February - wow!

February - wow! This time last year I hadn't quite retired. I'm so glad I took the plunge. Here I am, almost one year on, sillier, busier, and happier - and naturally the garden should be tidier and better... I wonder if it is? I think it's bigger...

 Living up to ts name, complete wth free-ranging poultry.
The Hen House Path

Thursday 1st February

I have so many maintenance projects on the go, all at once. But that's gardening! I'm laying newspaper and mulch to stop the weeds in the New Zealand native garden areas. I'm laying stones over weed-mat to clean up edges of the water race. I'm raking and picking up gum tree debris and leaves for the burning heap. And I've got little piles of prunings ready and waiting for The New Christmas Shredder, which will be wheeled out of the garage this weekend and set in motion. Chomp, chomp.

My triathlon happens in a couple of weeks. My ladies' choir is back rehearsing. And the silly What Plant Am I? Moosey questionnaire I'm writing for is nearly ready to go public. Ever tried producing little personality analyses for plants, and weeds, and shrubs, and flowers? It's really funny, and I suspect all mine read like school reports full of stock teacher phrases.

Being a Wallflower :
Wow! You're vibrant and alive! It seems really unfair to call you a wallflower - you actually get picked rather often!

Hmm - a wallflower gets this encouraging comment. I think it's quite funny! Notice there's nothing negative, like growing old really quickly. I do grow a beautiful red wallflower which is gorgeously fragrant, too.

Anyway, there is much work to do in the real and virtual garden - my February is going to be busy, and well-organised. It's a short month, so every day must count! And one list should suffice - if I do enough of the same things each day...

Friday 2nd February

Right. Having already done swimming and biking, I am now off to do newspaper laying in the Welcome Garden, followed by weed-matting by the water! See how easy it is - no lists to pore over. My chooks are free ranging over the water race. Rusty the gardening dog is standing by. So easy!

 The Angelica is allowed to self seed, too. Oops.
Angelica and Flax

Saturday 3rd February

Slowly I am creeping through the Welcome Garden. I have temporarily run out of mulch, but today is the Shredder's Big Day Out - I wonder if it will be very noisy? Yesterday I also shifted hose around and started ripping out white Lychnis plants.


There is definitely a ripping wave in this self-seeder's garden. First the forget-me-nots, then the foxgloves, then the Lychnis plants and the Angelica. While those weird weedy Verbascums seem to escape the gloved gardening hand altogether. I guess they do look quite sculptural, standing in a long row along the water.

'Who needs lists?'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

So today I'll continue my general garden maintenance plan. There are garden visitors coming tomorrow, so I'll need to order a complete mowing of all the lawns. And I need a large bale of mulch to be fetched from the back paddock. These small tasks, plus my shredder tutorial, should keep non-gardening partner well occupied all morning. Hee hee. Who needs lists?

 This is an original Moosey shrub.
Blue Hydrangeas by the Laundry


Humph. Sometimes I say that I like doing modular things. I think this is very inaccurate. Modular things are simply garden chores which go on and on and on for ever. Like mulching over damp newspaper. And usually one of two scenarios occurs - I get bored and tired, and never actually finish the modular task. Or I run out of something which is vital for the completion of the task. The result is a mixture of guilt and annoyance. It all seems so clear on paper!

Oops - Mulching the Cat

I've had to raid the house's newspaper pile, and I'll now return and finish what I can. I have nearly mulched Fluff-Fluff the cat several times - he insists on lolling in the garden and showing me his scruffy tummy.

And I forgot to mention the shredder. Well, I was allowed to watch, and hand over tree branches. Oh well. I'll try and be more assertive this afternoon.

Sunday 4th February

First, sorry about moaning yesterday. Rather than moan about garden maintenance I should just get on and do it. It is by its very nature boring and repetitive, and naturally one wishes to see it finished. Detailed analysis of personal reactions en route is not required - a few positive comments would be more than adequate.

My New Positive Attitude

I'd like to extend a warm welcome to the new Shredder, which happily munched up Pittosporum and Willow tree prunings over the water race yesterday afternoon. And congratulations of the water race itself, proudly displaying the results of its new less-weeds and more stones and weed-mat policy.

 Completer with operator and faithful canine companion.
The New Shredder

And well done, the burning heap, for burning up all the rose dead-headings and the gum tree bark bits. And a cheery hello to the two big bales of mulch - great work, you guys! Even if I've run out of newspaper.

There! My new positive writing policy in action. Now my new positive action policy. Do all the edges before the garden visitors arrive. Then appear in floaty blue shirt with glass of iced water casually in hand. After all, the external image is everything! Hee hee.