Off hiking in the mountains...

I'm off hiking in the mountains, as part of my 'Need To Get Out More' Policy. My golden garden will still be there when I get back home. The things which looked beautiful first thing in the morning will still look beautiful. Maybe there'll be a few more autumn leaves on the pond paddock lawn.

Wednesday 4th April

Meanwhile Non-Gardening Partner makes the definitive vet visit with Little Mac the kitten. 'He' will return immunised and (almost certainly) reclassified as a girlie. Little Ms Mac! Welcome to life as a female feline - you are the sweetest kitten, and we are so very lucky that you found us.

 Little Mac and Rusty relaxing.
The Kitten and the Dog

Much Later...

Intelligent, resourceful, a natural leader, independent, sweet, extremely gorgeous - of course Little Mac the kitten is a girlie!

 Bright pink Flower Carpet.
Pink Roses

The day walk, on a back country trail called the Dry Acheron Track, was really enjoyable. The little river was perfect, with just enough burbling water to retain dry feet when it needed to be crossed. I really enjoyed having a whole day out. There were lots more autumn leaves down, and I'm sure the big prunus trees started to go red while I was gone.

Thursday 5th April

Aargh! This morning it's colder than usual, and doesn't quite feel like swimming weather. But I'm off to stretch out my hiking legs in the pool, helping them transition back into gardening ones. And I'd like to report a personal Shape Up For Life success - my frog pyjamas now fit me loosely, like all good frog pyjamas should.


So what would happen if I didn't do any gardening this afternoon? Well, the sun would still go down, it would eventually get dark, and the weeds would have grown just the tiniest bit... Might be better to do a short sharp session. It certainly would be a good idea to get the horse manure bags out of my car.

 Everything is starting to change.
Pond Cottage in Autumn

I've just bought two modern piano albums at the charity shop, each costing two dollars - the complete piano works of Liszt, and half of Beethoven's piano sonatas, amazing bargains. Isn't money weird - Rusty the dog's big, juicy beef bone cost five dollars. Oops - I gave him it to him an hour ago and I haven't seen him since. Better check.

 Falling, falling...
Golden Autumn Leaves


I decided to do some gardening. I sawed down more overhanging tree branches, and spread more barrowfuls of compost and horse manure. I also planted the white hydrangea in the Elm Tree Garden, and put three medium clumps of miniature Agapanthus in front on the edge. And I levelled the little path through to the Pond Paddock from the laundry, and re-built the stone sides.

I suspect my next big dig-and-remove mission may be the ivy in the Apple Tree Garden. I don't remember wanting it in here, and I certainly don't need it as ground cover. But possibly - just possibly - I did plant a tiny piece of it, in my sillier younger years.

Friday 6th April - Good Friday

I've already been swimming, popping into the big Easter Nursery Sale on the way home. There I was superbly restrained (probably because Non-Gardening Partner was paying) and only spent nineteen dollars. I got two Astelias, a stripy Miscanthus and a Hebe (all big pots), two little Dianthuses (both called Annette), and a cheap little pot of Bowles Golden Grass.

 Bright, bright orange!
Autumn Calendulas

It's another new gardening day, and these early moments of decision (or indecision) are very exciting. So what shall I do first? Some drastic ivy removal in the Apple Tree Garden, perhaps. Or organise some chain-sawing? Yes - I'll test out Non-Gardening Partner, who is lounging in a sunny armchair reading a nerd magazine. Puts on sweet, little, feminine voice:

Hmm... He says he will do some 'sometime this weekend'. I'd really like to plant the Iceberg roses in the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden, but it's silly to make them endure branches dropping on their heads. I'll try again with NGP, being logical and specific, explaining my exact chain-sawing requirements, with detailed reasons.

 A beautiful blue.
Autumn Asters

That didn't work. I can hear magazine pages flicking over, and he's pretending not to listen. So the next part of my plan is to go all quiet and thoughtful. This is not a sulk, though it sometimes looks like one. I will have to be careful, though, since I'd also like the house lawns to be mowed. Guess I'll go and make a start on that ivy!

Editorial Note Regarding Chainsaws:

I'm not a wimp - honestly! It's just that I play the piano, and have issues regarding my fingers and chainsaws. So I've chosen not to learn to use one myself.

Much, Much Later...

I feel like I've been in a garden fight. I've been clearing up underneath the woodshed rambling rose, and those thorns have been attacking me from all angles. But I've made progress, dug out three roses which were smothered in the tangly shade, and lots of elm tree suckers. I suspect I've removed Avalanche, Bantry Bay, and a white Flower Carpet, but one never knows.

 Flowers in December, in New Zealand's summer.
Kiwi Fruit Vine in Flower

A huge rogue Kiwi fruit vine with a trunk as fat as my leg is growing up one side of the woodshed, and has to come out and eventually down. It doesn't bear fruit, because it needs a pollinator. This monster of a vine has quietly been running rampant for a few years now. Trust me to notice the 'damage' only when it's of gargantuan proportions. Tomorrow there will be chain-sawing (NGP has promised), and the vine's trunk will be cut. I guess it will spend the next fifteen years slowly rotting up in the trees. 'I didn't plant it there' is the somewhat plaintive Head Gardener's cry.

Banksia Lutea Rose :
My yellow Banksia covers the washing line and grows high into a plum tree.

I'm scratched all over, but I'm very pleased with myself. All the rubbish is burnt, the ivy is out (so easy), and the yellow Banksia rose has had many of its dead underneath canes cut out. I've also chopped down branches of a Cotoneaster (sorry, but I dislike these spiky things), and I'd love NGP to completely fell it tomorrow. Maybe I'll make him pancakes for breakfast again...

+20+20+20It's been a long and satisfying day in the garden, with young Minimus providing high quality cat company by the woodshed, Lilli-Puss reappearing randomly for a smooch-and-eat-lots session, and Little Mac the kitten climbing up the highest Cordyline and draping herself in the high fork. Are you stuck, little one? Oh no, just showing off...