First things first...

First things first. I am not bidding for a second hand forest gnome with a pointy hat. Fifty dollars reserve - forget it! I am not even remotely tempted. Second thing - I want to make a brick path network in my garden somewhere, possibly to a koru design.

 Just the beginning.
Red Bricks

Tuesday March 1st

The reason is earthquake related - hundreds of red bricks have fallen from son's house wall, and I have been over there with face mask, the green Moosey wheelbarrow, and gloves, doing what mothers always do - cleaning up, hee hee. Meanwhile builders have strengthened the house roof and framed the bad wall. What can we do? Be proactive, help each other, and use common sense. We are OK, and we can fight our way slowly back to normal life. The country observed two minutes of silence, and I cried for all the people who have lost a part of their family.

New Brick Paths

Now I'm back home, and I'm afraid my garden might have to do without me this week. Tomorrow I'm going back over to cart more bricks. It's simple - I want to help, so I will. I must ask Non-Gardening Partner where I can build my new brick paths. He's bound to run a mile - he'll be having scary visions of driving his trailer back and forth through the potholes in town. Then there's lots of brick-cleaning, levelling the ground, laying the sand, and so on.

Head Gardener - A Walk in the Park...

I really don't want to load up this journal with photographs of sadness and destruction. But I went for a walk (near son's house) to a small reserve where people used to wander alongside the Avon River and feed the ducks. I met a dazed old man just staring into the earth's cracks. All he wanted to talk about was the lack of portaloos. For him, fair enough. Poor old chap...

Wednesday March 2nd

I woke up in Pond Cottage, doors open, birds twittering, the pond water sparking and the surrounding trees looking just beautiful. My green patchwork bedcover looked so homely and - well, green! And there was little Minimus my grey cat, curled up safe and sound. Min's in her cat basket - all's right with the world...

Sorting the Rubbish :
I should be sorting out the real rubbish in my garden, too!

Some news concerning the (virtual) real world of the Moosey website. London web-master is helping with the forum spam-weeding. I now have a folder called 'forum-dodgy' where log-in attempts of Russian spammers (forty went in there yesterday) are (hopefully) quietly decomposing.

But there's a danger that I might throw a real treasure in with the unmentionables. Please e-mail me if you think I've got your forum registration mixed up with the Russians, and accept my apologies. Oops - and huge apologies to all the good Russian gardeners out there, too! Aargh!

 This sculpture sits in the Dog-Path Garden.
Koru - New Beginnings

The Real World

The real world today will probably involve shifting bricks and reflecting about life and family. And cats. And friends. And my garden. And good people who are giving so much support.

Every time a friend writes to little me or a new team of volunteers arrives in the big city it helps. So much. Some personal good news - Daughter of Moosey is back, working in the city for the Red Cross. It's just so nice that she's here and able to help.

And I checked on that fifty dollar gnome. He's like the gnomes in that fancy gnome book, but of disappointing stature - hardly taller than a small bottle of beer. Anyway, I've got a new rule for the purchasing of garden gnomes. I will pay no more for a gnome than the cost of a good leg roast of New Zealand lamb - sorry, Stu lamb.

Four Hours Later...

Change of plan - I did some Moosey gardening! I've widened a path, pulled up and replanted pieces of Stachys, dead-headed the red dahlias behind the Willow tree stump and generally poked and prodded at things (like weeds). Then we had a tri-smooch on the Stables seat - me, Lilli-Puss (my grey Stables cat), and Rusty the dog, at his most appealing sitting all over the Sweet Alyssum. Alas, the fragrance of dog dominated - he has been rolling in 'something' again.

I returned for a second session and worked only in the very end of the Dog-Path Garden, by the disused Plank. The Scrophularia had finished flowering (my bees love it) so I trimmed it down. The herb marjoram (I think) is spreading everywhere in this garden, and I trimmed it all. I weeded, pulled out magenta Lychnis and pieces of THAT nasty grass - it lurks underneath Sir Benjamin Britten (he's a rose). And I started trimming dead leaves off the huge Phormium, one of my original silly and far-too-close-to-the-edge plantings.

 A David Austin rose.
Sir Benjamin Britten

Maybe I didn't really accomplish much, in the grand scheme of things, but in my tiny scheme I had a brilliant gardening day. The tally for Russian forum-spammers so far today is just over thirty. I know it's an automated spambot, but I giggle imagining them all in a row - big sweaty men in old-style fur hats, bombarding a sweet little old lady's garden website. Oh dear...