So far, so good...

Yippee! I've stuck to my New Years Resolution (I only have one) all year. So far, so good - three days of goodness. My NYR is quite simple - I must put on gardening clothes, immediately, if I'm planning to do any gardening that day.

Monday 3rd January

Attired thus I don't mooch around the house in my decent going-out-somewhere jeans and white shirt, finding excuses not to do any gardening. Ha! I wonder if I can fool myself all year...

 Such beautiful symmetry!
Echinacea with two Bumble Bees

Oh dear. It's just gone over thirty degrees, and I've been in the water race weeding in the shade. The Gunnera leaves are huge and scratchy, but fun to duck in and around. I've found thousands of coarse green Carex seedlings (my culling session earlier in spring took out all their parents). The Japanese irises have only just finished flowering, and the waterside ferns are fresh and green, as always.

Stu the Lamb is Sick

Oh dear (again). There is a problem with Stu the pet sheep-lamb. He is not well, so Non-Gardening Partner has cleaned his bottom (no problem there) and is now off down the road to borrow a shot of penicillin. Sheep 'unwellness' is impossible to diagnose, even for a vet. Dear Stu - we can't really do much else. He's also been given a dose of Selenium (Canterbury paddocks are deficient in this necessary element). I feel quite sad about Stu.

 But no birds. Phew!
Head Gardener, Tabby Cat, and Bird Bath

Tuesday 4th January

We've just come home from swimming and quick as a flash I've whipped on my gardening clothes. But first - the Moosey Newsletter is late as usual, and so I need to do a tiny bit of web-work. Then there's that Schumann violin and piano sonata.

Violin or Lawns?

I've just asked Non-Gardening Partner which he'd rather do - practice his violin part or mow all my lawns. He says he's rather read the newspaper. Odd chap - it's just full of sadness and tales of people's extremely bad behaviour (not gardeners).

Later, Mid-Afternoon...

Oh yes - I have been good! I've done three hours weeding along the water race. And not only am I good, but I am kind. For the bees are buzzing all over the Echinacea and yellow Oenothera (Evening Primrose?), two tall perennials which I grow specially for them, along the water race edge. My little bumble bees really enjoy these mid-summer flowers.

And I've tidied up the garden immediately surrounding my new Christmas birdbath. No bird in their right mind would hop anywhere near it, thanks to the Moosey cats. I think it's groovy, even if birdless. Non Gardening Partner has surprised me by starting work on the second wooden Adirondack chair - it's my Christmas present from him. Hee hee - I get one a year...

 I must get it under cover to dry out!
Winter Firewood

Wednesday 5th January

It's raining, but I'm still going gardening, ignoring all the things I need to organise - a bed (still) for Pond Cottage, a table for Pond Cottage on which to do jigsaws, etc. etc... First, some gentle dead-heading of the coloured Iceberg roses (jolly decent roses to dead-head, by the way, as all the blooms stop efficiently at once) while I talk to Lilli-Puss. Dear Lilli, my grey reclusive cat, I hope we've given you a good enough life here. I'm sorry that Tiger has spooked you out of the house, and Fluff-Fluff chases you in the garden. If only you'd stood up, just once, to the bullies...

One Hour Later...

I got very wet. But I cleared three barrowfuls of the same-old, same-old garden rubbish - seeded Angelica and Aquilegias and so on. But with a new ingredient - cute little oak tree seedlings, having grown themselves from acorns dropped by something masquerading as a fastigate oak. Hello! I looked up the word - I know how you're supposed to grow! Thanks for the babies, but no thanks...

 It's their time to flower.
Shasta Daisies

How difficult should it be to install a bed into a little cottage by a pond? Waiting for a bed to drop out of the sky (or turn up, free, in some recycling place) is not really proactive enough. So to give myself a bit of a rev up I'm going to start sewing a duvet cover. Meanwhile the second Adirondack seat progresses under Non-Gardening Partner's expert hands. I know where I want to place them both - they are sturdy, roomy seats, perfect for reading the newspaper and drinking a cup of coffee simultaneously.

Dear Stu Lamb :
Stu the pet merino lamb.

I am sorry to say that we have just buried Stu the pet lamb in the orchard. He was such a fun lamb to look after - though I need to say, with an honest giggle, that he was the thickest lamb I've ever met. Stu is getting a memorial tree - the first lamb memorial in the Moosey Garden. It will be an 'earthquake tree', a symbol of last September. Dear Stu lamb - you certainly took our minds off those scary happenings.

 Here are some of Stu Lamb's best photographs.
Stu Lamb - September 2010 - January 2011