Colour co-ordinated cats...

The nine Moosey cats are gorgeously colour co-ordinated - grey, ginger, white and black - and the feline feeling in the house is mellow and settled. Food bowls and sleeping boxes are now shared. But the two ginger boys, Fluff-Fluff and Percy, are still my best gardening cats.

 Super-nanny B-Puss.
B-Puss and the Kittens

Tuesday 18th September

Today I arrived home with a carload of budget plants (more on that in a minute) to a game of musical cat-beds. Lilli-Puss and Tiger were snuggled up in Stumpy's basket, Mugsy was in the kittens' clothes basket, and Fluff-Fluff was squashed into Tiger's box on the table. B-Puss and Histeria were upstairs on the blanket where Jerome usually day-snoozes. Percy and the two greys, Stumpy and Jerome, were outside in the fresh air, waiting by the garage for me.

Today has been lovely. The big cherry blossom tree is now in full bloom and very, very soon all those pink shrubs I love will be flowering. The first pink rhododendron has flower buds just ready to open. Lovely spring!

Sheep Report

We have five lambs, including a pair of twins, and two remaining ewes are still pregnant. The lambs bounce around the paddock together.

 Both lambs are on their knees feeding.
Mother with Twins

I delivered some Sunflower seeds to my friend this morning, and she gave me a perennial Salvia and some pieces of Helichrysum in return. On the way home I found some good quality budget lavenders, and bought seven. Seven more roses and two silver Astelias completed my restrained little spending spree. I have perfected the art of buying just enough plants to fit in the boot of my (new) car.

Then I spent the afternoon planting the lavenders in the side house garden, the Astelias in the dappled shade by the Driveway, and the roses in assorted odd places. I finished with a short raking and burning session.

Walking in New Zealand :
There's a whole section devoted to the bush and forest tracks I've walked. They're all in the South Island of New Zealand.

I think my knee is better - but I will not be tramping up and down large bush-clad peaks tomorrow with the walking group. I have gracefully adopted a plan of personal safety and moderation, in the physical sense. Thundering down rocky descents and hopping along uneven river beds are not really allowed any more. It's simple - a hurt knee really cramps my gardening style, and this will not do!

Wednesday 19th September

Ha! Today, at the moment, is a 'clean slate'. What shall I do first? For the first time in ages I feel that I'm ahead in the garden race, though a quick walk around wearing spectacles could change things! So in case I crash down to earth after going swimming, I'll prepare a very low-key, keep-my-clothes-clean list. Here it is.

Low-Key List

1. The glass-house.
More perennials, cuttings of daisies, more seeds. More, more, more.
2. The Wattle Woods.
Clearing and weeding, getting ready for the new waterwheel.
3. The Hen-House Garden.
Water, add compost.
4. The Hen House.
Important and obvious quality control - a good hen house should not smell.
5. Photographs
Cats, kittens, the latest flowers and blossom, and the twin lambs.

Right. Off for a swim (physiotherapy for the slightly sore knee) and on the way home, who knows - maybe a quick nip into the nursery? I've remembered a small piece of garden over by Duck Lawn which needs a few hebes, and the Driveway Garden has room for two large rhododendrons and some daffodils.

 One of the interesting types I grow.
Beautiful Daffodil

Early Afternoon...

Oops. Ignore that list - well, I did. The swimming pool was closed, so I called in at the rhododendron nursery on the way home. Hmm... I bought an expensive little maple, several scruffy sun-loving shrubs, a flax, and - oops - rather more than two rhododendrons. But there's worse - I found not one but four perfect spots to plant the maple. I should have bought four trees! Luckily my neighbour who helps me check the sheep was due to arrive, otherwise I would have zoomed back to get three more.

I have spent the last three hours digging holes and planting my new plants. The Driveway Garden is finished. My neighbour agrees that another little maple would look spectacular by the castle sculpture - she is the perfect garden consultant!

'Take the trouble to write a list - take notice of it!'
-Moosey Advice to Well-Intentioned Gardeners.

I'll have a cup of tea, and then hopefully I'll find some extra energy to do everything on my list. Look - can I offer myself a word of advice? Take the trouble to write a list - take notice of it! Aargh!

Tuesday 20th September

Today I have been exceptionally well behaved. I haven't spent any money on new plants. I haven't sulked about the slightly sore knee (which is heaps better). I've been swimming. I've even cleaned the kitchen and wiped down the benches. And I've cleaned my car! Wow!

Wattle Woods

 Look at that beautiful pathway!
Wattle Woods - Spring 2007

So now I can relax, rest the slightly sore knee, and crow about the day's garden triumph. The Wattle Woods are looking very springy and colourful this year, and I've been busy cleaning out the Wattle Woods stream (waterless at the moment). I've extended it up the slope towards the water race and Rooster Bridge.


This is where my birthday present, a home-constructed waterwheel, will be going. I may be tempting fate, but imagine my embarrassment if NGP (Non-Gardening Partner) actually builds the waterwheel on the side, presents it to me with a flourish - and the stream which the water is to feed isn't ready.

I've also been watering the new rhododendrons in the Driveway Garden, Rusty dog's new Lavender Garden, and the Hen-House Garden. This weekend my chooks are getting a super-sized run constructed - they will be funnelled out into the orchard to pick and peck at the paddock grass. Let's hear it for chook freedom!

And what a sweet-smelling hen house they live in! I virtuously cleaned it late yesterday, though foolishly I left the day's eggs on the path. Guess who loves to carry the eggs off and lick them clean? A certain red Border Collie dog...

 With a tummy full of fresh eggs.

A Very Good Year?

All five lambs are really doing well now - phew! Last year's experiences turned me into a slightly worried mother-owner of sheep having lambs. I'm thankful there have been no problems this year to speak of, and only two ewes (I think) still to produce.

Right. Time to shift the hoses ever so slightly, and enjoy the spring afternoon. The branches of the big cherry blossom are wafting slowly in the breeze, and there seem to be more daffodils than ever. There are yellow, gold, lemon, apricot, cream, white, salmon, and peach colours everywhere I look. And the Daphne by the washing line is finally blooming. It's a beautiful time of year to hang out the washing!