So much spring growth...

There is so much spring growth now in the garden, with more and more bursts of colour from shrubs and flowers. And there are so many things that I should be doing... Oops.

 A group of yellow beauties.
Spring Daffodils

Tuesday 26th September

Aargh! Men have arrived - one with a truck to clean out the septic tank (that indelicate feature which has a garden named after it) and two others to water blast the house ready for painting. My big Mutabilis rose can be let down away from the house-side, but two others (Westerlands) are a lot stiffer. Oh well. It isn't too late for spring growth if they get damaged.

 Over the water race with neighbouring daylilies and Gunnera.
Crab Apple Pink

Who Will Shift the Pots?

So Rusty the dog is barking, Haru the lamb is bleating in her paddock, and I am wondering who will shift my pots. Do painters shift pots? Hmm... We'll see. I am tempted to hide out somewhere distant - with my new bird friends in the hen-house?

The Glass-House Beckons

It might be appropriate to return to my glass-house and prepare more perennial cuttings and sow some more seeds. I need huge numbers of flowering annuals to fill the spaces in the gardens. My forced winter cleanout of snow damage was only the beginning - I seem to have much more room everywhere for new plants. It's OK to use easily propagated perennials like catmint, as long as I understand they are fillers. And penstemons! They make brilliant fillers, for a few years.

Hmm... I feel rather underwhelmed with the prospect of hard work. Two consecutive lazy spring gardening days? Not good! If I just keep twittering on until the southerly arrives (c'mon, blow you winds, blow!) I will have an excuse. I could write a list - there are a million tedious little tasks to complete.

List of the Most Boring and Tedious Garden Things to Do

  1. Move firewood from Hen-House garden.
  2. Rake gum leaves off house lawn.
  3. Shift bag of sand.
  4. Rake driveway.
  5. Collect up all pots. Repot, replant, or compost.

Right. Self psychology. I can either go to the glass-house where I can hide from the painters, or I can wander around doing the boring things on the list, clearly visible. Which is it to be?


Ambient sounds of the countryside - water blasting of house walls and roof, lamb bleating, and chooky egg-laying noises. Rusty the dog has been ecstatically rolling in the grass where the septic tank truck was parked. Gross dog! I have never seen him so filthy, but he doesn't smell - phew! Oddly I have finished the boring list things. It is drizzly and a bit cold outside, so I am having a long lunch break.

Later today I'll do some glass-house work. Forget the sore hands - today I have a sore leg. Humph. Perhaps swimming forty lengths in the pool yesterday was a bit excessive? I am cross that I might have to miss tomorrow's walk - we are going to Akaroa on the peninsula and walking in 'The Gardens of Hinewai'. Sounds lovely. Sounds steep. Blast old age!

 Big and beautiful.
My Pink Rhododendron

Wednesday 27th September

Happy Birthday Jack, from the Head Gardener, who did go hiking in the New Zealand bush for five undulating hours today.

Thursday 28th September

Yesterday I was absent all day, and left rather muddled instructions for the feeding of Haru the pet lamb. I returned to find her with a woolly belly shaped like a rugby ball - oops! She's eating grass all day now, too. Hopefully Haru will have the sheep-sense (she is, after all, the most intelligent merino lamb in New Zealand) to wander up and into the front paddock where the other lambs are.

Pink Pleasures

Right. My garden is drizzly and damp. But not my spirits - oh no! I've found lots more pink things flowering - the rose Clair Matin, the Crab-Apple tree by the water race, and my big beautiful pink rhododendron. And there's more! Two other rhododendrons who have sulked in the Wattle Woods for years are finally flowering this spring. They, too are pink - a deep rich shade. How lucky!

Lavender :
I love Lavender, but I tend to plant it in the wrong places. Moosey - think sun!

Today I am definitely going to the nursery to buy some more lavender plants. What else am I doing? I have more newspaper to lay, and more rubbish to burn. How boring! Today I've decided that my garden is far too small, and I want much longer walking tracks around and through it. Dangerous thinking! Perhaps at this mature time of my life I should be downsizing - into small scale alpine plants, for example...

Friday 29th September

Thirty days hath September - April, June, and November... Eek! The month is nearly over! I've been busy today planting the new lavender (and some new flaxes, oops) and weeding out sorrel from the Hen-House Gardens. Sorrell is a pain! My new lavenders include the Hidcote and Munstead classic varieties, and some that are pink-flowering.

Earlier today I stopped to investigate an old tabby cat wandering along the local road. Could this stiff, skinny old relic be Sifter the feral feline, who went AWOL a few years ago? The cat howled like Sifter, he had a torn ear like Sifter, but I couldn't actually remember any of Sifter's colour or stripe details. That's really sad - I didn't know that cat memories grew dim with age!

 Isnt this a most rose-like flower?
Gay Baby Camellia

Camellia Mistaken for Rose

Apologies to the Camellia with pink rose-like flowers, merrily flowering in the Pond Paddock. You looked so beautiful I mistook you for a rose. How silly - of course it's far too early for Clair Matin to be flowering. This Camellia is definitely called 'Gay Baby' - I have very nervously googled its name to check. Hmm...

Saturday 30th September

Aargh! This is it - the last September day. Have I done everything I should have this month? Nope! But today I can make up the deficit. So I have organised non-gardening partner - before he cleans the sheep's bottoms I require a trailer load of compost, to be placed by the Hen-House Gardens. I also require help with relocating pots, and all the lawns mowed. If I find him lurking righteously in the house doing the vacuuming I will be furious.

 Now you see them, now you don't.
Red Tulips

I am going to cut off all withered daffodil flowers I can find. I am furious with my tulips - observant readers will have noticed little or no mention of them. They flower boldly, beautifully, for a couple of days maximum, then - pouff! Gone! Whereas other spring things, like the blue ajuga, the little blue muscari, the new epimediums, the pasque flowers, have the good manners to bloom for ages.

Eek! I seem to have woken in a fierce gardening mood. Let's hope it continues all day.