Get mulching!

It's even more autumnal today, with rain and darker skies, and the first cold southerly of the season due to arrive at the end of the week. Eek! I must get mulching, and weeding, and trimming, and raking...

 Starting to fall in the driveway.
Autumn Leaves

Wednesday 16th April

Today I have - oops - done no gardening. I have fresh bags of horse manure to spread. Yippee - the waterwheel is turning, the stone wall is finished, the garden looks beautiful (from a distance) and I'm having a day off.

I Love My Flaxes

The red leafed trees and shrubs over the water race are suddenly on fire - Berberis, Cercis and several Nandinas. I love, love, love my flaxes (even the green ones) at this time of the gardening year. Suddenly when colour drains from everything else they shine out. It's true, and I should never ever forget it - a New Zealand country gardener cannot have too many flaxes. Or roses, or rhododendrons, or spring daffodils, or...

 A brilliant red colour.
Berberis in Autumn

I've just rescued a rather small bird from the jaws of Lilli-Puss and set it free in the back garden. But it's difficult to sneak off with such a prize, and try and fool the attendant cats. I popped it into the Senecio by the compost heap.

 On the trail of the little bird...
Percy the Cat

Ginger Cat Lurking

Ten minutes later Percy the ginger cat, lurking nearby, was very nearly showered with coffee grounds and kitchen slops. Histeria and Fluff-Fluff were resolutely prowling along the fence-line, staring into the shrubs. Please, little bird, please regain your power of flight, and then squeak loudly so your mother finds you.

Right. I'm off to the library to get some gardening books in - just in case that cold snap delivers.

Thursday 17th April

Eek! April is accelerating - autumn time has gone all exponential, and I'm not keeping up! This afternoon (yes, oops, it's already nearly two o'clock) I plan to rake a bit and trim some more. So why am I sitting here in my absolutely best jeans? Hmm...

Three Hours Later...

The Pond Paddock gardens are so much better! I've started a new compost heap. I've cut back the Scrophularia and the Dahlias, and pulled out oh so many unwanted green things. How I wish that my nice Australian visitors could come back and see what my garden should look like in autumn! I've dug out two barrowfuls of weeds...

'Herbs make great edging plants.'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

The Golden Marjoram is trimmed - I use this herby plant as an edging, and love it. It's easy to keep tidy, and is a wonderful spring and summer colour. Herbs make great edging plants - I like the variegated kitchen sages, too.

Anyway, it's time to have a coffee and warm up. My new Fine Gardening magazine has arrived, and my garden library books on various topics await - the beauty of shrubs, companion planting, and harmonious gardens. Those must be ones with major successes and minor mistakes, hee hee...

 I love all the beautiful red shrubs and trees.
Autumn by the Water

Another Cat Disgrace

The new flat screen TV (which replaced the earlier model that Tiger the cat pee-ed on) was found this morning tipped off its table and lying on the ground. It will not go. Chief suspects are cats with excess bulk - Tiger the Terrible and Fluff-Fluff the Fierce. It is alleged that they were chasing each other over the TV in the middle of the night.

 You'd never know now that she was a wild kitten.
Histeria the Tabby Cat

Too Many Cats?

Then again it could have been a lone leaping cat with super-springy back legs - Lilli-Puss comes to mind. Or it could have been Percy, who occasionally gets bored in the house. It couldn't have been Histeria or Mugsy, Stumpy is too old, and Jerome the Grey never comes downstairs unless she's desperate for food. Oh dear. There are too many Moosey cats? Probably, as far as the insurance company is concerned!

Friday 18th April

Ha! In-laws can be just as destructive in the house as felines. Last night my son-in-law happily chopped up some of my new purple tulip bulbs to sprinkle on a pizza, thinking they were shallots. Anyone who has lived in a gardening house should know that the pantry (and the fridge) are obvious places to store plant matter. Hee hee...

Today I continued trimming and weeding, and took the axe to some of the variegated Elm tree suckers. Then I filled the wheelbarrow twice with gum tree rubbish from the back of the pond, and burnt all the evidence.


Back inside when the rain came, I reminisced and sorted out my Cape Campbell Walkway photographs and stories. Now there are five new pages, and I haven't yet talked about the lighthouse!

 Spot the lighthouse!
Cape Campbell

My goodness - we had such a wonderful walk, in brilliant weather. Nearly all the skies in the photographs are bright blue, and no-one is blowing over.