A gardener of outstanding determination?

 Mainly using paint, hee hee...
Winter Garden Golours

I'm back from my weekend away at Hanmer. There was too much snow on the hiking trails to go very high up anything. I mainly read books and looked at the mountains out of cafe windows, drinking lattes. I didn't really think about my garden much, either. Oops...

Sunday 17th June

I missed a big six degree frost - my pond was completely (but lightly) iced over when I got home this afternoon. Anyway, I've made up for the semi-sloth of the weekend. I collected gum tree branches from here, there, and everywhere, added armfuls of Phormium leaves, and burnt my bonfire until it got too dark to see. Bonfires are not particularly inspiring to write about in a gardening journal, though burning on a cold winter's day has advantages for personal comfort.

It is nearly the winter solstice, and a lot of my garden seems a bit drab and coldly colourless. Until I spy a pair of recently painted garden seats in the distance. Love that purple!

Little Mac :
Little Mac is now six months old. Here she is climbing a Cordyline trunk.

Little Mac the kitten is home from the cattery and has immediately been chased down the hall by naughty Minimus. All the other house cats have taken up their usual positions by the log-burner. It's as if we've never even been away.

Monday 18th June

Hmm.... What shall I do in the garden today? It's bleak and gloomy out there, but this doesn't apply to me. I have at least three green Phormiums to dig out and divide. And the Pampas grass in the Hen House Garden might go - it's the Argentinean version, and therefore quite undesirable. For a feature grass it grows poorly in the shade.

 The red one is a cookianum hybid, the tall stiff ones are species tenax.

Aha! Amidst the drabness of real winter garden colour (or lack of it) the red Phormiums look bright, alive, and amazingly warm. This is their time, and I love them to bits, even if they get flattened in the snow.

Later, Dusk...

I tended my bonfire for four hours. Same old, same old - more loads of gum tree branches, bark and leaves, plus Phormium and Cordyline leaves. There is little I can say about this mind-numbing (if body-warming) garden activity. But I did cut back one of the Miscanthus zebra grasses, for a bit of variety. I've deliberately left the sharp spade by that green Phormium - digging it out and cutting it into pieces will be tomorrow's first job.

 See all the new divisions - they'll grow quickly.
Phormium Mess

Tuesday 19th June

That sprawling Phormium cookianum is dug out, and I am Moosey the Magnificently Muddy. It seems rather naughty to come inside (as is) to have lunch in my reasonably clean house, but too bad. She who cleans the house makes the house rules? Hee hee. I can spend a foggy, misty afternoon preparing the flax pieces for repotting and piling up the rubbish. And there are more gum tree branches to go on the bonfire, if I can get it going. OK - it's time to return and finish that which I started earlier. Story of my gardening life...


Ooooh, I am good. G-O-O-D. That stands for Gardener Of Outstanding D....... Tries to find appropriate word beginning with D, but can't quite decide what it should be. Determination? Diligence? Doggedness? Dirtiness? Devotion? Dynamism? All of the above, hee hee!

+10+10A flopped Phormium tenax on the edge of Duck Lawn is now partially cut down, and I've burnt lots of rubbish (the gum tree branches from the Driveway Lawn, dead flax leaves, dried Gunnera leaves, and so on). Little Mac the kitten was playing with a mouse when I went out, and still playing when I came back inside three hours later. She has the longest mouse-concentration of all the cats in the house, though I suspect ginger Percy catches them for her. What a team! Right. I am making a venison pie and oven-bake chips for my tea. I intend to slop tomato sauce on my plate and have a cold beer. My reward for working so long and hard in the fog.

 Flowering in the Crab-Apple tree.
Winter Iceberg Rose

Wednesday 20th June

Hmm... Another day, another bonfire, another big Phormium to deal to. Today it's the gorgeous big fountain-shaped wine red flax, much photographed, much admired - when it's shaped properly, a graceful wine-red fountain. Alas. Well, at least it's not too foggy today. And so what if gardening is repetitive sometimes?

Brave Bloomers

Still some roses bravely bloom on into the winter solstice, and there are other tiny flower treasures if I look closely enough. And the lawns would look better if someone (me) raked up all the soggy Prunus leaves.

Right. The only decisions left to make are these: Should I listen to the Gardening Ipod, or the Cricket Radio? And does making my dog do gardening all day count as enjoyable dog-exercise?


I've had a random three-hour morning bonfire with mess cleared from all around the garden. I pop in pieces of Phormium which crackle and spit, then I wander off to get yet more gum tree branches from somewhere else, and so on. But I didn't have music playing, and Rusty the dog got really bored. He needs to understand that walking back and forth, and back and forth (etc.) to the bonfire is just as beneficial as trotting off down the road. Flopped on the back lawn by the bonfire going 'humph' is not good dog-behaviour.

 A solo bloomer.
Winter Pansy

I've come inside for a quick lunch - smoked salmon salad, hot coffee, and Brahms's piano concerto, all rather uplifting. No, Little Mac the kitten, the salmon is for meeeeeeeeeeee.


I've done more random cleaning up - a green Phormium has been dug out behind Pond Cottage, another behind the Stables trimmed down to nothing, and all their leaves burnt. I found more gum tree branches in the Hump, and I also trimmed a couple of Miscanthus grasses. And so my bonfire has puffed away merrily for another three hours.

It's been one of those out-of-balance days, though. The more mess I've cleaned up the more I've found - my recurring gardening 'daymare'. I could clean up twice as much mess in half the time - and therefore reverse the trend? But it's been a jolly good gardening day, and I am proud of myself. Well done, that gardener!