Windy, windy, windy...

Gum Bark

It's super-windy, but I'm going to pick up all the gum bark that's fallen from the huge Eucalyptus trees. OK, more will fall tomorrow, if the wind's still blowing. But one doesn't wait until all the weeds have popped up before weeding, does one?

Sunday 15th January

Thinking about weeding, when I get bored with gum bark I am going to weed in the Stumpy Garden and do the edges. This will make for a focussed if isolated end to the morning's work. It's too far to take Little Mac the kitten, and it will be too wind-noisy to hear the Gardening Ipod. And then, all I ask is a day of calm (just one day, tomorrow would be nice) so I can burn my last summer bonfire - before the inevitable fire ban comes into place, as it must.


I've worked for an hour and a half filling the trailer with gum bark. Little Mac the kitten has zoomed around and about chasing leaves, with big Uncle Fluff-Fluff laconically supervising. I ended up dead-heading roses by the water race, where Little Mac naturally wasn't concentrating at all on the water hazard. Falling in the fast flowing water was not a good idea, so we've come inside for second breakfast (kitten), cleaning up the left-overs (big Fluff-Fluff) and a cup of coffee (me). This little kitten needs a sleep!

 They are always together outside.
Fluff-Fluff and Little Mac

And I've just had a terribly commercial thought. What if kitten is a 'he' and gets really big - would I have the nerve to change his name to 'Big Mac'? Aargh! Right. Time to do some more garden work. I'm going to have a productive day, and prove to myself that a big wind is no deterrent to good gardening.

Later, Lunchtime...

I am good! For I have weeded, trimmed, raked, and planted my last excess rambling rose. My plan is that it should reach for the skies via the fastigate Oak in the middle of the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden. It may well have alternative ideas. It's Kew Rambler, and frankly if my garden isn't big enough for it then that's just too bad. Cross fingers...

 A beauty, and oh so tough!
Lady Hillingdon Rose

A Sensible Gardener...

I have been very sensible, too. The variegated Viburnum tree (one of those Wedding Cake ones) has to be shifted. Its neighbouring Phormiums are too big, and the climbing apricot rose Lady Hillingdon has draped itself rather nicely over and through them. The tree is invisible. My instinct was to act immediately, grab the shovel, and dig. But I've decided to document the need for the move, and then to do the dig at the appropriate time of the year (probably winter). Why didn't I think of this last winter when I was clearing the Pittosporums out of this garden?

Some exciting news - I've bought more recycled daffodil bulbs (hundreds, to be more exact) and I'm driving down to Rakaia to pick them up on Tuesday. Last year I got some from this same gardener. They're planted around the koru brick courtyard, and were absolutely gorgeous in spring. These bulbs are going in the Hen House Garden where they can face the sun. I did a big Pittosporum clean-out last winter to make room, and since then I've dumped in loads of organic matter. Sometimes I do successfully think ahead...

Monday 16th January

Oh dear. Non-Gardening Partner has gone back to work. I might miss him? Nobody to organise (that is, boss around)... The good news is that the weather has changed. As long as I am really careful I might burn my last summer bonfire this afternoon. Then that will be it. The next messes will have to be stashed on the fence-line.

Honestly The Very Last Summer Bonfire

Later, Lunchtime...

Hee hee. Sometimes I only think I'm a half-mad gardener. Other times I know I am one (and possibly a half-mad person, too, in the nicest sense of the word). I have proof! This morning I took Little Mac the kitten gardening. We were going to do something focussed and gentle. But...

Hypericum :
Hypericum is a most forgiving and generous shrub.

I noticed that the Hypericum by the house was slightly blocking the house-side grass path. One thing led to another, which then led to the BIG NIPPERS. Pretty soon I was stuck in the depths of the Septic Tank Garden, large chunks of shrub (and climbing rose) having crashed down around me. Little Mac was in there somewhere, too. This cannot have been pleasant for the kitten! I found him and we got out slowly.

 Without the sun this  is more of a raspberry red colour.
Red Daylily

Shrubs Uncovered

A beautiful patch of raspberry red daylilies was totally shaded out by the Hypericum's growth, and neither the red Weigela nor the deciduous Azalea was visible when flowering this spring. Ha! They are now almost uncovered - I have one more Hypericum to nip at, and an absolute mountain of trimmings to get rid of.

So I've brought the kitten inside for a snack, I've made some bread, and am having a coffee break. I feel good, though, because I've done something that needed doing last year. My gardening is often like that.

Later, Dusk...

NGP has helped me burn all the rubbish. And now we have some new music to try out - another Bach trio Sonata (BWV 1039, a bright beauty), and a cute little Telemann recorder-piano sonata for my flautist friend who is coming over tomorrow morning.

Telemann and Bach Camping?

Telemann and Bach would have made dreadful camping companions. T, so straightforward, would create the simplest of breakfasts in a no-fuss flash (shop-bought muesli, dried milk powder, maybe some oatcakes, tea-bag tea). Big B would fiddle around for ages, using the basic ingredients (needing a yeast bug for the camp bread, grinding the flour, using dried leaves for tea). It's not simply a question of who makes the better breakfast, though, musically speaking...

Tuesday 17th January

I've had a brilliant day. I played chamber music all morning, then enjoyed some excellent summer wind-free gardening (with a quick trip down the highway to collect 800 assorted daffodil bulbs). I've been working in the big round Driveway Garden, watering shrubs, weeding, nipping Prunus suckers, and planting. So far I've disposed of about sixty daffodils, and one patch of Nerines - they're sitting half submerged in the soil on the sunniest, driest edge.

Little Mac :
The new kitten Little Mac now has his first web-page.

Little Mac the kitten stayed close, exploring the wonders of nature. Had I been wondering where all the rats and mice caught by the big cats have been going? Aha! I now have the answer - in this round Driveway Garden. Little Mac, delighted, played with one of the corpses for ages, then found another crawling with maggots, which totally fascinated him. And yes, I do believe he might have eaten a few grubs. Eek!

Suffice it to say that we both, in our own respective ways, had a wonderful time.