No more gnomes!

 Peeping past the Rosemary.
Stone Path to Pond Cottage

I am so proud of myself. Last night I said 'no' to acquiring (a euphemism for purchasing) three concrete garden gnomes - a fisherman, a guitarist, and a pipe smoker. They would only have been duplicates). This morning I am feeling slightly guilty. Hopeless! It's OK to say no! Tough gnome love...

Monday 10th September

Having a trailer load full of stones (for my retaining walls by the water) is THE most excitingly positive thing for the start of my garden day. Why? It means that I do not have to do any weeding. Well, not much weeding...

OK. The hoses are already on and the big winds are still blustering and blowing. They can be annoying and wearisome if the gardener lets them be. Well, I'm not going to. It's mind over air movement.

Aha! The littlest joys are the biggest, sometimes. I've been standing in the cold water building up a piece of retaining stone wall at the end of the Dog-Path Garden. My dog has been in the water with me, and Little Mac the gardening cat has been watching, dry, from the garden. After a couple of hours my feet have gone pink, numb with cold.

Birthday Apres-Gardening Socks

Where is this all leading? Aha! I am inside wearing my new Birthday Apres-Gardening Socks, a present from my hiking friend. Not only are they unisex (phew) they are Lifestyle Plus socks. My goodness! They are THE premium sock choice, and even have 'alignment points' for correct positioning and an impressive red dot on the diagram points to my dorsalis pedis pulse point. Wow. I have never worn such amazing socks before - and they are manufactured in New Zealand, so I am supporting a local business. But most of all - my feet are tingling and warm!

 By the pond behind the cottage.
Deep Pink Azalea

Tuesday 11th September

I love this. A crisp spring morning, a quick walk around the garden with my dog taking stock, as there is a rumour of a cold front coming up the island with snow. Eek! I do not want snow on my spring treasures. So if I do some spectacular weeding, first in the Island Bed and then in the Shrubbery, this will be the gardening way to ward off the inclement? I hope so. But first - hot coffee, and change out of my groovy new Apres-Gardening Socks (which caused much excitement late yesterday) and my proper jeans.

Morning Tea...

I've weeded both gardens, and I've dug out a scruffy silver Astelia which was hidden in the middle of the Shrubbery. It's now divided and the pieces are in pots. The recycled rose Virgo on the edge of the Island Bed is, alas, not growing - RIP is in order, and I'm going to pull it out. All the other recycled roses are sprouting nicely, as are the Lilacs.

The Shrubbery soil seems very dry, and so the hoses are seriously on. I'm thinking about shifting some of the old fashioned roses - away from the nibbling mouths of the two young sheep (wethers) who graze in the paddock.

 One of my home-built retaining walls.
Stone Wall by the Water


Done! After dithering for half an hour in the glasshouse, pricking out Layla seeds, the solution to my old rose dilemma appeared in a flash of inspiration. The Wattle Woods! It's more open and sunny since overhanging branches of the big wattle tree have been sawn down. Aha! The perfect place for struggling once-flowering shrubby roses.

So I've shifted the following: a white species single, Fruhlinsmorgen, Madame Hardy (who has sulked for five years and hardly built any roots whatsoever), and Omar Khayham, the rose that my pet lamb Stu used to lie underneath. Now the hoses are on, and I'm happy.

Much Later...

No totally nasty weather has arrived yet, though the wind has been biting cold all day. Spots of rain, plus the fact that I've been in the garden for seven hours, have sent me inside. I've been tinkering with another of the stone retaining walls, building it up and backfilling with compost. And now I'm sharing a beer with a drunken chicken...

 What a beautiful boy!
Fluff-Fluff the Cat

+4+2+2All day my Head Gardening Cat big Fluff-Fluff has followed me around. Yes, he has been officially appointed to this terribly responsible position. Little Mac the catlet stays close, too, but she's more interested in zooming up and down tree trunks flicking her tail. Rusty the dog, of course, is ever faithful, especially when I'm working by the water race. His furry feet don't feel the cold at all.