So starts the third week of my transplanting as a full-time gardener. I have more compost to spread, tramping legs to stretch gently, new friends, and lots of ideas from the Garden Club outing...

Thursday 16th March

My goodness - two whole days out with my new friends, firstly visiting gardens, then tramping up Kowhai Stream towards The Gap. How busy this new life is! So shouldn't the Moosey Garden be glowing, in ruddy good health, just like the head gardener?

 A late summer flower I would love to have more of!
Variegated Liriope

Firstly, consider the state of the Moosey pot collection. Immediately after visiting a lovely rural garden on Banks Peninsula, the Moosey pots got lucky. They were lovingly watered, and tidied (no dead leaves allowed), the ground at their feet swept, the Aeonium from the nursery sale potted properly, and so on... Garden psychologists would have fun working out exactly why I leapt zealously into my pots, after an outing with Garden Club trying to talk gourmet recipes and real estate...

Lawns and Legs

Secondly, the Moosey Legs - what legends! Apart from disturbing some native bees and getting dramatically stung, these legs strode out strongly on the tussock-land, rock-hopped happily in the river bed, scrambled up loose scree, teetered along risky ridges, hands holding on to Hebes and Drachophyllum shrubs - all day! They will be rewarded with new boots.

The House Lawn :
Hmm... The Moosey lawns are still nice enough to sit and read or play music...

And finally, the Moosey Lawns - they are pieces of paddock, littered with gum tree leaves - in a dreadful state when compared to the lawns visited on the Garden Tour. What to do about this? Re-sow them? Fill in the patches with grass seed? Possibly Fescue? Hmm...

Today after Rusty's bicycle ride I will get going in the house gardens. Imagine if a group of lady visitors wandered around my garden - I would be so disgraced! My plan is to complete all cosmetic tidying, including compost spreading, before I do anything else. So there.

 I dont think dahlias smell very nice!
Nosy Rusty


After five gentle hours I have decided to stop and rest up. I've been doing exactly what I said I'd do, and the house gardens, composted, are looking better already. The Shasta daisies are trimmed, and I've pulled out a lot of stray red things whose name escapes me (blimey - old age strikes again). No - wait - Crocosmias! Those are the red things whose flowers pop up quite randomly in one of the house borders. I like them, and they are the rich scarlet red variety, but I would prefer a close, controlled grouping.

 This is a hybrid called, I think, Lucifer.

I have also cleaned up rather a lot of dog manure from the house lawns. Please don't get me started on the house lawns - I am most unimpressed with their grass quality. My animals are all in odd moods - Tiger has a mouse which she is playing with in the dog's bed. Rusty, whose nose will be terribly distracted later tonight, is charging around doing figures-of-eight on the house lawn. I'm back where I started - that house lawn - aargh!

Saturday 18th March

Minimalist readers who groan at rambling, detailed, blow-by-blow accounts of the gardening day might notice that, since I have been free (as it were) of time constraints, whole days have passed without any writing what-so-ever. Ha! Take yesterday, for example, where absolutely no gardening was done. But I am now the proud owner of new tramping boots, and groovy tramping socks, and already today they have been road-tested for an hour (walking the dog). I got back just in time to watch the start of the cricket, so there's still no time for gardening!

Except I have had design discussions regarding the path connecting the house decking with the laundry path. Stepping stones have been suggested, and I will lay out some dinner plates to see if I like this look. Otherwise we have to borrow a concrete mixer, and get in sand, and flat stones, and so on. I am also planning to buy some grass seed and re-sow the bad patches on the house lawns.

 Flowering for a second time.
Late Flowering Daylily

I have several plant clumps to dig out, divide, and repot - dwarf white-flowering agapanthus, heuchera, sulking daylilies, and so on. I could also pot up some more of the self-seeded Pittosporums. I might start working over near the pond, where the two kittens like to play. The preparing of winter firewood is another possible job for today. I have built many small piles in odd areas of the garden - these need collecting and dumping on the main heap. Later I will help with the stacking in the woodshed. Aargh! It's starting to feel seriously like autumn!

Much Later...

Hee hee! Pressure-free gardening - I've been clearing by the pond all day. Firstly, and most importantly, I have lost that awful feeling of time-panic I used to get. Ironically things are getting finished, I feel more successful, and nasty jobs are taking less time. Hee hee! I've finally spread the compost, and am ready for a new load - but the trailer is needed to collect the new Moosey Merino Ram. He is an exciting addition to the collection of animals living here - a fine looking ram, nameless at the moment.

An important question - should I optimistically reinvent the small wriggling stream? It was more a dry stream bed than a moving water feature - the idea is tempting me again, and my original stream-side plantings (you guessed it - flaxes) are much bigger. I have cleared out a lot of the fallen gum tree rubbish, and roughly weeded the area. Hmm...