A very pretty pair.
Hypericum and Pink Rose

My garden has gone completely yellow! Oddly, in the summer sunshine I seem to have misplaced my Moosey Garden Voice, hopefully just temporarily. It's too hot to write? Or have I finally said everything there is to be said? Perish the thought!

Saturday 16th December

I blame the Christmas jigsaw, and the making of the Christmas Calendars. And of course I've been away for four days on a serious hiking trip - have a peep at the photographs of the Awatere Tussock Track.

Properly Summer

And it is now properly summer, after all, and Christmas preparations are hotting up. This morning my aquajogging group had its Christmas break-up, with recycled, regifted, and home-made gifts. I gave everyone a large frilly lettuce in a bone china mug.

Hiking :
Any hiking visitor to New Zealand should put this trip at the very top of their list.

Instead of rushing out to the garden I spent ages gazing in awe at photographs of my recent tramping trip. They all have me in them, because Non-Gardening Partner took his camera. Who is that adventurous woman in the blue shirt and gorgeous legs, striding over those huge tussock hills?

Garden details, quickly! Yellow daylilies and daisies are now flowering, along with the yellow shrubs Hypericum and Senecio. There are deeper pink and rich red roses, plus more white Icebergs, plus the gorgeous egg-yolk yellow Graham Thomas.

 Enjoying the overnight rain.
Yellow Daylilies

The lawns are still greeenish and the foxgloves are almost finished. It seems like yesterday that they were starting off. Blimey, time moves quickly - and it positively races when the Head Gardener dares to go away for four days.

 Little Mac and Fluff-Fluff.
Cats on the Patio Path

Status Reaffirmed!

This afternoon when the sun was lower I spent a happy couple of hours reaffirming my summer gardener status. I planted out more flowering annuals, trimmed perennial lupins (please flower for me again), and dead-headed roses. Pond Cottage's little garden is awash with purple and blue cornflowers and its roses are a little smothered. But yippee for one deep red old-school beauty - name possibly Precious Platinum? I like the contrast of deep red with the green of the cottage.

Sunday 17th December

Another happy morning spent summer gardening - I started off trimming blue Geraniums and generally weeding the gardens which hug the back lawn (that's my cricketers' lawn). The roses here are gorgeous, and when one moves into scruffiness another bursts into bloom. As the sun rose higher I retreated into the shade of the Dog-Path Garden, trimming lupins and clearing the waterside path.

I have a plan for replanting the garden around the brick spiral courtyard - the mass planting of Iris confusa is so scruffy, riddled with grass which is impossible to weed out. A shovel to dig everything out, add some compost and manure, and then possibly some Camellias or shade-happy shrubs. Phew! The design is done, just like that! Now for the digging...

 White Lychnis is flowering in the little garden.
Green Pond Cottage

Being neither a mad dog nor an Englishman (the reference is to the mid-day sun, from Noel Coward's famous song), I'm inside, where the Christmas jigsaw awaits. It's too hot to garden just now, but I will return.

 On the nearby fence-line.
Graham Thomas Roses


Aha! I did. I stood in the water race (so refreshing) and cleaned up a waterside dog-path. I scooped out all the little self-sown lupins (they'll be blue) and potted them up. Now this path is ready for - ahem - the puffy weedspray bottle. Shhh...

Monday 18th December

Another too-hot-to-garden, glorious day. I cleared and trimmed in the Driveway Gardens in the morning, beautifully shaded by the big trees. Then I sat on the purple seats for lunch. In the afternoon I went out to the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden to cut down foxgloves and dead-head roses.

Yippee for Graham Thomas, by the way - he is such a beautiful yellow. There's no other rose quite like him.