Location, location, location...

 Ginger Percy and Little Mac the kitten. So what are they planning?
Cats in the Sun

Today I've tried to squash two days' work into one. And I have been really good, doing garden maintenance tasks like spreading compost, horse manure, and wet bonfire ash. I've properly cleared out the garden underneath the variegated Elm tree, and discover to my horror that there are TWO ramblers growing up and over the woodshed. Oh dear. I obviously didn't trust one to do the job.

Saturday 14th April

I've pulled out ivy, and dug out some old green Carexes and lilac Phlox. I may shift out the Mutabilis rose tomorrow. And I've remembered to grab a Korean Angelica seedhead for my seed collection.

There are many reasons why I've been really good. But here's the main one: I didn't nag Non-Gardening Partner. I didn't ask for any chain-sawing, or for the lawns to be mowed. I left him alone to scuttle around the orchard picking up hazelnuts. He is a good man, and as such deserves to be left in peace - sometimes.

Sunday 15th April

Location, location, location... Lots of plants are moving around the garden today, playing that fun autumn garden-party game of musical chairs (with the help of the scoopy shovel and the green wheelbarrow). This is the serious shifting season! Mutabilis (that beautiful old-fashioned rose) moves out from the gloom by the woodshed, and Rosa Nevada is shifting (for the second time) into the garden near Pond Cottage. This rose comes with a Google search warning - unless you're interested in brothels, please call it 'rosa'! Striped Phormiums will then shift in to fill both spaces.

 Autumn blooming by the house.
Othello Roses

I've retired a little path in the Wattle Woods near the glass-house, and I'm going to shift a tall rhododendron shrub over into the space. Again. I've got a space for a Cream Delight Phormium. These flaxes are themselves being shifted from behind the Shrubbery. I bought seven cheaply a year ago and planted them all together underneath the tall gum trees. They don't all need to stay here.

Positive ID for a Moosey Rose

Some Moosey journal research (far less risky than Google) tells me that my pretty little warm yellow rose behind the pond is Bernstein. Now I must match my knowledge with a photograph. Ha! Done.

 A positive ID!
Bernstein Rose

Socially there is hope for me yet - I have received my very first 'Seniors Meeting New People' spam. Technically I am a semi-senior, but how did 'they' know this? Just joking. Anyway, how many Non-Gardening Partners could a gardener find room for? Thinks... One for the chain-sawing, one for the lawn-mowing, one to look after the compost, one to back the trailer...

 Of course not flowering just now...
White Aquilegia

A Lot of Hours Later...

I was wondering why I was getting maybe the tiniest bit bored (I hate using that word with respect to the garden) with my day - then realised that I had been working for over five hours, with just one short onsite coffee break. I've been preparing the Pergola Garden - the perennials area and the vegetable garden which joins onto it - for application of compost.

This has involved rationalisation (digging up, trimming, and replanting) of the self-sown Aquilegias, plus removal of squillions of small weeds and rogue purple potatoes. Add some running rooted grass which I've had to carefully follow and remove, two squashed roses Pat Austin and Golden Celebration which are now dug up and in labelled pots, clumps of chives and red currant bushes shifted over...

My whole day has slid sideways - sorting out the Pergola Garden was opposed to be a little, quick something to do, while the early morning warmed up and the sun moved around. Hmm... But I definitely haven't finished. I'm going to do what I say I'm going to do. Ha!

Three More Hours Later...

I've done the plant shifting and burnt the rubbish. Yippee for me - I reckon that's an eight hour gardening day. Such a legend! There is a great sense of improvement when lots of little finished tasks accumulate.

Stella D'Oro :
This small daylily came into my garden years ago - with such high recommendations. Hmm...

Even though it's truly autumn now the garden is still very flowery and colourful. The Stella D'Oro daylilies have decided to flower properly (first time ever), and lots of the roses are blooming. Sweet things! They make it such a joy to trudge around with the green wheelbarrow.

Monday 16th April

What a beautiful day! I've been swimming, done the washing, sorted out the Lego Duplo from the Megablocks (very important, this), fed the cats (hello, Little Mac the kitten), hung out the washing (the yellow Banksia rose is flopping all over the washing line again), put the new Victorian lace bed-cover in Pond Cottage (made-in-China Victorian) And I've been thinking about life, as one does.

The Big Three - It seems sensible to do the following:

And keep on gardening, and reading books, and playing the piano, and talking to the animals, and enjoying nature. And keep on spreading the compost, which means I'll have to walk past all those beautiful roses. When I get to Sharifa Asma, the Queen of fragrance, what joy! I will breathe deeply and be amazed. And I will know that life is good.

 Fabulous fragrance.
Sharifa Asma


OK, I didn't work for very long, but I've been happily weeding, spreading compost, and enjoying the autumn roses. Now I'm apres-gardening, and I'm going to watch one of my Miss Marple TV series. There's a new Miss Marple actress. Goodie! One day soon there might even be a new Hercule Poirot to warm to. Oh dear - the times they are a-changing...

Tuesday 17th April

Exciting news. No, two exciting newses! Firstly, my blogfriend Daffodil Planter has her Daffodil Blogorama up again, the 2012 edition, and I'm absolutely delighted to contribute a small piece, called Daffodils and Kittens. Have a peep!

Secondly, an exciting three day hiking (tramping) trip next week is happening - my friend and I are 'doing' the Awatere Tussock Track. It's a private track, hidden in the Marlborough high country. Hopefully my core fitness (and sense of adventure) has not deserted me! There should be lots of photographs and scribbles to share.


My gardening day has started and finished late - it's rather dark! But I was morning-busy playing chamber music (and watching the new Miss Marple, oops). I've had the oddest afternoon. The plan - to cut down the hugely overgrown Senecio (a yellow daisy shrub) in the back lawn garden. The photograph below was taken in the summer of 2008, when the shrub was smaller.

 A summer flowering yellow daisy.
Senecio in Flower

Its branches were twisted and tortured, and nestled right around the very base of the shrub I found dozens and dozens of this season's large red potatoes (self-sown). I've collected a whole wheelbarrowful, and the shrub is two-thirds down. A layer has already rooted, and if I can remove the parent shrub I'll have room for roses. And, apparently, Red Rascal potatoes. Guess what we're having for our evening meal? Luckily for me Non-Gardening Partner is a spud man.