So peaceful...

These settled spring days are so peaceful. There's no wind to tire out the gardener or dry out the soil, and the lawns look magnificent. Long may this continue!

Tuesday 11th September

Spring is rightly an inspiring time, but it always takes me by surprise. The birds get really noisy and excited, and the Moosey cat family spends more of the daytime outside exploring. The new lambs (still only three) get bigger, stronger, and definitely bouncier. But there's still garden time to shift things, to sow more seeds, and to divide up perennials - before the flowering starts in earnest.

 I wonder what colour the flowers will be?
Golden Escallonia Shrub

Today I finally shifted the old standard roses out from under the Laundry Garden shrubs. I dug out at least fifty dandelion weeds, some old Euphorbias which were past their best, and tied in some rose canes. I spread compost over the recently dumped remains of the cat litter box - a much better look!

Now there's two hours of daylight and warmth left, and I have more work to do, before I retire to the glass-house for today's compulsory potting session. And do you know - I do have room for more roses around the house. This is a nice thought...

 A lovely pairing for spring.
Grasses and Daffodils

At the End of the Gardening Day...

I am happy - I can see much improvement. There's nothing like a little speed weeding to spruce up the house gardens.

Percy :
Ginger cats are such special, uncomplicated characters. They are great gardening companions, and I've never known a ginger moggy to sulk.

There's not much to write about, though. Except to say hello to Percy the smooching ginger kitten (just like his dearly departed relative Smoocher) who is walking all over me and my computer keyboard.

Tomorrow I am off up a small mountain for the day - calling it a foothill would make things sound far too unimpressive. Cross fingers that my sore foot (yes, the digging foot is still tender) doesn't misbehave.

Thursday 13th September

I am semi-sulking. Yesterday's trip was brilliant - we climbed up to a saddle and then along the tops in the Mount Thomas range, a beautiful clear spring day, with views of other ranges and valleys, and the flat sweep of the Canterbury Plains below. Coming down for two and a half hours was - interesting. This is definitely older-lady stuff - a knee twinge high in the forest, followed by two hours of challenging descent. Oh boy!

Today, as I hobble around, drugless, it will be a challenge trying to garden without pain. A sore foot and a sore, stiff knee which won't bend - is this the beginning of some sort of end? Aargh!

Where is My London Birthday Present?

As a mark of disrespect to my ailing body I turned back from swimming and instead went to the hebe nursery, where I stuffed the back of my car with New Zealand native plants. Today promises to be a beautiful warm, sunny day - spring at its very best - and I will garden slowly. My new plants are part of my on-going birthday celebrations, and it's a month before the garden's anniversary. Small comment - where are my waterwheel, Monet Bridge, and new path paving stones? And what is my birthday present from London son? Golly, it's exciting, waiting and waiting (and waiting and waiting) to be surprised.

 A busy glass-house is a messy glass-house? Hmm...
What a Mess!


Trying to be sensible, and not to overdo 'it', I've come inside for a rest after only two hours. Trouble is, I've hardly done anything - it takes me an age to stagger off to places like the hen house, the pump house, and the glass-house. If I attached a pedometer to my gardening shoes I might be really surprised.

Anyway, two variegated Corokias are now planted, I've spread three loads of compost, and shifted round some clumps of white dwarf Agapanthus. Hope they don't mind. As soon as I've had my coffee I'm off to pot up some sad Heuchera divisions and water my glass-house seedlings. Time is immaterial, as long as I look after the knee.


Bah! I am going to bed early. I spent most of the afternoon reclining in the vegetable garden and weeding, instead of doing too much walking around. This was extremely unsatisfying, and I now have sore hands as well as sore other bits. But enough complaining! There is beautiful new spring blossom, like the new pink prunus tree in the Wattle Woods, and the big flowering cherry tree in the driveway lawn. Also it's time to dig up and divide the hostas underneath the Apple tree. Beautiful foliage plants for free.

Glass-House Going Well

And my glass-house production of annuals and perennials is going really well. I worked for half an hour potting up Heucheras and succulents. Good old me! Hey - that adjective needs removing!

Friday 14th September

I am in a much better mood today. I've planted new lavenders in the warm house garden, and ruthlessly chopped down a sprawling, gasping Breath of Heaven. Last winter's snow storm had flattened it sideways, then someone trimmed one side in a vertical plane, like a wall, so it wouldn't scratch the car. The result was not appealing!

 More flowers than ever this spring.
Red Camellia

I've started using up the hebes, I've burnt a stack of rubbish, and weeded the pergola garden (actually I got stuck in there on my hands and knees - ouch). I have a super-impressive knee brace.


There's more beautiful blossom than ever, the Wattle Woods Camellias are now in full flower, and I'm starting to notice blue things - Rosemary shrubs in flower, grape hyacinths just emerging, pansies, and some huge spring crocus flowers. The daffodils are out everywhere now, and every couple of days I wander around picking bunches for the house. Lovely, lovely spring colours.

On the way back from swimming I sneaked into a commercial nursery to look at plants. A loud 'Eek!' regarding the prices of everything, from their bedding annuals to their maple trees. I'd love to fill up the house garden gaps with brightly coloured polyanthus plants and pansies, but it would be a hundred dollars poorly spent! However I did buy one cherry tomato plant and a scraper-raker (haven't a clue what the proper name is).