Please, no more gale force winds!

There's more spring blossom, the first aquilegias and irises are out, and my main troupe of rhododendrons are ready for their festival of flower. Mid-spring is beautiful in my garden, the lawns are fresh and green - but please, no more gale force winds!

 Spring green!
The New Lawn

Tuesday 16th October

My fruit-salad coloured rhododendrons in the Willow Tree Garden (or, to be more accurate, the Willow Stump Garden) are ready to open, and my tree peony is tall and willowy, covered in fat buds. It's rather more willowy than the tree itself, severely topped last autumn - but it, too is sprouting madly at the end of its short fat limbs.


In spring these gardens are beautifully open and expansive, filled with blue pansies and caressed by gentle sweeping green lawns. Lawns that need mowing! Aargh!

 I need more pansies!
Blue Pansies

Yesterday I started a long weeding session full of gloom and dismay - my home-made compost is so weedy and fertile. But I had a great afternoon. Weeding is easy! As long as the following dictums (blimey, thought they were just wee phrases) are put into practice:

  1. B - Be prepared to get your bottom wet, muddy, or both.
  2. A - Always have patience.
  3. D - Don't lose your hand tools.

So weeding can be summarised with the acronym BAD. Oops.

 A big beauty for a big pot.
Green Astelia

Do The Pots Day

Today I am feeling very, very positive. I am going to do all my pots - decking, patio, Stables planter boxes, upstairs balcony, hen house concrete trough... I'm sure there won't be any more dastardly late frosts. This will be a serious test of my prolific pelargonium production in the glass-house.

Yesterday I planted all my cornflower seedlings and decided I didn't have enough. That probably means I don't have nearly enough of anything! So today phase two of my annual seed sowing will start, and I will take heaps more cuttings of, for example, daisies. One brave peppermint pelargonium survived outside all winter and I forgot to get cuttings from the (dead) others. Blast! I love this plant. And I need more, more, more Helichrysums - the one called the curry plant.

So with huge plans, tanked up with protein from two soft boiled eggs (thanks to my two beautiful striped Plymouth Barred Rock hens)... With stylish gardening jeans, and a replacement set laid out just in case the bottom gets too wet... With cat company from my two ginger boys at the very least, and hopefully B-Puss (who has been playing hard-to-get of late)... And with the uncomplicated companionship of my kind-hearted, generous dog Rusty... I will start my gardening day.

And I'd better get out there post haste - rooster is crowing very faintly, sounding as if he's at least three paddocks away. Where's he got to? He'd better not be pecking at the new plants in my water race gardens.


Busy gardeners are having battered oysters and asparagus, plus some fair trade coffee, for lunch today. So far I've done lots and lots of little things - things which real open gardens are renowned for. Where do the Head Gardeners of such places find the time for the details? Hmm... Perhaps they have one under-gardener whose job is to do 'the pots'. I now have a cute little patio shelf of freshly repotted succulents.

Percy the ginger kitten is sitting on my lap purring loudly. I have never known a cat to purr so much. He must be saying thank you for being taken from the wild, tamed with food, love, and good company.

 This is The Plank, the wobbly water crossing.
Acorus by the Water

Sadly the wind has increased - my new cherry blossom had better still be attached to the tree! After lunch I'm off to do some weeding and to tie string around the sticks around my peonies. I've more pots to do - the bigger ones, mainly. I could go to the nearest nursery (about three minutes away) and buy plants for my new-look patio. I'm sure a few more roses could easily be squashed into my long suffering car at the same time. Ha!

Late Afternoon...

No purchasing of plants - such restraint! The patio pots have been well organised - such perseverance, until I ran out of potting mix. And more battered oysters for afternoon tea - seems a little excessive, but no-one else in the house eats them. And I've even done some concentrated weeding, down the Driveway.

 Check out the new pot on the corner!
The Moosey Driveway in Mid-Spring

Tomorrow I'm off into the mountains, so some gentle rain would be ideal.

Thursday 18th October

It's scary that the weeks are rushing by so quickly! It seems almost naughty to have a whole day off. OK - one can always do those things tomorrow, but by tomorrow a heap of new things will have joined the 'to-do' list in the spring garden. The walk in the mountains was muddy, hard work, but really lovely - we went to a waterfall, and had four-seasons-in-one-day weather. I liked the blue sky best! The native Clematis Paniculata was just starting to flower.

The Behaviour of B-Puss

B-Puss my white cat has lost his confidence again, and is behaving more oddly than usual. He hides out underneath a bed, and then rolls onto his back with his legs in the air pushing against the mattress. It's not a happy, show-off-my-tummy roll. He pretends he's stuck, and won't come out. Tomorrow we'll return to the vet, who will probably suggest a cat-therapist...

Today I'm off swimming, and then I'll spend the day quietly in the garden. If I can't think of anything else to do (like buying new plants) I can wheelbarrow logs into the trailer and trim all the lawn edges. And start getting the garden ready for an official visit by my ladies' choir. This happens in five weeks time - surely by then I'll have the edges, pots, weeds and paths under control!

 A beautiful pergola cover.
Wisteria under Blue Skies

Let me see - what other plants do I need? Apart from the obvious (i.e. semi-expensive things like standard roses) I need little clumps of colour - maybe some Armerias? Azaleas were rejected a few days ago, thinking that their flower season would be short lived, and they'd gasp for enough water from late spring on. It looks rather like I'm making my way through the alphabet of flowering clumps...

Early Afternoon...

It's just stopped raining, and I'll start gardening as soon as the birds start chirping. But first, I'd like to thank my Wisteria for flowering, covering the house pergola with beautiful light purple. And I should thank the person (me) who used logic and pruned it every month or so from last summer on. Ha! It's worked!

OK, Moosey, what do you say?
How many new things in flower today?
Irises, blossom, perennials too,
New shades of pink and new shades of blue...

 In the pond paddock.
Cherry Blossom

Oops. That's definitely me procrastinating.


I've filled the trailer with logs, and checked the chooks a few times. A pheasant pair has joined rooster's small flock, and they shriek when he crows. All the birds have been poking around in the middle of the Hazelnut Orchard, creating good rural ambience (and manure for the trees). Now I'm off to try and find B-Puss. What's happened to him? Why is he hiding under beds with his legs kicking in the air?