Colourful surprises...

Yippee! Colourful things are starting to surprise me in my 'very early spring' (optimistic phrase) garden. Pinks and yellows - and a touch of blue - flowering things are starting to flower!

 The first of the beautiful colours. Hello, spring - is that you?
Pink Azalea

Monday 4th August

Today my spam folder is full of messages about my assumed debts. This is timely - I've just visited a nursery with a beautiful display of white-flowering Daphne bushes - $65 each. Eek! I was so very tempted - my 'normal' Daphnes are just starting to flower. Such a beautiful smell...

But I resisted! Country gardeners have to buy at least three of something, anyway. So I had a $3 Americano coffee in the cafe instead and planned a frugal, all-for-free day. If I need a reward for Daphne restraint (?) lots of nurseries have deciduous spring-flowering trees on sale at the moment...

Real gardening calls! There's more mulching to do - I'd like to 'start finishing' the Shrubbery. I need more river stones. Three archways in the orchard are still waiting to be weeded and mulched. None of this will cost me anything more than sore hands and muddy knees. My cats and my dog will have a great outdoors day, and my new best friend (one black hen) can peck at grubs uncovered in my weeding. I shouldn't let myself be seduced by gourmet-cafe-house-and-garden centres. Those white Daphnes were rather lovely, though...

 What a beautiful feature stone wall!
The Shrubbery


I did random gardening, rather than follow the plan! Hee hee. Rusty and I went to the river to get stones, and I started laying them along the edges of the little path connecting the Pond Paddock with the laundry and the back door. This path marks the beginning of the Apple Tree Garden, which I could see was in a sorry, needy state.

Moonlight Rose :
Moonlight is the perfect rose to climb up an old Apricot tree - as long as the tree stays standing...

Branches of the Apricot tree had died, dead canes of the Moonlight rose needed pruning off, a weedy Elderberry and two unwanted self-sown Pittosporums had grown twice as tall as I am, and the fountain grasses were untidy, far too large, and out of control. Dead flax leaves sprawled over other shrubs and an Escallonia was in dire straits - branches split and broken.

So I stopped, and I pruned, and I sawed, and I trimmed. I burnt all my rubbish, too. I reckon I deserve those white Daphnes!

Tuesday 5th August

Lots more rain overnight, and a wake-up frost, but the sun is peeping through the trees on the Hump. Sun! While my ground thaws out I'm going for a swim. Back soon...

Later... I was a Good Gardener (she wrote boldly, with capital letters) and mulched the Shrubbery. Not all of it, but a goodly part at the front, the bit seen from the house. Then I took some August photographs of interesting garden features - like pond reflections and fungus.

 Mathematical shapes which appear in the winter garden.
Geodesic Fungus

Thursday 7th August

I think the Olympic Games start tomorrow, so today I will try and work my way through a classical gardening pentathlon. I will do 100 meters of weeding, the mulch put, climbing-rose-pruning high jump, path-raking long jump, and finish with the 1500 metres wheelbarrow plod. These Olympics are going to inspire my gardening a lot, I think!

 My path-tester Rusty.
Gardening Dog on Path

But first I need to go for a swim. Recovery is needed from yesterday's five hour foothills hike in rugged bush and snow. I went with my friends up Mount Richardson - a wonderful trip under the blue winter sky - mountain ranges, valleys, the patchwork Canterbury Plains... My words aren't good enough to describe the views. I can, however, describe the afterwards state of the Moosey legs, hips, and knees in reasonably florid detail! Ouch!

 Views of the Southern Alps.
At the Top of Mount Richardson

Much Much Later...

My gardening day is over. I've moved some more Lavenders into the small border by Rusty the dog's kennel. I've mulched more of the Shrubbery. I've burnt a heap of rubbish. I've weeded and raked - well enough to be in contention for at least the bronze medal! And news of yet more pre-spring colour - some of the newly planted Shrubbery's miniature yellow daffodils are almost in flower. It's also the beginning of the crocus blooming time. Lovely! Nice! Little things which bring huge pots of gardening joy.