Shaping up...

Right. The shaping up of the Head Gardener - and the Moosey Garden - continues, as October zooms past. And the spring garden looks even more beautiful than ever. The Head Gardener is to be warmly congratulated...

 Wisteria, Choisya - and the famous stone wall!
Patio View

Thursday 22nd October

For the last month it's been a pleasure (?) hanging washing on the clothes line - Daphne bushes in the Laundry Garden have filled the air with fragrance. Now there are visual treats for the washerwoman pegging out the clothes. The yellow Banksia rose (which sort of leans over the line in a great many places) is flowering. Lavenders are sprouting lots of green growth. Blue Ajuga is flowering in cracks in the Laundry seat, and the Eriostemon above has starry pink and white flowers. Very, very pretty.

Shabby Chic? :
I'm not sure if this phrase correctly describes my latest garden seat. It sounds good, though!

Today is another jam-packed day (hmm... there'll be no jam packed onto buttery toast, however). On this the fourth day of my 'Shape Up For Life' campaign I'm going swimming, then doing the usual back at home. Yesterday I bought a ten dollar white cane chair - 'shabby chic', possibly. It's going on the upstairs balcony, to be joined by some pots. A stylish balcony for morning teas - there's such a great view of the house gardens from up here.

I'll continue my edge trimming and cosmetic weeding programmes. These, plus freshly mown lawns, make the garden borders look brilliant. And they give a certain standing to the Head Gardener within - she obviously cares and nurtures her garden. What a champion!

 Name unknown...
Rhododendron Flowering

More colour news - all the fruit salad coloured rhododendrons in the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden are starting to flower. And the borders are covered in forget-me-nots, which I jolly well like! The most beautiful tree peony in the world fits so well in the colour scheme, and over by the lawn the two standard Choisyas were inspired choices (I'm smiling about them as I write this).

 In a sea of blue forget-me-nots.
Standard Choisya

Friday 23rd October

Forgive me, but I'm going to expound... (losing weight?) Sometimes in the Moosey garden I'll see a view - dare I say a vista - and stop in my tracks with the beauty and loveliness of it. Then I tell myself that I chose those plants, dug that bit of garden, tended and trimmed those shrubs, put all those elements together... And tingles of pride sweep through me. Ha! I am blessed.


An amazing morning of extreme serendipity - I tagged along with a friend who was doing the rounds of some local commercial nurseries. At first my purchases were pretty unspectacular - some sugar snap peas, new gloves, and a white penstemon and a variegated sage, both of which I'll immediately turn into cuttings.

Lilac Sensation

At the last nursery we both struck gardening gold. My friend found two Magnolias he didn't have (he's a collector). He found me a lilac - yippee! - the variety 'Sensation' which I'd seen in Canada on holiday and loved. But there's more - then I found a skunk cabbage, which I'd not seen in New Zealand nurseries before. This plant I remember from an ancient holiday visiting gardens in Devon. Ah - such memories!

I grabbed a maple with gorgeous peeling brown bark (as one does) and left in a bubble of great gardening excitement, with my mementos of two overseas trips. And what's more, this last nursery did have some half-decent garden gnomes. I'll definitely go back there...

Shape Up For Life - Day Five

So now I'm home and just had to check in and write about my new purchases. Life is good. My 'Shape Up For Life' campaign successfully enters its fifth day. I'm not even grumpy-hungry! Even my Bach Partita sounds quite good (Son of Moosey is recording the piano) - a satisfying blend of the romantic with the pedantic, if that makes any sense. I'm not an authentic baroque imitator - I like my Bach to have that personal, modern feel.

 That's its name...
Lilac Sensation

Tra-la-la... I have a jazz-choir concert early this evening, and with any luck my black performing trousers will be looser. Hmm... 'Older Lady Tenor Boogies Her Pants Off...'

Later, Mid-Afternoon...

I've planted the Lilac and the Acer Griseum in the Island Bed. I've done cuttings of more Pelargoniums and daises, and pricked out a thousand Gazania seedlings. Well, not quite - they came from my friend, and therefore colours will be brilliant. He's also given me a double Kerria, a white Ceanothus, some sort of Camellia reticulata, and a Vestia. Lucky me! Now I need to get into my Black'n'Bling...

And tomorrow it's the start Labour Weekend, traditional time for planting Canterbury vegetable gardens. I have a new, super-expanded vege garden, and no excuses.