Lots of natural rainfall, please...
November was a brilliant month for my irises. Now I'm hoping that December will be equally brilliant for my roses. I'd like to order in lots of natural rainfall, and not too much wind please...
Saturday December 1st
Phew! I have spent the whole of this first December gardening day cutting up gum tree branches and wheeling them to the fire. My goodness, it has been a long, long day!
Chooks in the Orchard
I had a short rest mid-afternoon and hung over the Hazelnut Orchard gate watching the chooks scavenging and the tractor mower cutting the grass. Two of my favourite cats (Smoocher and B-Puss) have memorial trees near the gate, so I said a quiet hello to each.
The archway roses look wonderful from a distance - some are beautifully in bloom, particularly Madame Caroline Testout and Easleas Golden Rambler. Some roses have aphids, and black spot, but also there are lots of ladybirds on the Hazelnut trees. And ladybirds fly - nice!
Head Gardener Grumpy Again
The trouble about such a day is that it leaves the house smelling smoky and the Head Gardener grumpy and red-faced. But the good thing about such a day is that it is focussed and productive, and the Head Gardener also feels really virtuous and proud.
Typically, Head Gardeners who have burned rubbish absolutely all day will not be capable of witty, light-hearted journal writing. But they will be spectacularly clean, having to have washed and changed absolutely everything. Their hair will shine, their nails will gleam, and everyone will want to sit next to them...
Portrait of Mugsy
Hello Mugsy the Cat
Thank you to my lovely son-in-law who is not only cooking the steaks for the evening meal but who has been taking oh so professional photographs of the Moosey Garden. Mugsy the cat can be seen alive, furry, and kicking - I never ever take pictures of her.
Rusty the dog now has a superb black-and-white series, and my aquilegias have never looked better! Huge thank yous.
Tomorrow the summer sun will come up, and NPG (Non-Gardening Partner) has promised to mow the lawns and help clear out the tree mess. He will operate the chainsaw.
Sunday 2nd December
Ha! The summer sun has only just appeared - it's been drizzling all morning. I've been inside thinking about my flowery, rosy garden and wondering about hiring in help to do the rough tree stuff.
Then I could just sit and fossick, pulling out little weeds, enjoying the summer colour. Gardeners who spend each moment of every day chopping trees and burning rubbish could become very boring, too! Perish the thought! I'd love today to be a bit more interesting, and different. Hey - how about some light weeding? Wow! That's a great idea!
Seriously, it's still wet outside, so I'll probably just get my saw and loppers and - yes, there's no escaping it - clear out some more tree rubbish. I'll be imagining large species roses sprawling up and over everything - fat, friendly, healthy shrubs underplanted with little treasures. I'll be seeing pine tree branches and gum tree branches. Aargh!
Another successful tree mess afternoon - four more big barrowfuls are burnt, and chain-sawn logs are piled up either side of the path through the Hump. It is not finished. But it is much better!
Monday 3rd December
Quick, before I remember that continuing tree mess and my garden spirits sink. I've arrived home from swimming with a car load of bargain bin plants to put around my pond. I have four spotty female shrubs demanding shade, a flax, a free rhododendron called Senora Someone, and three grunty looking Carex triffidas. It takes a brave (or foolish?) gardener to plant grasses with the word 'triffid' in their name - and look! They've got the cutest little seedheads! Hee hee - I don't care. This silliness is far preferable to my gloomy-tree-mess mood of late.
I also have some coloured daisies (magenta-pink) and some Gazanias (yellow) for the house garden. They were thirty percent off in the sale... So, if I get absolutely every new plant planted, and then a teeny weeny bit more of the tree mess cleared, I don't suppoooooose I could return to the nursery sale? Could I? And jolly well why not?
Off I go. I'll take Rusty the dog and the axe - just in case digging planting holes at the back of the pond proves too challenging. If we get too hot we can both submerge ourselves in the pond depths.
A Happy Dog
I am in a brilliant apres-gardening mood, thanks to my pond beautification work. Ironically I had to spend a couple of hours sawing and clearing overhanging tree branches. Just having a change of scenery really helped, and I shared Rusty's delight at being near water. He leapt in, he swam around in circles, and he stood in the shallows waiting for anything which needed retrieving. Occasionally he shook himself while standing rather close by...
Good Dog Company
Dogs are really good company. They always pretend to listen when the day's garden tasks are explained to them. Then off they trot beside the wheelbarrow, like a proper best friend, ready to help. I'm sure that some of my most meaningful conversations have been with my dog...
For the record, the spotted females (plants) are Aucubas, the flax is called Emerald Gem, and I've raked a little winding path which skirts the water and pops back out by the trio of tall variegated flaxes. There's room (and sun) for some sturdy shrub roses (maybe rugosas) and definitely a layer of Azaleas. Yippee! A whole day spent gardening and I don't feel grumpy!
The carexes are right by the water - their label makes them sound extremely boring: 'easy care and low maintenance, hardy...'. I've found an ominous phrase in tiny print at the bottom: 'Propagation unwise'. Hmm... Unwise? Oops!