Farewell February...

 Standards which grow at the edge of the dog-Path Garden.
Blushing Pink Iceberg Roses

Oops. February is running out of days. So soon, my flowery, rosy month, so soon! Thanks to you I have a new piece of garden to plant, behind the Welcome Garden. Friendly February, you've been a benign month, garden-wise. No huge dramas, nothing too nasty, apart from a bit of rhododendron leaf-burn from the dry heat. Farewell.

So how many days, exactly, have I got left in your company? Three? OK. There's still time to make a little difference. I spend a lot of my time making little differences. And every now and then one of these turns into a huge improvement. Yes! The Welcome Garden will be one of these, but it's not quite ready to go.

Wednesday 26th February

Today I'm tidying the Dog-Path Garden. Lately, whenever I've walked past this garden, I've had to squint and avert my eyes. Oops. The best action is remedial. Some serious on-your-knees weeding would be good - the free horse manure I added around the roses last autumn has sprouted the most beautiful ground-covering clover patches. I keep thinking it's better than adding nothing, but then I'm not so sure. And lots of Marjoram (Oreganum?) has reappeared, and is becoming quite a nuisance. It would help if I could find my hand digger. I've mulched it somewhere.

 Lots of shady trees.
The Dog-Path Garden in Late Summer

Five Hours Later...

And five hour working in one, and only one, garden area. I'd momentarily forgotten how pretty the Dog-path Garden is. And how expansive and varied in plantings it is, as the lawn edges swirl past roses, trees, low forests of invasive Euphorbias, a little path to the water's edge, and then the rhododendrons.

Tajdog 1998 :
Here is a wee picture of Tajdog snuffling along by the water.

The actual dog-path (which runs alongside the water) has shrunk somewhat as bulky Phormiums, Carexes, and a variegated Arondo clump have blocked its original route.

Tajdog's nose and paws created this route, many years ago, and gave this garden its name. Yippee for Tajdog, the original Moosey dog, resting underneath his Almond tree in the ram paddock.

 Looks so pretty in flower...
Euphorbia Fens Ruby

Euphorbias...

About those euphorbias - I think I have little choice now but to accept and enjoy them. One, a tiny spidery variety called Fens Ruby, looks rather cute spreading itself along the stone wall.

The other was given to me by a 'friend'. Hmm - I'm not sure I'd give a piece of this to anyone I liked. Now it is more annoying, and is even rude enough to creep into the lawn. It's almost too late to stop it. Aargh!

By the brick Koru courtyard I've trimmed the overhanging Pittosporum, the Kolkwitzia, and taken a few lower limbs off the Copper beech tree. I'm thinking about swapping all my deciduous Azaleas in the Driveway garden with the roses here, which by mid-summer are far too shaded. Now that feels nicely balanced! The courtyard is a very powerful, yet peaceful place - especially standing in the centre of the spiral. The bricks are a bit mossy, but that's OK. The green ferns which grow around the edge are just beautiful.

The Continuing Saga of Next-Door's Pine Trees...

Readers of this journal will be aware that for weeks now the trees in the pine plantation next door are being felled. Wouldn't it exciting if the tree-grabbers next-door could set their mechanical and complex hydraulic minds to grabbing the final six remaining pine trees along my fence-line?

 Looking over at the Welcome Garden.
Some of the Last Pines

All they've been doing this week is trundling around like contraptions on a 'Mad Max' film set. Well, that's what they sound like!

Thursday 27th February

Aha! I drove up my drive yesterday evening at dusk, after jazz choir, and yes! The skyline had changed. The final two pine trees behind the Welcome Garden were gone. So today after swimming I'm going to start my proper, pine-less evaluation and clean-up. The plan is to pile all the mess at the bottom of the small slope, and then buy a million Agapanthus plants to cover the new ground. Add in at least fifty New Zealand full-sized native Pittosporums, pay a small boy to throw buckets of water on them twice a week, and voila! THE most thoughtlessly designed garden area ever.

 Looking towards the road.
The Back of the Welcome Garden

Actually I'm going to do some purposeful pondering while starting the Welcome Garden clean-up. I need to see the contour of the land, check where the big whooshy irrigation reaches to, and how the existing shrubs are doing. Nothing like a purposeful ponder...

 A striking single, but oh so thorny!
Red Flower Carpet Roses

Not So Much Later...

Eek! It's so hot in the full sun. The Welcome Garden desperately needs watering, and I don't think my hoses will reach. Walking with buckets should do the trick, but a bit later, when the sun isn't so sky-high.

Friday 28th February

Now it's raining. That's so good. I've bucketed water onto the Pittosporums in the enlarged, sunny Welcome Garden. I planted these some years ago, and I am very thankful for that. Now with some TLC they'll thrive, though initially the new hours of sunshine will be a complete shock. Shrubs (like people) tend to get used to what they've got, don't they...

I've started pulling the bigger pieces of rubbish into a pile, and when (if) the rain stops I'll make a start with the rake. I've talked to Non-Gardening Partner about irrigation, which will be possible once next-door's machinery has finished working. Again today one of the big tree-grabbers is parked on our front lawn, which gets a bit cut up. But it's only paddock lawn. Actually, it's such a large piece of ground to work with that I'm not rushing into anything. I need to think this through carefully!

Bye, bye, friendly February! Thanks for everything, particularly your lovely roses.