The silly season...

I am busy watering with buckets and hoses, and suddenly I've started shifting plants around. In the heat of summer - I know, I know - it's obviously the silly season.

 An unknown David Austin rose with Penstemons.
Beautiful Partners

Friday 8th February

Today I scraped gum leaves out of the Hen House Gardens and off the paths, dug up the variegated Scrophularia and stuffed it into wet soil in pots. I've discovered this is a marginal plant and likes being planted in bogs - no wonder it has been sulking in several of my borders. I raked gum bark and leaves from the lawn while my chooks lazed languidly through the netting fence.

Don't Mention the Cricket...

The wind roared, the chooks pook-pooked, the resident birds twittered, while my cricket radio held doom-filled post mortems on the cricket. Humph. We won't mention the cricket...

Renga Renga :
Renga Renga is such a generous foliage plant. It's easy to grow, and easy to divide and transplant.

I transplanted some more Renga Renga into the garden area by my new wriggling Wattle Woods stream., and pointed a water hose in its general direction. This weekend new buckets will be attached to the waterwheel and water will fill the stream again.

I have some new features to think about - a rough soil path starts by the Wattle Woods garden seat and crosses the stream. Along the topside of the path I'm going to make a low retaining 'wall' with logs - next winter's firewood, if I can sneak some without being told off. I'll build up the soil with some horse manure and mulch, and hopefully the ivy which is already starting to cover the ground will take further root.

Foliage and Flower Surprises

February is full of foliage and flower surprises - a beautiful pale apple green hosta is only just in full leaf, and there are the deepest mauve flowers on some small hydrangeas. Red dahlias are blooming everywhere, the shrubby Lavateras are flowering, and the purple geranuim at the back of the woodshed is looking beautiful.

 A wee treasure.
Purple Geranium

My new pond plantings (rhododendrons, camellias, an aralia and three gorgeous carex trifidas) seem happy. Pots of basil (both purple and green - beautiful colours) on the house patio are growing really well - thanks to many visits from the watering-can fairy.

Water Woes

 Sweet little flowers.
Summer Pansies

Oh dear - I have much watering to do. Today I've had to put the hoses on near the Hump. I'm sad to see plants in here struggling, and strong winds at night have not allowed the irrigation to be put on. Maybe tonight will be calm and the house gardens can be watered. Rain would be nicer - some decent vertical overnight rain.

I guess we are experiencing a semi-drought, New Zealand East Coast style. Serious trouble for farmers and a nagging problem for silly gardeners like me who grow totally unsuitable plants. Right. I'm off to feed the hens and shift the hoses yet again. I need more mulch! More mulch! More mulch - less watering...


Before I do anything, some preparatory organisation for tomorrow is needed. My friend has given me more irises - pale blue and lemon ones - to pot up or place in the garden. My cherry pelargonium needs potting, too, and the scrophularia pieces need proper attention. A pink Azalea and some purple flowering hebes need digging out of a friend's garden to start their new life in the country. Fragrance from ten bags of horse manure has been wafting over the house patio barbecue - diners have complained. The offending organic matter must be shifted and spread on the garden. And it's time for a trailer-load of path mulch - the Hen House paths need a top-up.

 Sown by me.
Pink Annual Lavatera

Oh dear - that is such a long, jumbled paragraph. Why didn't I just write a list?

Saturday 9th February

Right. Today is an extremely busy day. Blast - NGP (Non-Gardening Partner, bless him) has escaped into the orchard to do some 'spraying' while there's no wind. But wait! Daughter of Moosey is available as a semi-willing garden helper. Yippee! Someone to wheel the heavy wheelbarrow loads... First we are going to a farmers' market, and on the way home we will pick up potting mix and more horse manure.

All my new iris pieces are to be put into pots. I tried planting the first ones directly into the Stables Garden, location of my newly organised iris patch, but the wind (and the cats) has left most lying sideways on the top of the soil.

Nursery Plans

Maybe there will be plant stalls at the farmers' market. If not I will pop into a couple of nurseries and check out their bargain bins. Being a compulsive plant rescuer well explains the jumbly nature of my planting style. If it's free, cheap, or unwanted - grab it!

 Another pretty flower sown by me.
Annual Dianthus

But I can also be an intelligent grabber - for example, my friend has offered me all her bright pink phloxes, but in her garden I see they are absolutely covered in mildew. These I have politely declined. I would like some of her tiger lilies, though, to add to the house border with the red dahlias and red striped canna lilies.

 Great cat company.
Ginger Cat Percy

Right. I need my two ginger gardening cats, Fluff-Fluff and Percy, for company. Let my big day out in the garden commence. This afternoon there's cricket to listen to. Aargh!

Late Afternoon...

I've had an amazingly busy day - a gardening success. Firstly the Wattle Woods stream is running again with one new bucket (thick plastic). And one of the paddles had to be rescrewed on. I helped, standing in the water and keeping the wheel still.

I've potted up all the irises - for now they are on the tables behind my glass-house, where cat and wind can't touch them. I've tidied, weeded, and trimmed flopping dahlias in the glass-house garden. My bargain bin purchases are as follows: a trailing rosemary, a hebe, and a yellow flowering jasmine which I know nothing about - its label claims it likes part shade.

World's Best Waterwheels

The stream edge now has more stones and I've built up the soil path where it begins. I love my waterwheel - I love gardening near it, listening to the peaceful noises. I love, love, love it.

 A green Astelia by the start of the stream.
The Stream Beginning

Having a waterwheel is like a new hobby - I could plan a trip to tour the world's best waterwheels. I've seen pictures of huge wheels in Zimbabwe - not sure if that's a very visitable country at the moment, though. Hmm...