On Fire?

 My flower garden is on fire, too!
Red Hot Pokers

Ha! This gardener's on fire. Oops. Not a good statement to make, considering the dryness of the land around me and the number of rural fire calls there've been. But my gardening energy has been reignited, and I am busy digging. Yes, digging a new garden area - the expansion of the garden by the Hen House. I'm solving a problem and beautifying a lovely, secluded place. Ha! Just what good gardeners should always be doing.

So, just as soon as I've had breakfast, I'm off to do some more work. The grass area is turning into garden, I've got bags of spring bulbs to plant, and a scrambling rose to grow on the wire-netting of the chicken run. I haven't had hens for a while now, and I've decided not to re-chook.

Much, Much Later...

I am a red hot legend! The new garden extension is finished, I've dug up all the 'dead' soil, mixed it with compost and horse manure, watered it, and planted Agapanthus around the new edge (recycled from my own garden). It looks lovely. Non-Gardening-Partner has checked it for ease of access, etc. and given it the thumbs up.

Wednesday 23rd January

Today we are off tramping up Sudden Valley. It's a wee alpine valley with a rough stream which doesn't lead anywhere, and I've always wanted to 'peep' up it. On the map such routes always look so straightforward, hee hee. Enjoy, Moosey, enjoy!

 In the early, wide part, looking back down to the beginning.
Sudden Valley

Later, Back Home...

Sudden Valley is gorgeous - compact, quite rough, huge boulders, a gorge with vertical cliffs, enough water in the river to make crossings interesting. We didn't get as far as the upper valley (the Moosey hip was reacting badly to the seriously scrambling terrain), stopping for a long lunch in the gorge - a secluded, powerful place to be. And I wasn't thinking about the garden at all.

 Bright yellow!
Friesia Yellow Rose

Another Hot, Dry Day...

The garden! Aargh - it 'enjoyed' another hot, dry day in my absence. The rural fire brigade had yet another local scrub and grass fire to deal with. So the big irrigation will run tonight - I can see if it reaches the new Hen House Garden, and do my bit to keep my land wetter and safer.

Friday 24th January

OK. My hip has been playing up a bit for the last six weeks. I've done all sorts of sensible things (like buying and wearing 'proper' gardening footwear, trying to minimise bending while gardening, etc.). Yesterday I go rock and boulder scrambling up a rough river valley for four hours. Hard work. Ouch!

So when I get home I take (for the very first time) just one pain-killer for the hip. Just one. Thirty-six hours and two grumble-free sleeps later, and still nothing is hurting. I give up.

Yesterday's Gardening

Yesterday's gardening session needs reporting in on. I was so good! I tidied the little garden in front of my cottage, collected purple cornflower seeds, and planted the remaining annuals (Lavateras and Cosmos). I tidied up two barrowfuls of mess from the house garden - including trimmings of the catmint, which I'd love to reflower later in autumn.

 With big Nicotiana sylvestris.
LIlies in the House Garden

Cheese Spread?

Then I spread more organic matter on the new enlarged Hen-House Garden. I found some old chook layer pellets in a plastic bin - they'd turned into a smelly sort of cheese. Eek! On it all went, covered with horse manure and leaf sludge (my attempt at leaf mould). A rather heady cocktail of deliciously horrible things - I hope that my dog doesn't disgrace himself...

Then on the way home from book group I stopped in the dark to pick up more horse manure. A dedicated gardener, no less! Today the gardening needs to start, now that my journal is up-to-date. But first, a cup of coffee, and finish off my Agatha Christie book. Holiday reading, you understand.


It's been a beautiful day for gardening - warm, not too windy, just beautiful. Oh, I said that already. So here's what I've done. I've spent three hours inside doing the cloudless blue sky of my Christmas jigsaw - a fairly pointless exercise. Then I zoomed over to Son of Moosey's house to get more bricks. Ha! I weeded his vegetable garden, harvested some potatoes, lost interest in anything else, and drove home brickless. Hopeless!

Saturday 26th January

Just a couple of hours in the garden today. The lawns have been mown (thanks, NGP), and I've been shifting the garden furniture, picking up gum tree bark, and generally tidying the house gardens. I've collected more seeds (all labelled) and now I'm off to do some watering. I'm enjoying the summer-only flowers - the deep pinks (phloxes, lilies, and strawflowers) and the blues (annual salvias, agastache, lobelias).

 The bees love this plant.
Perennial Agastache

So the flames of my gardening passion seem to have been partially extinguished. It's all these extra things I can do when I feel a bit garden-lazy. Like swimming, and Maths (aargh!), and reading my Agatha Christie novels, and doing my jigsaw, and watching the tennis on TV (the Australian Open). I'll be better tomorrow. I'll do my gardening all day without flinching or fading. Ha! That's a promise.