From my computer perch in the kitchen I look over to the glass doors and see leafy branches of trees shining in the early-morning sun. And I break into a smile before I've even had time to analyse anything. My garden is out there, it's real, and it's beautiful. Yeay! I am so lucky to have trees.
Good Morning, Trees
Friday 24th January
Then the tiniest thought-tickle. How lazy am I feeling? Would I like to drink a cup of hot coffee, pop a few pieces in the jigsaw, ogle a few more of my new garden photographs? Another piece of toast, perhaps? Before I go outside and deal to the Hen House Garden, which I noticed yesterday with some slight shame...
Rusty the Dog
There's Only Me...
Why not? I have all day, and there's only me (and my dog Rusty, and six cats). And who wants to look at photographs when they can enjoy the real thing?
Aha! I didn't procrastinate. I went straight to that Hen House Garden and I cleaned it up. Easy! A mass of gum bark had fallen from the huge overhead trees, so I picked pieces of the Pittosporums and Hebes, scraped the paths, grabbed at any visible weeds, and there! Done, and I remind myself what a beautiful place this is. It's a leafy garden, with hidden ways through the under-story of evergreen trees and shrubs. There are just a few rugosa roses and Agapanthus to represent the flowers.
Later, Apres Gardening...
This has been a proper gardening day, and I'm feeling very proud. After lunch I worked for two more hours in the shade of the Wattle Woods, again picking up gum bark, clearing paths, and cleaning dead leaves out of the little wriggling stream. This is another of my leafy gardens, with lots of large Phormiums which look wonderful underneath the tall gum and wattle trees.
Wattle Tree in the Wattle Woods
Then I spread some semi-leaf-mould and rotted horse manure around the base of a big pink rhododendron. A couple of years ago I almost killed this shrub, dumping loads of bonfire ash underneath it. I thought it would be a nice treat. No. I've done my research - ash is too alkaline for rhododendrons. As are Elm tree leaves, which surprises me.
Eucalyptus Trees above the Hen House Garden
+5Now Rusty the dog and I will go down the road for a walk, and I will give him all the love and attention he deserves. Actually that doesn't require much. I just smile (dogs understand facial expressions) and say 'Good dog', as many times as I can be bothered. Dogs (like gardeners) are extremely easily pleased.
Trees in the Driveway
Saturday 25th January
A mother duck with three ducklings (it's very late for ducklings) is in my pond, noisy and agitated. Three cats are cruising around the water's edge. I cannot really intervene, for she may take fright at me and attempt to escape overland (with consequences too nasty to contemplate).
Percy by the Pond
Mother duck, please heed the first rule of duck safety. Paddle your ducklings to the very centre of the pond and stay there. My cats will not swim for food - even big Fluff-Fluff, who is dieting. Percy, your biggest threat, is unsuccessfully trying to hide in the middle of some giant Gunnera leaves. Luckily he is ginger, and rather visible.
Cats Minimus and Percy on a Duck Mission
The duck-honking lasted for nearly half an hour. Then - silence, apart from the gentle rustling of the big trees above the pond, and the trickle of the water from the intake pipe. Eek... Hopefully those cats got bored.