Another wonderful, winterful week...

Another wonderful, winterful week has started. The sunsets are delightfully pink (thanks to a volcano erupting all the way over the sea in Chile) and the earth is (please) settling again after the 6.3 magnitude aftershock.

 With Fluff-Fluff the cat on Middle Bridge.
WInter in Middle Garden

Thursday 16th June

Gardeners always have to stay in spiritual touch with the natural world they spend hours in. Feeling subdued, and even sad, is OK - as long as the air still flows and the trees still grow. And there are always the mountains!

 Bored again!
Rusty the Dog

A Contented Stream-Plodder?

Yesterday I went walking underneath the Torlesse range, up the Kowai stream valley. There was snow on the peaks, and a chill in the wind, and my gardening legs went really well - as expected. It was one of those measured days where I was so happy being in a valley - I looked up the spurs and ridges and thought 'no way'!

In the grand scheme of things I am destined to be a contended stream-plodder. It's inspiring enough for me to be near these high places - Mount Torlesse, The Gap... Maybe I will never stand up there, scared and shivering. And maybe I don't need to.

Oops. To balance these lofty remembrances, a confession - I ate five - FIVE! - teaspoons of crunchy peanut butter straight out of the jar when I got home. Disgraceful - I now know how Rusty the dog felt after munching last year's winter bird feeder (a ball of lard with seeds). Hmm...

This morning I am confronted with one bored dog - Rusty is alternately raking my leg and burping at me. And two bored cats - the ginger boys (Fluff-Fluff and Percy) are chasing each other up and down (and up and down) the stairs.

'See a garden problem one day, solve it the next, don't muck around.'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

So I think I might go to the bank (which in itself is pretty boring) and leave them all to it! When I get home I'll take them all outside to be compulsory gardening company. And en route to home - well, I just might buy a couple of new rhododendrons for the end of the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden, hee hee. See a garden problem one day, solve it the next, don't muck around...

Much Later...

What a whirlwind of a day! The painters came and helped pull all the Moosey furniture into the middle of the house rooms, preparatory to plastering and painting on Monday. Oops - I found that long-dead, desiccated mouse behind the Welsh dresser. My spiritual friend came and blessed the Koru courtyard in my garden (I cried). But those bricks are at peace now.

Deciduous Azaleas :
I'm so looking forward to these Azaleas flowering, since they have much more space now.

By the brick path I shifted a Melford Orange deciduous Azalea further along, next to Golden Lights (another Azalea) - please note that I have removed their labels, but have recorded their names. And now a fifth little green blobby Hebe has been popped into place by the path's curve, and nothing is too close to anything - as one would expect in a well-behaved (AKA well-designed?) garden.

And then I pulled up lots of iris confusa from the Stumpy Garden and planted an apricot-pink rose, a small red flax, and my two new rhododendrons - Ponticum (a somewhat cheeky memory of my garden tour of Scotland) and Bumble Bee, which I love. I think I already have a Bumble Bee somewhere, because I've found a plant label underneath a bookcase (along with other unmentionable things like moth carcasses).

 A white flowering Hebe.
Winter Hebe

Another Hiking Trip

Lots of good things are happening over the next few days (as well as the house being painted). I'm going walking again in the mountains tomorrow, I'm expecting the weekend rain to water my new plants and wash more sand in-between my bricks, and I'm helping shovel silt and liquefaction in the city on Monday. And the TV is still in position, so I'm off to watch Downton Abbey (my reward for working well today).

Friday 17th June

Oh dear. Rusty the dog has been 'at' (or 'in' or even 'under') the compost again and has found something unsavoury to eat (rather savoury for him). So we are walking round and round the driveway before my hiking friend arrives. Let's try and facilitate normal digestion, shall we?


Wow. My friend and I have just done an amazing hike - a relatively short trip (for us) on a private loop track called Washpen Falls. Everything was beautifully presented, rugged underfoot and incredibly beautiful. I even managed to descend a (thoroughly safe) step-ladder, with sides and hand rails, leading down a vertical cliff to the base of the waterfall. For a personal distraction I counted the steps (maybe seventy, maybe more) and squinted so I couldn't see the drop. My dear friend went first and gently talked me down. Aargh! I am super scared of man-made structures like this - weird, because I'm perfectly happy on ridges. The landscape was just stunning - a deep gorge, evergreen bush, cliffs and caves - even a short track section up on the tussock land.

 Oops... Phew!
Gnome Problems...

So I'm home quite early, with lots of daylight time to wash my dog (I throw sticks into the pond), collect wood, and light the log-burner. I'm even thinking about watching a TV programme. And my new gnome family by the pond path has all fallen over, faces in the dirt. I suspect a dog-shortcut has been recently taken through the garden. Poor things.

And now my dog now wants to go outside - no doubt to recheck the compost heap, or rediscover his tasty, stomach-turning treat. But I have a plan. A hollow gnome is a flimsy gnome, and needs to be filled with sand. We are off outside to accomplish just this, plus a bit of subtle dog-supervision.