Definitely summer...

It is definitely summer. There's actual cricket commentary on the cricket radio, roses in bloom everywhere, and the hoses are on all day (oops). I can work standing in the water race to keep cool. And the optimum time for comfortable gardening is after three in the afternoon.

 This silly rose has yellow and red flowers on the same stem.
Climbing Masquerade Roses

Thursday 24th November

The deep velvet maroon irises in the Stables Border are beautiful. Serious memo to gardening self - this garden is THE perfect spot for irises. Shift the inky blacks out from within the mass of Pergola Garden perennials. Compassion rose is flowering on the patio, its delicate perfume wafting over outdoor summer diners on the new ten dollar patio furniture. Nice...

 An upper patio - be very impressed!
Head Gardener on the Upper Patio

Today DOM (that's Daughter of Moosey) is helping me tie in some errant rose canes in the orchard rose archways. Well, actually, it's me helping her (wise older lady gardeners always encourage the young to climb the step-ladder). Then I'm going to do some glass-house work before it gets too hot - I have seedlings and cuttings to be potted up, others to be watered and taken outside.

Cat Life Goes On...

Cat-life at Mooseys goes on, and that's the way it must be. No cat (or dog) is ever lost. Even that ungrateful 'stomach on legs' Sifter, who wandered off when it suited him, is remembered with a smile. I missed Jerome the cat last night, but felt a smiling relief that she'd be feeling no more discomfort or pain.

Lilli-Puss :
Lilli-Puss has always been known as the 'apprentice'. She's too timid to live downstairs with the other cats.

Lilli-Puss the grey apprentice slept on the pillow by my head and purred very quietly, as if to say 'Don't be too sad - I'm still here'. That's a bit over-romantic - in truth Lilli was probably saying 'Me! Me first! Me's the closest to my mother!' Anyway, Minimus the grey catlet spoiled my reverent mood by biting my toes at the end of the bed. Stop it, Min! I know you're still there!

Right. Hat and sunblock, gloves, wheelbarrow and tools, and cricket radio - I'm off outside. I have until 8:30 this evening to decide if I'm bidding for eleven three-year-old peonies flowering in their pots, a mixture of pinks and whites... I'm tempted. If the price is right, of course - after my ten dollar table and chairs bargain I have a reputation to uphold! And they would make the perfect Christmas present for DOM...

 Rusty the dog checking Moosey airspace.
Where's that Plane?


First of all I pulled out forget-me-nots, raked and weeded, and trimmed edges by the blue garden chairs. Then I took my lunch out there - it's a lovely spot by the burbling water, with lots of roses and hostas, large grasses, and, of course, the waterside gunnera. Then DOM and I tied up the archway rose canes, as arranged. One can now skip through underneath the arches without fear of getting 'thorned'.

Head Gardener 'No Fun'!

Rusty the dog has decided that I am no fun. All I do is gardening, and tell him off when he barks at the bellbird.

But Daughter of Moosey throws tennis balls for ages and cycles off around the block and goes to the river in the car. So Rusty spends all day padding silently behind his new fun-friend. But hey! If my self esteem is dependant on my dog then I've got problems!

It's beautifully hot outside, and I've come inside for a break and some serious self-grooming (i.e. picking off the biddi-bids). I'm going to grab my Gardens of the National Trust library book and peep at a few more of England's gardening treasures. Then on my way to choir I have to dig out a large silver Astelia. These on-line plant auctions are a hoot - one can get really cheap plants if one is prepared to travel with shovel.

Friday 27th November

The view from the upper patio is so different - and people (like me) sit there now, thanks to the new cane table and chairs. The roses scattered and spreading up trees etc. sprinkle their colour everywhere, and the fat spiky Green Goddesses (cordylines) in their pots are gorgeous to peep past. I like this total look - unkempt, contrasting, a little on the wild side but innately beautiful... Sounds like the Head Gardener?

 I love the fat leaves on the Green Goddess Cordylines.
Upper Patio View

A strong memo to self - always be random, and never, ever wear beige trousers with creases and get the aging hair permed like a cauliflower. Mind you - if I can have the joy of seeing (the roses) and hearing (the bellbird and Bach) and a stack of groovy things to think about as I get older, I should be more than satisfied. As I am. I feel incredibly lucky.

 These look amazing in the sunshine.
Westerland Roses

More Plant Auctions

Now I'm off to dig out two Viburnums (oops - another plant auction won), then into the charity shop to check for garden gnomes, then a morning coffee with my oldest friend (she with whom I'm planning Long Distance Footpath walking in Britain). Sounds like another groovy morning...

Later, Mid-Afternoon...

Another satisfying symmetric (not quite the right word) gardening day. I've dug out three large coarse Carex grasses from the Shrubbery and planted the new Astelia and the two Viburmums in their places. My new plants are big and bulky, so the hoses will be on them for a few days. I've also done some blue-pansy mulching - cutting up the old tired plants with the scissors.

It is definitely Summer, according to the Shrubbery's golden-leafed Philadelphus, whose leaves are badly sunburnt - I've got it recovering in a pot behind the house. The pink Grootendorst roses also look burnt, but they're staying put. C'mon you roses - get over it! Summer. Sunshine. Roses. Sunshine. Summer.