My world travelling trip starts soon!
This is the second to last weekend in the garden before my world travelling trip. Theoretically the weekends should feel the same as the weeks do, for a retired lady gardener - but no! My garden helper is available in the weekends for bigger projects - like chain-sawing, dumping, and filling the trailer.
Autumn Wisteria Leaves
Saturday 26th May
Last weekend the Moosey gardening team successfully sawed down the Willow tree branches and processed the remains - firewood, and shreddings. The trick is to spring the weekend gardening plan at Saturday's breakfast time, before any of the day's momentum has been gathered, so to speak. Otherwise tasks like cleaning out the hay barn suddenly become a priority. Trouble is, I'm not sure what big things I want doing next. Blast!
Double blast - I am too late! Apparently it is the perfect day for Hazelnut Orchard maintenance. Trouble is - I am feeling very distracted, and though I am full of garden ideas and thoughts they are strictly non-New Zealand in origin. Perhaps I should get the world trip out of my system by writing a definitive packing list, and putting items in a pile? I could even try squashing everything into my small daypack, hee hee.
Can I have a triple blast? My disabled cat Mugsy has just come upstairs, supposedly to socialise with my foster kittens. Right. She's eaten their food, and used their kitty-litter box - alas, pointing herself totally the wrong way. Enough said. The Moosey Office now smells like a hospital corridor! It's time for a character report on the three foster kittens who have taken up so much of my time these last three weeks.
The Moosey Foster Kittens
- Histeria is a black and grey tabby, affectionately known as Hissy Puss. She's the bravest kitten, always first to explore a new situation. And I haven't heard a hiss all week!
- Percy, a dark ginger boy, is the purriest kitten. He's already got huge feet, and he's strong. He and sister Histeria play rough.
- Lilli-Puss is the littlest kitten - in fact this was her name until a few days ago. She's a grey tabby, smaller than her siblings, and by far the most smoochy of the three.
What should I do first today in the garden, on my own, without help? Hmm... I will wander outside and see. I do have bags of newspaper to lay and cover with mulch - this would be a good start.
Jerome the Cat
Hopeless. No stamina. I've escorted my chooks into the Hazelnut Orchard. I've picked a bunch of roses from the archways - Gloire de Dijon, who I have been exceedingly rude about, is actually looking splendid. I've weeded for about half an hour with my two big gardening cats. And now I've come inside to play with the kittens. This simply will not do. Further journal writing is banned until I have something of a substantially gardening nature to say.
Three Hours Later...
Yes! I have been trimming Pittosporums, and all the remains have been shredded and returned to the garden as mulch. This is very virtuous gardening. Rooster and the hens, my mobile manure unit, have been following me around. Now I would not want to be thought 'chookist', but compared to cats my poultry provide poor gardening company. They're pecky and nosy, and always getting in the way. Give me a cat any day.
Sunday 27th May
Right. Action Woman-Gardener is about to go outside. There is much to do, and no excuse to be dribbly and unmotivated. Think of a gardening verb and I'll do it with gusto this very morning - weeding, mulching, raking, picking, trimming, pruning, sawing.... Have I missed anything out? There's no time for chatter.
Lots of action. Instant decisions. New rhododendrons chosen, planted, watered and mulched. And the oldest clump of Cordylines groomed, all dry leaves burnt. A legend, to be rewarded with a chocolate ice-cream? Definitely. Allowed to boast in journal? Oh yes!
And to think that eleven years ago, when we first came to live at Mooseys, non-gardening partner swept his hand towards the far corner of the Frisbee Lawn and said 'Rhododendrons would like it over there.' He probably doesn't remember saying it - and in those intervening years I've planted rhododendrons here there and everywhere, except in that wee corner. Ha! I am now the proud grower of a Blue River, a deep pink, and a Bumble Bee.
Monday 28th May
Finally - some real, measurable, foster kitten success! I am rewarded! Three purring kittens have come to sit with me as I type - that means on me, shoulders, lap, hands, and legs. My next step should be to introduce them to some gardening, but I won't be here to do that! My friend Judith will be taking over this weekend.
Today in the garden I have some gentle plans. Theoretically it's that time of year when there isn't much to do. Did I say that? I have newspaper and more mulch to lay, and I may need to water things in the glass-house - the autumn day temperatures have been so warm! There are more leaves to rake up off the lawns and bag. Just gentle autumnal maintenance chores, really.
Summer Shasta Daisies
Did I really say that there wasn't much to do? Eek! My world travel plans have turned my head. First of all Rusty the dog and I are off around the country block. Then perhaps a hot coffee, and then more action, like yesterday.
I trimmed the Shasta daisies. I weeded the Septic Tank Garden. I raked up some leaves in the Pond Paddock. Then I lay down on the bed with B-Puss and the kittens and - oops - fell asleep. Now Stumpy the grey cat has appeared outside the office window (funny that - I didn't think she could climb up onto the roof anymore). Her yellow eyes are huge, and she is hissing dramatically through the glass at Lilli-Puss, the little grey mini-Stumpy. Peace, Stumpy, peace.
Wild Kittens - Hissy, Percy and Lilli
Now I am off downstairs to do the scariest thing - seeing if my minimal travelling clothing will fit in my minimal daypack. Four weeks worth. It's P-Day. P is for Pack!
Tuesday 29th May
Today I need to work from a detailed list. Here it is - a mixture of this and that, garden and personal, garden first.
- Buy cheap rubbish bags, and bag up all Pond Paddock leaves.
- Burn Cordyline rubbish (it cannot be shredded).
- Weed and mulch garden by Pergola.
- Sweep Wisteria and gum leaves off patio and house decking.
- Take cute photographs of kittens and Albertine rose flowering.
- Go for a swim and a bicycle ride with the dog.
- Sew new buttons on elegant blue shirt, hee hee.
- Organise phone to roam overseas, hee hee.
- Don't be nervous. Do that trial packing... Hmm...
Later... I did everything except the packing.
Thursday 31st May
Goodbye May. And, pretty soon, goodbye New Zealand. Another twenty degree day - beautifully warm, this weather can't last, and I don't need it to. Winter is welcome to arrive - say anytime after next Tuesday!
I went walking yesterday on the Port Hills - just enjoying the surrounding scenery, and wondering if I'll get to do any serious walking in Scotland. I have made a list of gardens to visit, and printed out little maps. Today I probably won't do much gardening. I have two more days with my foster kittens. Hissy, Percy, and Lilli-Puss - I am going to miss looking after you! You have all done so well.