagio here, a Scherzo there, here the counterpoint of a flowery Fugue...
- Agnes Rugosa Rose :
- The rugosa rose Agnes is surely one of the best October flowering roses - and I'm sure she has a sweet smelling fragrance, too.
The Wisteria is blooming properly on the patio pergola! And my perennial cornflowers (just the normal blue ones) are flowering. Agnes the rugosa rose is covered in lemon flowers. Fruhlingsgold is being just brilliant. I just love, love, love these creamy, lemony yellow roses. These are exciting times. Something brand new is bound to happen tomorrow.
Blimey! Where did all that come from? Anyway, I'm off to Oxford for lunch - that's Oxford, New Zealand. Mundane details - the hoses are on, I've laid more newspaper in the pond garden, shifted trays of annuals and perennials outside to greet the natural air, and broken up some catmint into fresh growing pieces.
Friday 20th October
Eek! Now October is nearly over! I must spring into the garden (hee hee) and do lots of gentle, steady work. It is just possible that I may spend a little money on more new plants. There will be much watering (the hot dry norwest winds have been blowing most of the week) and organising of seeds (memo to self - buy a couple of bags of potting mix).
A Good Gardening Day Has Its Rewards
Later today there are lots of rewards - like fresh orange juice full of lovely floating bits, and another roast lamb (sorry, Haru - promise it's no relation). And tonight there is cricket! But what a watery legend I am! I've been clearing the Moosey Pond, doing major excavations around the edge - with the dog 'helping'. He swims around, trying to help pull the clumps of cutty grasses and flaxes out. Every couple of minutes he emerges, and shakes off excess water - all over me. The sun is brilliantly shining, and there's no wind, so I'm wet and warm. No sooner do I get dry than he does it again! We are two friends having gardening fun.
What shall I do this afternoon? Perhaps something requiring less grunt - for example, I could clean up the gum tree leaves from the house lawn, or I could weed in the shade underneath the Kowhai trees. Hmm... We'll see. First I'll shift the hoses and water the glass-house seeds again. The sun seems so strong - it could even be summer! Yippee!
Golden Marjoram in the Laundry Garden
Later, Apres Gardening...
All I did was weed. And shift hoses around. And then some wind started blowing, so things got noisy. The more tired I got the more I noticed all the undone things. All the lawns need mowing, and I think I need manly help to finish the pond. perhaps tomorrow I will do a general path sweep, making sure that absolutely all the paths are weeded and clear.
But I do have some nice garden news. I am off to Akaroa on a bus trip with the local Garden Club in a couple of weeks time. Akaroa is renowned for its rose gardens and cute cottages. And one of my friends has given me some lovely little irises and some Chatham Island Forget-Me-Not seedlings. There's a rumour that those sold in the nurseries are deliberately sterile, so people have to keep on buying them. Dodgy!
Saturday 21st October
Haru, the gentlest and brainiest of girl pet lambs, is waiting for her morning bottle. She sits politely in the fence corner. There is no excessive bleating, or jumping of the fence at the slightest movement from the house (I'm remembering Fred lamb). This morning the chooks have a cabbage, potato and grainy old bread dish, sprinkled with the softened ends of asparagus and green beans.
- Wisteria :
- The Wisteria is a very successful patio climber - spring flowers, summer shade...
The Wisteria is flowering beautifully on the front patio. The blooms - racemes? - are soft and fragrant. The first of the electric blue lupins are flowering. And next-door there is a delightful gorse stem (I cannot call it a bush) alive with bright yellow flowers. Aargh! Such a colour, and such a horror plant. Out, out, damned gorse!
Over the Hedge
Bad weather predicted for this afternoon. Rain, if it comes, will be nice - as long as all the lawns have been mown in time. Last week I visited two of my walking friends' country gardens. They have properly sown lawns - not this rough paddock stuff that I garden around. And one friend had a special stone bridge built for her last birthday - and she has three ponds. So my idea of a second birthday pond is not so far fetched. Hmm...
Right. I have a lawn mower man to organise. And a vegetable garden to plant. And my spring flowers - I love you to bits!
There is suddenly so much to do. Yes, all the lawns have been mown (a bit roughly, but they're done), and naturally I want all the edges to be immediately finished as well. But typically I have been pottering around - planting some daisies here, weeding there - and so it feels as if I've done nothing of substance. Perhaps a simpler strategy is needed? Edges only, no bending down? I don't care how bored I get - I will just keep going. And when I finish the edges I'll do my glass-house work.
Cream Delight Flax and Variegated Hostas
Again I am looking at the Big Gum out my office window and wondering if I would ever have the nerve to order it be felled. Where's my self-confidence? Is my garden simply too big? No! This droopy mood can be blamed on all the gum leaves which have blown down in the wind - they're in my pots, in the borders, and on the lawns. Aargh!
Back out I go. Next time I write I will have a list of triumphs. I will not be gloomed (I made that word up) by some dry crackly leaves. I am the Head Gardener - I have brains, garden tools, the cutest girlie pink shoes, and I am in charge here!
I did it! Well, I feel so much better, anyway. I've tidied the Driveway Garden and the Island Bed - even managed a little light weeding. The wind has roared, my hoses have sprayed water around, but I'm on track. OK, it was ambitious to attempt to tidy all edges of all gardens in one swoop. So tomorrow I'll work over the water race - some of the rhododendrons might like a bucket of water.
Whoosh goes the wind, and bits of blossom float sideways past my window. Hopefully my daisy cuttings are furiously building roots - I have found at least three places where I want to mass plant daisies. Screech goes my distant rooster. Gurgle goes tonight's meal - roast chicken. Oops.