The big brown puppy is visiting...

 Escher the brown puppy and Rusty the dog.
Two Dog Friends

Oh my - this is an exciting day. I can't stop to write. Escher the big brown puppy has arrived to stay for three days, and I have promised him (and Rusty the Moosey dog) exciting days of dogs-doing-things (in other words, gardening).

Wednesday 22nd February

After two hours gardening we are having the first compulsory dog-snooze of the day, with Escher the brown puppy on the sofa, Rusty on his armchair, and a Brahms violin concerto unfolding its musical wings (?) on the stereo. All's quiet in the Moosey house for a thoughtful coffee break.

We have had fun. Escher now knows to eat hazelnuts off the grass in in the orchard. Crunch, crunch - roughage, so good for a dog's digestion. I've been seriously weeding along the water race, which means I've tried to remove all the clover and the grass, while ignoring the Shasta daisies, floppy, some past their best. Those red hot pokers which charmed me have lost their flames, too. I'm not enamoured of the weedy Verbascums which I've allowed to grow here. They add nothing, even to this wildish garden. So I've been digging them out, and just possibly I will ban them. Ha! Ban a weed? Why not?

Dogs in the Garden

Ooops - a squeaking fantail has just come into the house. Silly birds! They do this deliberately, doing a flittery ceiling circuit checking for any live food (spiders, be very afraid), and then flying confidently back out the door.

 Two things that make my garden so special.
Rose and Phormium

Earthquake Anniversary

Pause for more serious thoughts. Today is the one year anniversary of the nasty earthquake which caused so much trouble in Christchurch city. I quietly re-read my journal last night. I can clearly remember that day, and the many different levels of concern.

First there was just me (calmly holding onto a swaying tree). Then the worry hit - trying to contact my family in the city in the thick of it - hearing news of crashing buildings, liquefaction, and people in panic. Then thinking about my piece of earth, which was just shifting things around a bit, doing what comes naturally, nothing unusual (in the grand scheme of things)... I will have my own solemn ceremony at 12:51 in the afternoon.

Right. I need to re-heat my coffee. Too much to say, as usual! Then we will all go back for some more gardening.


Oh dear. Escher the puppy fell into the water race, unfortunately at a steep-banked place in the middle of the Gunnera. He kept trying to reclimb up the bank, and he couldn't. So I got in the water and encouraged (dragged gently?) him downstream to an easier exit. Since I was now quite wet I decided to stay and weed the sloping banks, but the puppy got quite anxious. Rusty the dog was in the water with me - what's all the whining and squeaking from this girl's blouse of a puppy? Anyway, we came inside to giggle about it all, get dry, and get ready for The Memorial Moment.

 Just Joey.
Rose Bud for Remembrance

The Memorial Moment

At approximately 12:51 I sat on the Adirondack chairs, lost in a swirl of reminiscing (sad and thankful). Escher the puppy arrived to share the moment, his mouth full of dried horse poos. This I grabbed and stashed on the tray alongside my salmon salad. My lunch looked rather grotesque. More giggling, I'm afraid.

Give Thanks, Eat Lunch...

Bypassing the horse manure (phew), I gave thanks and ate my lunch. Thus passed The Memorial Moment, not the most outwardly solemn in my life, I might add, but exceedingly solemn in the mind and the soul.

Right. I'm off back to the garden with the two dogs. This is fun! Hmm - I wonder when we will get our own next new puppy.

Much, Much Later...

Oh dear. A rotten hedgehog in the orchard, two dogs rolling with glee, and we (all three of us) became very stinky. So Rusty has gone in the pond, and Escher has (willingly) gone in the water race (though I had to get in first). They still smell, even if the hedgehog fragrance is lighter. I've finished quite a chunk of gardening and taken lots of photographs (many of my roses are second-flush blooming quite nicely). Now I need to have a serious shower with the nicest, smelliest soap I can find. Daughter of Moosey has just politely asked me if I've been rolling in the dead hedgehog as well...

 I love this colour combination.
Red Dahlias, Green Phormium

Big Fluff-Fluff has been stalking us (nicely) all afternoon, keeping a watchful eye. When the puppy lurches into view, brown legs flapping at all angles, the cat just slips back silently, unseen, into the garden greenery. So wise, cats.

 I love those red Phormiums.
Water Race Garden Border

Thursday 23rd February

Dog friendship - we don't just pee on the same post, we pee at exactly the same time on the same post. Small boys may know what I'm talking about here?

Right. It's been another big dog-gardening day, and Escher the brown puppy has been voluntarily in the water race, sloshing around with me and Rusty. I've planted three recycled roses and the last remaining daffodils in the Glass-House Garden, weeded it, and laid pea-straw down. I think the dogs got a bit bored with my gardening routine today. I stayed in one place for ages, it took longer to fill the wheelbarrow, and whenever I went too far into the interior of the garden the puppy would appear, acting all worried as if I was getting lost.

Rose News

I decided that two of the Glamis Castle roses could not only be dug out but thrown out. This rose has been terribly, disgracefully unhealthy for me. I've not had a newcomer rose in the garden for some time that has been so spindly and foliage free. So only one is left, and only because it's actually got some green leaves on it, and its flowers did actually tried to open up properly. A tiny bit of good rose news - I think I've identified a Margaret Merrill, using my nose. She's fragrant, and is planted over the water race by the Koru brick courtyard.