I'm back in a writing mood...

 A lovely sight.
Red Rose Opulence

I'm back in a writing mood - oh dear! Prepare for days of bottled-up, quietly fermenting sentences about life and the garden to gush out.

Friday 4th March

This morning I sat in my Pond Cottage bed, cup of tea at hand, gazing at the pond reflections with the lightest of thought touches from my normal 'I-am-so-lucky' theme. The radio was played a soothing Mozart string quartet - Mozart soothing? Usually his music floats in and out of my brain without leaving anything much behind. Aargh! I am a born-again Mozartian.

Today I am going to deal to (a much stronger verb than 'organise', which I usually use) the gardens over the water race. Since I fell in love with Pond Cottage I've neglected these areas, gardenwise. Some of the plantings (like my Golden Hop) over here are ill-advised, while others (like lemon Balm) have just got out of hand. Inspired by my Russian forum spammer I will work really hard to deliver - say ten messages every fifteen minutes? Aargh!

Late Lunchtime...

Blast. All I've done so far is vacuum squillions of rooms in the house (well - maybe an exaggeration). My dog is bored, and I am feeling like a fraud. It's really hot outside, but I am off to do that which I said I'd do - because I am a GOOD GARDENER and I deliver.

'Wise is the gardener who listens to her (or his) own advice.'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

It's two successful hours later and I've been weeding along the water's edge in the Dog-Path Garden, pursued by several bored honey bees. This has not been totally pleasant, and I've had to keep a sharp eye out. They've insisted on buzzing around near my hands, and Rusty the dog has been randomly barking at them (which has been just as scary). But I've learnt something - the weed-mat I laid several years ago has been hopeless, and I will never waste my time doing that again. Ha! Wise is the gardener who listens to her (or his) own advice!

 One of the big Phormiums is in the background.
Dog-Path Garden

Friday 4th March

Hmm... Regarding the Dog-Path gardens along the water race, I feel that I'm only just scratching the surface (gardening for more that twenty years, only just worked that out, hee hee). Let me elaborate.

A Buddleia has seeded and grown into a tree. Two Phormiums which started life as cute little striped flaxes have reverted to species and are enormous. I am unintentionally nurturing two person-sized Sorbus trees alongside my rather sulky Cercis Forest Pansy. The list goes on.

I go out to work over there with my hand tools and a bucket. I need to upsize both my thinking and my garden tools and dig deeper (could be dangerous - have been watching the British archaeological TV programme called Time Team).

Trying to type is really hopeless. Big smoochy Fluff-Fluff the cat is lolling over the keyboard and the mouse - he's ready for garden action and isn't letting me out of his sight. Quick - save, before he stretches out those huge paws.

Much Later...

I've had the most brilliant day. My flute friend arrived and we played music - part goodly, part badly, but so very enjoyable. She showered and did some washing, and I conned her into helping cut down the flaxes as 'payment'. So both big ones are down and I'm thrilled. I can see the rationale - both flaxes were originally planted next to big gum tree stumps as living camouflage. The novice gardener of the time (me) didn't intend them to grow two meters high and wide. I'm going to dig out the roots as well.

 The best tool to use is a sharp kitchen steak knife.
Flax Cutting Knife

Daughter of Moosey thinks she'll come home later just for the night - yippee! She's been busy in the city. Time to go apres-gardening, pat self on the back (with difficulty), and make a chicken pie for the evening meal.

Saturday 6th March

I have plans. Before I meet my friends for morning coffee (we can't go swimming yet) I'm going to dig out one of the huge Phormium stumps. That silly bush had spread out over everything, never bothering to produce flowers, and its roots are taking up the space of a fat armchair. Its demise has been sensitively handled - my friend chanted quite formally in Maori as we cut it down, promising the bellbirds they weren't missing anything (they drink the flax flower nectar).

Late Afternoon...

Ha! Not only have I organised Non-Gardening Partner to trailer away all the flax rubbish, but I have widened the existing path which stops underneath the Cercis tree. Great news - I am going to build my brick koru path here, near the existing Koru sculpture. It is my friend B's idea, and it just makes a host of lovely spiritual and physical connections.

 Maybe Graham Thomas? One of my new rose bushes.
Golden Roses

The path will enter the garden where that supersized flax was, and maybe could then wiggle around under the copper beech tree. There are well established fragrant roses in here - Golden Celebration, John Clare, and particularly Sharifa Asma - and the prettiest 'Beauty Bush', not to mention deciduous Azaleas.

 Not sure of the name, sorry.
McGredy Striped Rose


I also dug up four of the Rhapsody in Blue standard roses which I'd planted in the Septic Tank Garden last winter. These roses had stakes, they flowered properly, I dead-headed them, and they then decided the remaining woody bits could die on me. Humph! So I've tucked them into pots around the back of the glass-house - we'll soon see if they're just playing dead.

It was a bit early to finish my work, but I gathered up my tools anyway and mooched over to the house, feeling awfully guilty. I was even going to tell a tiny fib in my journal - shame on me! Luckily the skies dramatically darkened and not five minutes later it was raining heavily. Phew!

Thus ends another great gardening day, for which I am so grateful, with Fluff-Fluff the gardening cat providing great company (and getting totally in the way of my shovel).