My garden budget...

 Flowering rather late!
Bright Pink Iceberg Roses

Aha! It's back to normality with my garden budget, where the 'gnome' word only applies to a variety of Canna lily, and I successfully resist the temptation to buy white Iceberg roses. I have spent far too much 'little money' these last weeks.

Saturday 11th June

I wish I could draw three dimensional plans. Then I could dazzle Non-Gardening Partner with plans for my tree house - specifically the floor platform and connecting walkway. My style is to stand him in front of the willow tree stump and then flap and wave my arms expressively like an ancient ballet mistress. No wonder I get 'humphed' at and not taken seriously.

Right. Since it is the weekend we are off swimming and sushi-ing, during which time I'll decide what I'm doing in the garden today. Winter really suggests it will be the same old, same old.


Success! NGP confesses that he is 'thinking about how to build it' - 'it' refers to the decking platform of the tree house. He is a champion! We've had a firewood afternoon - all the logs by the Hen House have now been chain-sawn, and we've taken a trailer load over to Son of Moosey (his birthday present). I've also pruned and potted up the four latest recycled roses and potted lots of rooted pieces of Stachys limelight. I love this perennial.

Pittosporums :
Pittosporums will usually resprout when they're chopped down severely. So a tree can be transformed into a shrub.

Pittosporums which were planted many years ago in the gardens over the water race are now looking terribly over-sized. Their function filling gaps in the gardens is over. Today NGP sawed off a couple down at ground level from the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden, clearing the space for the rhododendrons to be more visible. Others further down the water have already been limbed up. This is better for the shrubs underneath, but their side branches need a trim. It seems wrong to saw something down in two minutes, when it's taken over twelve years to grow. And Pittosporums are delightfully green...

 Sitting on the Duck Lawn garden bench supervising...
Fluff-Fluff the Cat

And now it's totally dark, and only 5:30pm, but I remind myself of the approaching winter solstice, and how warm and cosy our house is. I have gone delightfully apres-gardening, with freshly washed hair, and I'm about to start drinking. Oops - too much information.

Sunday 12th June

A small moment of disquiet - mature ladies who are about sixty years old cannot really 'do' retro, as far as clothes go. Better take my huge knitted owl jersey off, then. Anyway, I'm going gardening. I have chain-sawing decisions to make, plus lots more winter trimming and burning. I'll be checking the gardens to both sides of Middle Bridge, asking pertinent questions like: 'Does this beautiful Dogwood tree have enough room?' Fair enough...

Much, Much Later, In Darkness...

Oh brilliant day! Oh wonderful day! Thanks to brilliant, wonderful Non-Gardening Partner, today has been spectacular. First of all I compromised with myself (if that is possible) and chose just one Pittosporum to remove - the oldest and biggest. Thus the huge rhododendrons and the weeping cherry tree in Middle Garden now have much more air space.

 What a worker!
Non-Gardening Partner

It took ages to remove the tree. Then the fat bits were cut up into logs for next winter, and I pruned the smaller bits ready for the shredder. NGP was then encouraged to return and shred all these branches. I also cut down a Coprosma which had been stifling one of the irrigation sprinklers, and removed a few side limbs of another Pittosporum.

Middle Garden Rhododendrons :
Middle Garden's early rhododendrons are pink and lilac, with purple and magenta flowering later.

Middle Garden is so much improved, and even all the small scruffy stuff has been burnt. I am so looking forward to seeing the rhododendrons in spring. I'm sure they'll be pleased with me!

My day ended in the dark, tending the remains of my bonfire by moonlight. My goodness I feel proud when something quite large has been started, finished - and cleaned up - on the same day.

Monday 13th June

I've been swimming and shopping and am about to go outside to continue the big trim. It's a gorgeous sunny day, and I have big plans.

Much Later...

Oh dear. It's been a down to earth afternoon, with a couple of rather large aftershocks. The second one was intense, and I dropped to the ground by my bonfire (otherwise I would have seriously wobbled over). Then I watched as the trees and the land slowly rocked this way and that. My poor pheasant honked and honked in the orchard. It's the weirdest thing watching huge trees swaying from side to side with absolutely no wind or noise.

 So much light! And look how large the rhododendron isat the back...
Middle Garden - Without Pittosporum

I lit my bonfire when the earth settled down and thought once again about my poor city and its residents, whose streets and houses suffer from liquefaction. Thank you to the river gravels underneath the Moosey land for rumbling and rocking but letting my land stay intact. There was no damage - not even a solitary garden gnome fell over. And I did get four hours great work done. I trimmed more branches of Pittosporums in the Dog-Path Garden, checked all the rhododendrons underneath, and chopped down an ailing Viburnum with some sort of leaf fungus. Hopefully it was the right thing to burn it all.

 My new pink Cordyline, Thyme, and Yellow Wave Phormium.
Winter Pots

We Are Family...

Phew. Daughter of Moosey has just rung to see if we are OK, I've chatted with Daughter-In-Law, Son of Moosey has arrived to stay over, and the brothers have talked on the phone. Singing: 'We are family. I got my brother and my sister and my son and my daughter and my mother with me...' Plus Non-Gardening Partner, the cats and the dog, of course, but if I try and fit them in the song sounds ridiculous!

Tuesday 14th June

It's another beautiful blue-skies winter's day. I've been out walking with a friend, looking at the Camellias in suburban gardens, and now I'm now ready for some serious country stuff. Coffee first, though. Am in a rather thoughtful mood - in reality I should be helping someone shovel silt etc. out of their house and garden rather than poking around in my winter paradise.


I tried to do some serious thinking about the very end of the Stumpy Garden. But, feeling rather aftershock-subdued, I didn't get anywhere. So I trimmed lower branches of the fastigate oak tree, planted a spare rhododendron, and lifted all the Heucheras to divide and repot.

'A mass planting that looks more like a mess planting.'
-Moosey Garden Quote.

The interior of this garden is covered with flattened iris confusa and Libertia - it's a mass planting that looks more like a mess planting. But the large weeping Phormiums look gorgeous, so perhaps a couple more rhododendrons could fill out the middle nicely. Oh but I don't know. I am in a very indeterminate mood. Sorry about this.