Fresh as a daisy...

Ha! It's me, almost as fresh as a daisy, the day after a long, strenuous hike in the foothills. Shrubs of interest - lots of New Zealand pepper trees (pseudowintera), those funny upside-down Lancewoods, and green Astelias which any five hundred dollar terracotta pot would be proud of.

 Beautiful forest-clad foothills.
View at Lookout

And, of course, the beech forest with its sooty black tree trunks - just beautiful. Lunch on some sunny rocks by a burbling stream, near a three-tiered waterfall. It's so easy to find natural magic in New Zealand, and I'm very lucky to live here.

Gorse :
I must be a big softie for the colour yellow - there's a page in my shrubs section devoted to this prickly plant.

Not so nice - gorse, just starting to come into garish yellow flower, buzzing with wasps (aargh!) and prickly to push past (another aargh!). It's quite a fragrant flower, a beautiful yellow, and a complete pest.

Tuesday 25th August

On the TV weather map the coastline where I live is plastered with alarming red and white striped windsocks for the next three days. If I was ever going to be a beetle I'd definitely choose red and white stripes - very scary! So some warm sunny apres-winter days are the trade-off for absolutely no rubbish burning. Always THE responsible country gardener, I'm going to damp down my volcano of ash, shovel it and spread it around the garden.

 This is the view from the house.
Spring in the Island Bed

More excitement for today - a friend and I are both going to the river, where I start my search for flat stones (as well as getting some chunkies to finish my new stone wall). The flat ones are destined for the surface of a concrete path which will plod around my vegetable garden.

 Beautiful pinks.
Winter Hellebores


Incredible August (winter) weather. The wind hasn't started up yet, and it's very warm outside - it feels like summer! I've finished my driveway stone wall, dug out some purple-flowering Honesty and planted it by the wall edge, and I've filled the garden up with horse manure and compost. So when are these gale-force winds going to blow?

Wednesday 26th August

I am waiting on the Moosey computer, bidding for a large white lilac shrub, along with several other bargain-minded gardeners. Unfortunately there are a few too many of us with white lilacs on our minds! A feature of my recent trip to Canada was seeing the lilac gardens in Hamilton. Hmm... How much is a head-high white lilac shrub really worth?

This is like spending a lottery win - I already know where I'm planting it. Not good, not good... Aargh! And oops - I have succumbed to the auto-bidding bug. My latest bid is just a tiny bit high. So I'm deliberately not looking anymore.

Must Be Spring

Ha! I am unsuccessful, so now I can get off this computer and out into the garden. The wind is blustering, and - amazing news! I've had to plaster sun-screen on my face and hands - it must be spring. I wonder where I should start my gardening work today? And I've just had a thought - the money I saved on the lilac can be spent on some lovely natives. Hee hee...

Making My Lunchtime Coffee...

I have to write down some details of delight before I forget. Things are happening! The wind has blown down lots of early daffodils, so I've picked them for the house. They've taken me by surprise, though, as has my small pink rhododendron called Graham. He is in full pale pink bloom! Nearby my Camellias and Hellebores are absolutely gorgeous, but I already knew that...

 It's Graham!
Early Spring Rhododendron

Things are sprouting - like the waterside Gunnera, and the first peonies, and the many tall Miscanthus and Calamagrostis grasses... It's time to cut off their dead bits. So many new things! Is this spring? I think it almost must be, if that makes any sense! Anyway, I'm springing back into the garden to have my lunch (gourmet whitebait fritters with a slice of lemon, and a ciabatta filled with - oops - peanut butter). I'm going to sit on the bright blue chairs (that's where I've been weeding), listen to the water, and enjoy the sunshine. Lucky!

Later, Apres Gardening...

Ah! I have had such a springy day. I weeded some more, and finished up by taking perennial pieces - basal shoots of Lupins, and little rooted slips of Stachys and Scabiosa - and potting them all up. I should have over thirty new plants of each to replant in a few weeks time. And great excitement of the tiny, blue persuasion - the first forget-me-nots are flowering. Looovely!

Thursday 27th August

Hee hee hee... I've just been to buy one green Cordyline (cabbage tree) which I won in an online plant auction. I ended up with fourteen stuffed inside my tiny car, at an incredibly good price.

 They cost about four dollars each.
Bargain Cordylines

And there's more! Last night when I got home from my choir rehearsal, there on my kitchen bench, reclining with a fishing rod, was a groovy retro garden gnome (a present). He's concrete, very faded, with the kindest face. Shrieks of delight! So now the Moosey bachelor garden gnome, who has been alone (ouch) for nearly forty years - this sort of information tends to dreadfully date a gardener - finally has some brotherly company. They can fish together, and I may even paint them new clothes.


What a beautifully sunny day! I've planted seven of my new Cordylines in the Hump - I'm creating a Cabbage tree grove. I've only stopped because of some dead gum trees which I'll need Non-Gardening Partner to chain-saw down - before I plant anything underneath them. Sensible, eh? Thinking ahead, eh? Finding yet more work for lovely NGP, eh? Hmm...

+10+10Humble thank-yous to Histeria the tabby for providing mellow cat company, and to Rusty the dog for lying in the sun - sighing, rather than barking, which made for a very pleasant afternoon.