Scruffier by the day...

My late February garden seems to get scruffier by the day - and the mornings are starting to get darker and cooler. It's officially late summer.

Wednesday 23rd February

I am still here - but I've had to go into work each day of this week - if only I could spend the money I've earned on plants! So I've been wandering around the garden, rather than seriously working in it. My fingernails have never ever been this clean! I feel a bit detached and lightly worried - will all my paths still be clear? Has my garden gone to weed while I've been away? It's a worry being an absentee gardener - I'm not used to it.

 A beautiful green fern growing in the middle of Middle path.
Garden Fern

Three whole days! Eek! Last time I looked the Wattle Woods stream was happily flowing, my garden gnome was resting in the weed-free rockery, and the Pergola roses were flowering madly. I hope rooster and the hens haven't scratched up too many plants. I wonder if anything has died from lack of watering? Are there any new things flowering? Aargh! Too many unknowns! Gardening time is oddly non-linear - a three day session in the garden is quite a different length of time to three days spent away from it!

Thursday 24th February

I've been thinking - if a garden is well thought out, lovingly planned and nurtured, then its character will shine on, regardless of gardener absence. Isn't this what famous Lost Gardens (like the one in Cornwall) do? So rather than panic and get petulant about my forced absence, I should just relax and let the Moosey garden speak. One doesn't have to always be doing, doing, doing...

Rusty Puppy :
I'm training Rusty to be a good gardening dog - so far it's working well.

I've just got home (from yet more work). Now I'm off outside to check all the edges and enjoy the garden, the fresh air, and the warm late summer afternoon. There may even be some garden conversation. Puppy will come with me, and he can do some zooming circuits to test out the paths. Some of my paths are actually called Dog-paths, so this is totally appropriate. See - no need to worry!


We (puppy and me) gardened in the sun for a couple of hours, then we both went for a swim in the pond. Lovely! Except puppy can't understand why it takes the head gardener so long to immerse and float (hmm... the water was rather cool).

 What a rude photograph!
Aargh! Black Spot on my Rose Leaves

Some assorted gardening details - I have decided to cease all rose titivating as of today. There will be no more dead-heading. Considering that I have had a no-spray spring and summer, my roses have been quite good. Go Crepuscule, you apricot beauty, on the pergola! And I have cut down all the weedy Verbascums along the water race edge. This was quite difficult - each had a grossly strong root system, proof of its weed status. Eek! I may have allowed a monster plant to colonise the Dog-Path Garden.

Saturday 26th February

An interesting week - I go to work for two hours (or more - aargh!) in a day. Then when I come home I potter quite nicely in the garden, but I don't feel in the slightest like writing anything down. This could well be distressing for readers of long-winded, random, rambling journals. It's just been one of those work weeks.

But after an initial gardening panic attack, my garden did get lots of care and attention - like yesterday, late, when I became super-old-lady for two hours and raked gum tree leaves from the lawns around puppy's kennel. On the way to the dumping ground I nipped spent Shasta daisies off at ground level, ignoring the mildew on the nextdoor sprawling sedums. Then I cleared the leaves from the Wattle Woods stream - which has been flowing continuously for a record seven days!

 I think this colourful late summer perennial is a Helianthus.
Yellow Perennial Daisy Flower

You see, it's the little things which might seem unremarkable and totally forgettable at the time, but which one can remember fondly in years to come. Ah - I remember it well - in the late summer of 2005 when I cut down the Shasta daisies (smelly things, so annoying) - they were growing in the driveway gravel, by the corner of the Stables - silly plants! For this reason alone, I guess a garden diarist shouldn't ever be afraid of being boring...

Health Report - a Bit Personal but What the Heck!

Hee Hee! On Monday (at my hospital visit) my oncologist shook my hand, wished me all the best, and said a professional goodbye! I have finally graduated back to the family doctor. Yippee! I blame all the gardening...

 Garden gnomes must get used to being politely ignored.
Garden Gnome with Shrubs

Rooster Report

I think my rooster is sulking (because of the puppy). He now has completely changed his lifestyle pattern - he roosts in the Willow tree over the water race. At first light he races over next-door where I vaguely hear him crowing (lucky neighbours). He comes 'home' about mid-day, when henlet goes into the Olearia hedge by the back door to lay. He lurks in the vegetable garden waiting, then he shrieks and gurgles his way back to the Willow tree. And while the mobile poultry circus performs, the older brown hen is still sitting on her nest of nothing. Someone should write a stage play about them...

Garden Gnome Report

A new spot on the house fence, still with that silly expression on his face, and still being politely ignored by visitors...

Back to today - I am tempted to write a list, but after following the timetables of a three-quarters-full-time working week I think I might just drift around the garden. As long as I drift with rake in hand (I've lost the hand digger, so weeding might be out) I should have a great day. There is the cricket (ouch!) to listen to - or watch, as a reward for good garden behaviour (just remembered - my new cricket radio has gone sea-kayaking in the Abel Tasman National Park). Here goes.

A Gardening Legend by Lunchtime!

I have been working really hard, attending to first impression garden details - clearing the driveway and the first approaches to the house. It is hot, so I (the late-summer gardening legend) am having a semi-apres-gardening early-lunch-break.

Poultry :
Aargh! Poultry and puppies - I don't like their relationship at all!

Problems have continued this morning with puppy chasing the poultry - brown hen came off her nest (of nothing) for a meal, and ended within minutes high in the Cecile Brunner driveway rose. A hurtling beige puppy is not an incentive to stop sitting on nothing and start being a normal hen again. I fear if I put a brick in her nest she'd still climb on top and resume this compulsive incubating. A student's mother suggested hanging the hen upside-down in a sack - can I honestly do this? I can't see it, somehow...

I am much too nervous to even mention the cricket - what if we lose badly again? Aargh! Being a New Zealand Cricket Team fan is a severe challenge at such times.