The proper me is back...

 Shining in the sun.
Crepuscule Rose

The Head Gardener pats her dog, smiles, takes a coffee-slurp and shrugs her tired shoulders oh so gently. The proper me is back, after four days spent digging huge clumps of Agapanthus out of someone else's garden, a difficult, daunting task. Agapanthus - aargh!

Friday 18th November

Today I have the vaguest of gardening plans, as ephemeral as the spring cherry blossom (all gone now), as relaxing as the pond's peaceful reflections of Phormiums and garden gnomes, and as random as Fluff-Fluff the cat's sleeping habits. Let me explain.

Last night Pond Cottage was thankfully Fluff-Fluff-free, but it has not been so for the previous two nights. Dear Fluff-Fluff - having ignored me sleeping in Pond Cottage for months, he suddenly decided I was his new best friend. And I needed him close, all night. Mewing sadly on the verandah, he just wouldn't go away - it was impossible to stay asleep.

 By the Olearia hedge.
Fluff-Fluff the Cat

Then in one of the finest moments in Moosey Catlore he squeezed acrobatically through the tiniest open window, ate all young Minimus's dried food, and flopped all over me purring and dribbling. Aargh! Too heavy, big cat!

Agapanthus Flower :
Pretty flowers. Pretty foliage. It's just the root systems that are dreadful to dig.

Basically, I'm going to float around today and enjoy the day holistically. I may plant some more Agapanthus. Aargh! The dreaded A-word, mentioned twice in four paragraphs...

I might install the two new rose arches, which look surprisingly sturdy for the budget price I paid. Then again, I might not! This is not the start of a list of things to do, merely some odds and ends I've been thinking about.

 By the Olearia.

The New Pumps

I've also been thinking a lot about the new sling pumps, which go into the water race this weekend. My original wriggling stream in the Wattle Woods is ready and waiting, having been dry for a few years. A design issue is the size of the small ponds at the bottom, and how much flooding I can accept. Ooooo - this is so exciting!

Questions, Questions...

How much water will one pump produce? Enough to keep a second pond continually filled? The Frisbee Lawn pond - what an idea! I think I know what I'm doing. First I start with redefining the new edge of the Frisbee Lawn, and, by default, the extent of the new garden area. Then I encourage the water to make its own way through. The pond is obviously sited in the hollow at the bottom of the slope. I have other choices. The water can just naturally recharge the ground below, or the pond can be lined with e.g. clay, with a marginal water area surrounding it.

The Frisbee Lawn tends to get very dry from summer on, and has no shade. So any stream I create needs to reflect this, using natural materials like river stones, tussock grasses and rushes. This is the best idea? Ooooo....

Much, Much Later...

I've had a grand day, with a tiny lunchtime snooze thrown in for good measure. All morning I planted flowers in the gaps around the house gardens, digging out some patches of sulking miniature daffodils in the process. I also tidied up the house path (using just a few tiny sneaky squirts of round-up in the cracks). My house should soon be surrounded by white and pink flowering daisies, in place of that weedy Alkanet forget-me-not, which I'd happily forget if it would let me.

 An unknown pink.
The Woodshed Rambler Rose

In the afternoon I prepared and planted a huge barrowful of Agapanthus up behind the pond, without grumbling. I bucketed in water for the roses and the little trees - a weeping Silver Pear and a Crab-Apple. On the way inside I watered the tomatoes in the vegetable garden. I have a system - a big plastic cart, full of water, with its own watering can.

 Only an Iris can do this colour so well.
Indigo Iris


It's been brilliantly sunny all day, so I've taken lots of blue-sky photographs. I'd like to welcome the smudgy purple irises and the beautiful apricot climbing rose Crepuscule to the summer pergola. But what's happened to my Alliums? They are not happening, though they could be there somewhere, drowning in a sea of pink-blue toned Aquilegias. I will do a careful check tomorrow.

Saturday 19th November

What a beautiful sunny, summery day it's been. I've done lots of lovely things, even sneaking in some secret gnome-buying after swimming. Just two. Theoretically I've sworn off collecting any more garden gnomes. Anyway, it's my friend's fault - she saw them first...

Success! One of the bright orange sling pumps is going, its propeller gurgling around and around, pumping water out a long piece of spare hose. Non-Gardening Partner still has some testing and organising to do before I get my chance to make decisions. I've weeded around the brick Koru courtyard and weed-killed (oops) along some of the banks of the water race.

 In the water.
Sling Pump

Then I lifted stones out of the water race by Rooster Bridge, watched by my gardening cat-companion Lilli-Puss. I got soaked in the cold water, so I've had a shower, but I've put on a dry set of gardening clothes for session number two.


It takes me one hour to plant one wheelbarrowful of Agapanthus - I suppose that's normal. I trim them up with scissors, and chop off the bottom bits of the roots. That's what I've been doing, filling up the difficult little garden area across the driveway from the Stables. Oh - with a couple of little journeys to the water race to peep and see if the pump was still going around. It was!

Now I'm cooking the evening meal while a groovy pianist thunders away at Brahms's Ballade in G Minor on the gardening IPod. This is THE most absolutely wonderful piece for thumping. Even a finger-lame gardener-pianist needs one good thumping piece (preferably one that isn't Rachmaninoff, hee hee).

I've had another great day. I might just pop out to peep at that pump again...