Yippee for yellow roses!

The first Moosey roses are in flower - Canary Bird, and Banksia Lutea, which is huge and high, growing up into the plum tree. They are both so beautiful. Yippee for yellow roses.

 The fence is falling down under its weight.
The Banksia Rose

Friday 17th October

Half of October is gone - vanished, disappeared, that means that half of October is still left - heaps of time in which to get my garden into good order for the early stirrings of summer. Hopefully my energy rations will fit my huge plans. Right. Here's today's list - short and sweet.

  1. The Wilderness Mess.
  2. The Shrubbery Paths.
  3. The Hen House Garden Weeds.

I have a phone number to ring for pea straw. I have enough newspaper to mulch a rugby field. There's no wind, so I can burn the gum tree rubbish carted out from the Wilderness without fear of a visit from the rural fire brigade. It's not raining, it's not cold - there's nothing stopping me having the biggest October day out in my garden. There's even cricket at 5pm to look forward to, as a reward.

Right. Put the hoses on, feed the hens, slurp the hot coffee, and work, work, work...

Much, Much Later...

Two cricket matches, a rugby match, and Top Chef to flick between on the TV - what a treat! I have worked so hard today. I have been really good. And Mugsy the cat followed me around the garden squeaking. Hmm... quasi-cat-company.

 A dear little cat.

Path Testing Cat

I did get a bit of a wake-up call in the Shrubbery. I laid newspaper along the paths and spread the soft bark mulch over - Mugsy my two-tone cat consumer tested them. Then I knelt down to deal to the weeds. Oh dear - a rather nasty creeping grass is happily growing here. I hope, hope, hope that it didn't come in via the horse compost. Remember that I've never gardening in here before, so it could well have been living here for a hundred years.

Suitably humbled (nothing like a bit of nasty creeping grass to bring a superstar gardener back down to earth) I moved over the ram paddock into the Wilderness and cleared out four more barrowfuls of mess. I am up to the top fence line, where my clearing can stop - and I've reached huge untidy piles of the thickest, longest gum tree bark, which are really annoying to drag out.

After a gourmet lunch with my dog I burnt my rubbish (safely) and then started my weeding work in the Hen House Gardens. Unfortunately this mainly consisted of trimming dead flax leaves out with a blunt knife, and sawing down excess Pittosporum branches with a blunt saw. Oh well - good exercise for the Moosey arm muscles.

Photographs of Dogs and Blossom

Then I wandered around the gardens taking spring border photographs for the web-site tour pages - they are in need of a visual spring-clean. Rusty the dog came with me, and consequently he turns up in every picture. And every border seems to have a Choisya (Mexican Orange Blossom) prominently in flower. Wonder why all my October photographs look the same? Hee hee... I love my dog, and my garden...

 Rusty the dog just had to get himself into the picture!
View From the Pond Paddock - Spring 2008

Saturday 18th October

It's cold and wettish - there's a southerly front moving slowly over Mooseys. So I'm busy inside doing some more web-site spring cleaning. The Apple Tree Gardens Tour is now rather tidier, all the gardens are trimmed and weeded, with more up-to-date pictures. My gardens are always changing, and the web-site needs to catch up!

 A pretty pink.
Driveway Rhododendron

I am dragging NGP off to visit a nearby country garden's open day. I'm taking the camera, and hope to be inspired by their rhododendrons. Back soon!

Sunday 19th October

Very, very interesting to visit the open garden yesterday. This was a big show-off garden when in its prime - the type that TV gardening shows came to visit, its glossy photographs in New Zealand Garden coffee table books... It was such a proper open garden that one wouldn't dare just 'pop in'.

Right. There's no time to lose. No twittering (unless one is a bird) or philosophising about garden restoration (thinking about yesterday's open garden) - and definitely no more web-site spring-cleaning, though it is spring. I've discovered (very embarrassing) that the Moosey Tour pages are horribly overgrown, full of weeds, need their edges trimmed, badly need pruning - desperately in need of virtual garden make-overs. Some pages need to be composted or even thrown on the rubbish fire. Imagine if these were the only pages that a website visitor peeped at - eek! I'm ashamed. As a virtual gardener of note I must do better.

Yippee for the Moosey Bride

Have just had my first cup of coffee sitting with the Moosey Bride (the shrub, that is) on the patio and thinking warm thoughts about the recent real one. Yippee! That leads me on to...

Daughter of Moosey Arriving Soon!!!!

I think that lovely Daughter of Moosey (with husband in tow) is due back any day. She'll be in time to see her Birthday Rose Garden flowering - the peonies are almost ready to burst, and I'm planting all the gaps with my seedling blue cornflowers.

Cats to be Fed :
I really should feed the cats on the decking...

Just a small oops - the Moosey cats have become blase about cat-use of the kitchen benches. Since there are eight cats, this is not a hygienic look (Non-Gardening Partner doesn't mind - in fact he encourages them with cat-bowls fool of food).

Enough family chatter. I'm off to continue the weeding of the borders around Duck Lawn. I am extremely cross with this circular piece of uninspiring, messy, patchy old paddock (I guess that's pretty obvious), which Rusty the dog caused to be renamed Duckless Lawn. In fact, I wonder if I should turn it into a garden... Now there's an original thought!

 This flax is growing where there used to be a path...
Too Big!


It's me, back from the thankless task of tidying the border in Duck Lawn. I've been slicing out dead flax leaves, limbing up Pittosporums to let in more light, pulling out lots of lovely little gorse seedlings (a gentle reminder of the old gorse hedge), and trying to clear the weeds from the water race edge. And I've been thinking...

Some New Zealand natives get overgrown quickly, if they like the garden conditions. But the gardener I visited yesterday had to do some major removals - conifer trees (e.g. Cedars and Macrocarpa), more than fifty years old. There's such a fine line between shrubs happily jostling for sunny space and sad specimens stuck underneath rampant bullies, completely squashed into the dark. There's my not so original thought. And the 'solution'? Be alert and pro-active, rather than tardy and reactive. And never, ever relax too much (except when sitting on a garden seat reading or having a hot drink).

So, as soon as I've had my coffee, I'll go back to Duck Lawn and continue my alert, pro-active trimming. But first - we are off to get a trailer-load of pea-straw. There will be much mulching madness later this afternoon!