The Year of the Rooster...

The Year of the Rooster continues, and my very own bird (bless him) has suddenly, randomly taken himself and his hens off next-door. I feel slighted, and wonder if this is unlucky for my garden!

Monday February 14th

I am imagining all sorts of gardening bad luck - like rampant oxalis weeds turning up in some compost, or ghastly snowstorms out of season breaking all my Dogwood trees, or all my lawns going as brown as the Frisbee Lawn is. Aargh! Come back rooster - I promise the puppy won't ever chase you again!

 I think some of the petals have been blown off by the wind.
Monarda Flowering in February

Today it's actually raining properly, so hopefully the Frisbee Lawn will react by turning an instant shade of green. Every year at this time I despair and make huge plans for a pond (last year), or an arboretum (the year before), or a lavender paddock (in 2002) - anything not to have to look at such a large expanse of brown crackly grass. Surely it would cost less money to irrigate this lawn than to excavate a large pond? I might try this approach on Stephen, the organiser of irrigation and pumps.

Dog kennel :
The old dog kennel used to look like a piece of junk. Now in its garden setting it looks artistic!

I am a rockery success, though - my first small rockery (in the Dog Kennel Garden) is suddenly looking good - as if the plants and rocks in it are meant to be there. Later if the rain eases I will check it for weeds. At this stage I am not growing many traditional rockery plants in it, but hey! - One has to start somewhere!

I miss my rooster crowing and scratching around in the day time. Ridiculous!

Tuesday February 15th - What is Up With Rooster?

There is a kind of odd morning hush over the roosterless Moosey gardens. Yet he did arrive large as life at tea time yesterday with hens, scoffed a bowl of grain, and struggled up into the Island Bed's Viburnum - the official roosting tree. I haven't heard any crowing at all for the two hours since daybreak. I have also checked next door - he is not there. Do roosters have seasonal or hormonal quiet times? Is he sick? Eeek! The Year of the No-Rooster? I may never be woken again by that raucous crowing - oh dear.

 Just to prove that the browned off Frisbee Lawn is the exception!
A Decent Mid-Summer Green Lawn - the Pond Paddock

To add to the semi-gloom, the brown crackling Frisbee Lawn looks worse daily. My pleas for irrigation are not working. I bet that Beth Chatto - she of English gravel garden fame - wouldn't put up with such a disgrace. Mind you, if I was as famous as her, I guess I could turn it into a car-park...

Wednesday February 16th

Rooster is around - he's just gone silent (apart from pook pook pooking sounds). A rooster protest? Has the neighbour muzzled him? Or is it just old age, weariness, and despondency at the same things happening every February day? - Ha! sounds like the old February gardener's complaint. Except for me it's gum tree leaves and bits of gum tree bark. Everywhere. And brown patches on the lawns.

Today I will fight back - I am going to rake up some of the gum tree leaves and bark bits in the Wattle Woods. My paths and gardens in these woods are a disgrace. My special garden visitor will be arriving in less than two weeks time - imagine my distress if we have to walk through there with dry crackling gum rubbish underfoot? Aargh!

 By mid-summer the small castle in my garden is well overgrown.
Castle, Hostas and Roses

Hosta Castle - Garden Art?

I don't feel like raking. The wind is blustering and whooshing around (therefore dropping more gum tree leaves and bark bits). This is the time of year I decide to ban all my Australian trees. Or perhaps I should take up the ethnic challenge and use the bark for art - drawing pictures of my garden? Hmm... Feels quaintly aboriginal...

Thinking a bit more about garden art - I must write an article about my faded garden gnome. I'm tempted - hee hee - my latest gardening magazine has a stylish silver chalice on the cover and a proud heading about garden art (which my bachelor garden gnome aspires to be). One gnome might as well be a gardenful. Gnomes in gardens bring out the best (and worst) in people...

Enough! I am deliberately procrastinating - wasting time writing a load of nonsense about nothing. Time for action!

Later... I'm back! I'm sick of raking, but I have made progress in the Hen House Garden. The paths are passable, and there is much less gum tree mess on the gardens. I find the silence uncanny, though - will my rooster ever crow again? It's quite lonely gardening without his background noise. I'm having a short break, then as promised I'm off into the Wattle Woods.

Even Later... I'm back again! I returned to the Hen House Garden, though - I can't face those debris-strewn Wattle Woods paths late in the day. They have to be a first thing in the morning job, when I have loads of energy and am full of hot coffee and garden idealism. Perhaps my special garden visitor will wear river clothes (for immersion to the knees) and thus will appreciate the well weeded banks of the water race, and the neatly trimmed lower flax leaves. Maybe we can avoid walking through the Wattle Woods (and over the dreadful Frisbee Lawn) totally. Aargh!

 He is going through a wriggley phase - I should rename him Wriggler!
Smoocher the Kitten is Growing Up

Thursday 16th February

My rooster is back in business! He crowed at 6am from the Viburnum (roosting) tree, four of five times, and there has been silence ever since. Perhaps it is just a question of maturity?

Important Gardening Questions

Right. On go my gardening shorts. I have three solid hours in which to garden. What shall I do? Rake the Wattle Woods paths? It's quite warm - perhaps some more weeding, while standing in the water race? Then I am at least assured of puppy-company.

Where exactly are my gardening shorts? And where are my chooks? Should I turn on the hoses? Could I get the kittens to come over a water race bridge? Hmm... I will list my accomplishments when I return, and the animal-bird who gives the most to the afternoon gardening ambience will get a prize.


Puppy wins the prize! We (puppy and head gardener) cleared in the Wattle Woods, we got the wee stream going again, then we went for a swim in the pond. Lots of fun. Tonight there is some cricket to watch - the perfect end to the day!