Winter gardening is a breeze...

This winter gardening is a breeze - even if a slightly cool and bracing one, originating in the southern Antarctic oceans. Why before did I ever get gloomy or bored? What a gardening wimp I've been.

Thursday 5th June

I love these twittering-to-self winter journal sessions when the grass outside is still slightly frosty. Today - shock, horror! - I stayed in bed until the sun skittered over my face. Don't be alarmed - this happens about 8:45 a.m.

 Hee hee... Getting in early...
Bare Root Roses

Yesterday I did have a grand day out, walking through a 'highish country' farm to Lake Rubicon. I enjoyed scraping past the native Matagouri and ziz-zagging through the tussocks. The ridges of Mount Torlesse, snowy and serious, loomed above. But best of all - the feeling of total 'virtuousness' (I think I made that word up) after a day of grunt and exercise in the fresh air. Then relaxing after dinner, watching (oops) a re-run of 'The Amazing Race' - this programme is the perfect fantasy finish to a busy, practical day.

Thoughts on the TV Programme - The Amazing Race

Sorry about this. But occasionally one sees a couple not unlike the Moosey Head Gardener and Non-Gardening Partner (in age and/or ability) racing around - they bungy-jump into gorges, abseil down impossible cliffs, and queue at various world airports to buy tickets. Then they argue - aargh!

I look around at the piano, the Moosey cats snoozing, and the dog flopped in his chair... Yippee! I'm home! Phew! It's only a TV programme - nothing to worry about except where to plant the new rhododendron Signora Meldon and whether to race off to the first bare-root 'new season' rose sale or not... Hee hee...

 A photograph taken with the flash on the camera.
Percy the Ginger Cat

And that's exactly what I'm about to do. I have a bad record of scooping up bare-root rose rejects months too late, their plant energy suffocated, buds dried out in their plastic bags. This year I am bucking the trend! The advertising flier arrives in the mail one day, and the very morning next I am there. Ha!

Then I will get back down to earth and hopefully finish clearing the new Shrubbery. Wow! Winter gardening is a brilliant breeze!


Right. A list, with lots of deliberate yellowness. Please let all my new bare-root roses enjoy the sensation of being put straight into potting mix and decent-sized pots. And reward me with beautiful blooms next summer. Please. And that's an order.

  1. Margaret Merril - creamy white floribunda.
  2. Auckland Metro (a Sam McGredy) - creamy white floribunda.
  3. Serendipity - yellow floribunda.
  4. Old Port - bluey-red floribunda.
  5. Spek's Centennial - yellow climber.
  6. Coconut Ice - fluffy pink and white climber.
  7. Handel - soft red and lemon climber.

After I came home with my roses (and potting mix, and three new pale green pots) I went straight into the Shrubbery and dug and cleared. The path has now forked into two - the lower path potters down to the front paddock, the upper loops around a shiny leafed Pittosporum to the top fence-line. I am thrilled with this brand new garden, never before cultivated. Already I have identified more natives in other borders - a Toe Toe, Ake Ake, and some red Corokias - who tomorrow might be asked to join the textural elite in the new Shrubbery.

 A Cream Delight looking delightful in winter.
Winter Flax

Friday 6th June

Some days one just has to be non-creative and do maintenance gardening. Such was today, when I weeded for three hours. I planned some nice plantings in my head, though - a row of Renga Renga to edge along the new Shrubbery path, punctuated with a clump or two of Bergenias (Bressingham Ruby). Such a day is not so emotionally uplifting, and could easily result in a less positively-minded gardener than myself moaning about her sore hands (ouch).

 Snow in the Koru Garden...
Oops - It Does Snow

Wintry Weather Forecast

According to THE LONG RANGE WEATHER FORECAST (awfully important, hence the upper case letters) it is going to be a real wintry weekend with southerly gales.


There could even be snow down to sea level. Ha! What rubbish! I don't believe 'them'.

Saturday 7th June

Right. I will behave today and work hard until the predicted cold front arrives. I will not deny the weather forecasters their years of - university? - study and their use of the mathematical discipline of statistics and modelling.

Now prepare for the most boring gardening list of all time - I need to know exactly which shrubs and plants are shifting this morning. Sorry about this.

Boring List

1. Daylilies
Daylilies in Pergola perennial garden get divided and replanted there. Any daylilies in the Dog-Path Garden - you are shifting out. Where to? The Frisbee Lawn, down from Rusty the dog's kennel.
2. Shrubs
Whipcord hebes - out of the Welcome Garden, into the Willow Tree Garden, to form a tiny hedge at the end of Willow Bridge. Other shrubs into the Shrubbery.
3. Roses
Roses (particularly English Elegance and Abraham Darby) displaced by the new Willow Bridge to be potted and labelled. Not to be dug into border spaces willy-nilly. Stop! Think! Winter sun is not the same as summer sun.
4. Edgers
Renga Renga and Bergenias to be divided and planted straight away on the edge of the Shrubbery path.

I'm off. Looks like the shovel (if not the gardener) will be busy this morning!


Three hours until the cold rain started - now it's heavy and noisy on the roof, and all thoughts of wet-weather gardening have been abandoned. Three cheers for Non-Gardening Partner who understands about mowing the back lawns before the southerly strikes.

Pergola Garden :
The Pergola Garden was dug to be a potager, but got sneakily and subtly redirected. It's a roses and perennials garden.

Pergola Garden - I've divided daylilies and replanted them, shifted Aquilegias and roses around, embedded the brick path properly in the soil, and speed-weeded the vegetable garden. I've built a teepee of sticks for the Sweet Pea seeds, and potted up a punnet of self-sown lettuce seedlings - just in case the winter frosts get them. One scrawny patio rose has been rescued from underneath the tussock grasses and potted. Name? I can't remember.

Green Astelia :
Astelias are one of my favourite spiky New Zealand native plants.

Shrubbery - I've shifted in an overwhelmed Wattle Woods green Astelia. I've planted one patch of Renga Renga (rock lilies) and two patches of Bergenias - just like I said I would. Yippee! I'm good! Now I need more manure and more mulch.

Now I'm going to enjoy the rain from the warmth of my house. There's another older-lady-cycles-around-the-world book to read, a new winter jigsaw (an English pond with ducks) and, of course, that freshly tuned piano. Bartok, Bach and Brahms make great winter afternoon companions.