Doing some brilliant gardening...

It's now the second week of July, supposed to be our coldest winter month, and I am doing some brilliant gardening. But I've slightly run out of money - oops.

 Shining in the winter sun.
Flaxes in the Dog-Path Garden

Tuesday 8th July

The trouble is that I get exotic plans at this time of the year, mainly for all those treasures of springtime like maples, rhododendrons, and peonies. I stop thinking about five dollar Hebes and Pittosporums, and plan instead to buy incredibly beautiful fifty dollar trees (Magnolias and variegated Dogwoods, for example). I forget all my garden's problems - those long, dry summers with horrible winds and low rainfall - and become quite unrealistic and lush-minded.

 I love these spiky plants.
Flaxes and Cordylines

Good Work Moosey!

Today I worked hard in the Dog-Path Garden for four hours - well done, Moosey! I've shifted plants (daylilies and a lemon and green variegated Corokia), redug the lawn edge, built up the stone wall by the water race, trimmed flax leaves, and weeded madly. I've also dug up the Magnolia grandiflora from Middle Garden - it was a donation, root bound and sulky, and not doing well enough.

The Dog-Path Garden has easy-care plantings - here many of my early rhododendrons enjoy the dappled shade, underplanted with daffodils. Not much needs doing now - a couple of sprouting Pittosporums are to be chopped out, and a couple of Rosemary shrubs shifted a few meters upstream, nearer the Koru sculpture. There's nothing else I want to change - for a change!

No Need for Paths

I think I'm happy that the Dog-Path has limited access, with only one path leading to the water. It's not really a destination garden - I enjoy looking across the water at its shrubs, trees, and flaxes. So it's really important to get those Pittosporums tidied up - no point in blocking the view of the rhododendrons in flower.+10

Great Dog News!

Rusty the dog has now learnt to 'roll over'. Slowly, slowly, he and I are making progress with his dog-training.

Rusty :
Dear dog - I never thought Rusty would enjoy gardening so much...

It all started with a library book entitled 'Fifty Tricks to Teach Your Dog', where the author said that Border Collies are highly intelligent dogs. I knew that! And, what's more, red Border Collies have absolutely gorgeous coloured fur - when they're clean.

Wednesday 9th July

I'm so lucky to be able to go walking on the hills above the city (the path still covered in snow), and I'm with my friends, and even though the price of petrol is going up and up and up I can still see a way to live and have leisure-fun. I love my garden, my family, my cats and the dog, and I love being outdoors in winter. Really - I am so lucky.

New Path Planned After All

When I got home there was just time for a critical wander past the Dog-Path Garden. I would like just one more path to lead through to the waterside seat. So Rusty the dog and I tested the proposed route - we crashed through the two sprouting Pittosporums (getting the chop anyway) and hopped over some self sown Euphorbias (easy come, easy go). A Senecio shrub blocked us just before the dog-path, but this was only planted last summer, so can still be easily shifted. Tomorrow - I'll do it!

 This is the first path leading to the waterside Dog-Path Seat. The cat is Percy.
Path to the Water

Thursday 10th July

Hee hee. It's New Path in the Dog-Path Garden day. So I need more stones. But first - swimming, with take-out sushi for lunch back home. What a simple plan! No need to elaborate...


Brr! I'm cold, so I've come inside to refuel. Half the new path is completed, and I've dug up and replanted foxglove seedlings, blue flowering geraniums and daffodils. The Rosemary and Senecio shrubs are all re-organised, too. Now a sprouting Pittosporum stump stands firmly in my way, as do several blue perennial lupins. I've totally run out of stones, and all of me is feeling too slow and too cold. I've had a 'Crouching Gardener Hidden Feline' session, with Fluff-Fluff my gardening companion-cat leaping out from behind tussock grasses to bite my gloves.

 His fur shining in the winter sun.
Beautiful Fluff-Fluff

Hmm... Add in the fact that I could put on cleaner, warmer clothes and go armchair cycling in France at 2:30pm (watching the last three hours of Stage Five of the Tour De France)... My gardening day just may be over.

Odd Dog

Dear Rusty dog, so determined to get extra dog-treats. I've just called him over, and so he lies down and rolls madly over, furry legs whirling through the air. It's his new trick, but looks extremely odd when not asked for.

 I love these flowers.
Blue Lupin Flower

Friday 11th July

Today was pleasantly warm for winter. First Rusty and I went to the river where I filled the Moosey car with stones. Then I finished the new path in the Dog-Path Garden, crudely divided up some really thick-rooted blue lupins, and replanted them. If they live, they live... I worked until two thirty, then showered, grabbed some blankets, and lay on the couch covered in cats to watch the cycling. I toured an area of France with sixty extinct volcanos, called 'puys' (I think).

Earlier I sat in the Hen House Garden by the water race's edge to have lunch. Oh dear. There are serious problems with sorrel (aargh!), clover (aargh!), and an impassable path (aargh!). Either I do some major trimming (a thought - I could limb up the problem Pittosporums), or the path gets completely rerouted. It provides access to the nice waterside seat, so has both scenic and functional merit.


So tomorrow's garden work is already pre-organised. Blast! I'll be waking up tomorrow morning to the totally predictable. But look at it like this - I should cherish the running water as a garden feature, and should jolly well ensure that my waterside gardens are easily visitable and really beautiful. The gardening spirits deserve a lift in the middle of winter.