Hee hee! On holiday...

Hee hee! It's technically the first week of my autumn holiday. I have huge plans, and for once none of them involve spending any money on plants. Mind you, that rose sale is still on...

 These late flowering perennials are happy in the sun in Stephen
Pale Blue Asters

Monday 18th April

Ha! It's the first holiday-feeling day of my holidays. This requires the rest of the household to drive off to work in the city, while I sip tea, smile at myself, and tell the cats my hopes for the day. Yippee! One has to work a little to appreciate that holiday freedom feeling.

Lawn Mowing :
A huge thank you to the mower of the Moosey lawns for doing such a great job.

Yesterday I returned to the garden at dusk and clipped the edges of the garden borders over the water race. All these lawns are green and freshly mowed - looking absolutely beautiful. Today I'm going to rake up the superficial grass from the Willow tree lawn and thus contribute to the mulching of the newly dug gardens - the mower of lawns did mention noticing 'some new curves". I think he appreciates my border expansions - less grass to mow?

The Rugosa Garden Make-Over

Then I have huge soil-enriching plans - the rugosa rose garden by the Hen House (where I started working late yesterday) is getting a complete facelift - a make-over? Hmm...I don't like that word. But this is major garden surgery, and is to be chronicled, photographed and celebrated, as part of a personal psychological experiment about the mental resolve of aging lady gardeners. Cats (and puppy) will be welcome to provide company. We could even set up a video camera - reality gardening - my goodness that would be boring! There will be many minutes of nothing as the head gardener wanders off to find another lost garden tool. Hmm... back soon.

Garden Achievements Holiday Day Three

Ha! Another six hour day! I am tempted to write a list. Something quite amazing happened - I found some Moosey compost - in the Wattle Woods, by the fence line, a heap of (probably) five-year-old garden rubbish has turned into quite moist flaky dark compost! I have dug out three wheelbarrowfuls (making a little cave in the process) and spread it with horse-poos on the rugosa garden. This is the garden area which is getting a make-over. Humph. Shall I tell you what six hours of this garden's make-over actually has entailed? How about two words? Dig. Weed.

 With that famous puppy nose in close-up detail!
A Beautifully Clean Puppy

Common sense tells me that the nasty creeping perennial will have bits left behind in the soil. So I've heeled in the roses which I dug, and have split up the Schrophularia into twenty new little new plants. I will return in a few weeks and do another dig. The path has been re-shaped into a slightly gentler curve - allowing for much more graceful wheelbarrowing. It all looks horribly the same as before - I don't think this is entirely in keeping with a garden make-over.

The Water Race :
The water race is a running stream - like an irrigation canal - which flows through my garden.

I had to spend the last half hour throwing tennis balls into the water race for puppy (he chases them downstream, and gets clean in the process). Rusty the puppy decided to squeeze through the fence and roll in the dollops of cow-manure next-door. Eek! Beige with dark olive green streaks is not a good look. And I finally saw two pheasants on the lawn near the Hump (after hearing them for about six months). So they are still living here. And I didn't realise there are two of them - rather elegant birds in a subtle, brown sort of way.

Tuesday 19th April

Right! Another great day of gardening awaits - especially now that I have discovered a huge pile of Moosey-compost. All the Hen House gardens can have a treat! I am slightly furious (if this state of mind is possible) at my pathetic attempted garden make-over yesterday. Gardening solo can be terribly unspectacular!

 The burning pile, the trusty green wheelbarrow - and check out the cerise red dahlias flowering madly by the pergola!
Autumn Garden Life

Today I have compulsory socialisation at 3 pm - my first friendly holiday deadline. You will notice that so far there have been no holiday lists, in keeping with my free, random, wafting approach to the many potential gardening hours I have. I don't exactly have a gardening plan for today, but I have an area of focus - the Hen House Gardens await my appearance. I actually might dig out some old scruffy plants (like that original green spiky plant). And I might re-route the Oak tree path. Then again I might do something totally different! We'll see. Ha!

Late Lunchtime...

Gardening journals are pretty self-indulgent things - they're a record of nothing, really. So why does it feel like a reward that I'm allowed a quick update, while I slurp my lunch coffee? I have done a lot of nothing! In the spirit of deliberate contrariness I spent the first morning hour weeding the Dog-path, while puppy sloshed up and down the water race chasing falling leaves.

 One of my newest David Austin roses.
Benjamin Britten Rosebud

The Garden Make-Over Continues...

Then I seriously shifted the Oak tree path - I dug out the large spiky perennial whose name I do know - I saw it growing in the local Botanic gardens and wrote it down... Hmm.... Anyway, now the path goes past the trimmed lavender (I found an ancient label! Lavender Stoechas Major - supposed to grow to 60cm high, ha ha) and there is sensible room for the patch of apricot daylilies and the roses. This garden area is arguably part of the garden make-over - which technically is now a little more successful than late yesterday. While I dug and pruned puppy did tight circuits of Duck-Lawn (round and round, leaning in like a ridiculously fluffy motorbike).

As soon as I've had my lunch-break (the time it takes for 17 tracks of baroque Concerto Grossi) I will cover the gap left by the old path with Moosey-compost. Then I will take some 'after' photographs of the new improved path network. Yippee! Success! - It's as if finding the compost has brought me good design wisdom.

Wednesday 20th April

I'm back from visiting my seaside gardener friend. She has given me two huge pieces of a tree dahlia, with sprouting new shoots. It was lovely walking around her frost-free garden - she has two new large banana trees, and some new tropical ginger. This gardening friend introduced me to daylilies and mulch years ago! I owe her! Let's see now if I can grow a tree dahlia!

 Brother and sister kittens.
Smoocher and Tiger

The new Moosey animals (Tiger and Smoocher the kittens, and Rusty the puppy) are spending the day at the vet. It's so empty without them - especially the puppy, who is my supreme holiday gardening companion. I am going to go outside now and do some work, but today's approach will be leisurely. It seems a rotten shame to have a burning fire - the day is sunny, mild, and has that peaceful autumn ambience - I think I might tinker in the Moosey-compost again, and wheel some more barrowfuls onto the garden. Thus I will feel environmentally proud. Maybe the hoses could go on the new remodelled Hen House Gardens. We'll see...


I couldn't settle in the garden - my goodness I missed my puppy gardening companion! All I did was shovel more compost onto the new garden, and take photographs of the new super-clear and super-passable paths. Then I zoomed back to the vet to pick up the animals. All is well - they are supposed to rest up and stay indoors for 24 hours. Hmm...Tiger the kitten is purring and chasing an indoor moth, Smoocher is leaping from chair to table to kitchen bench (where he is carefully removed by the Moosey house guest), while Rusty is trying to bounce on Mugsy the cat. All is well...

Tomorrow the temperature is supposed to take a nose-dive into the low teens. It might be a jolly good day for burning!