A Marge Simpson sigh...

 On the house pergola.
Wet Compassion Rose

Yippee? No, more of a Marge Simpson sigh. Clearing and planting the new Welcome Garden is a huge task, and makes me feel small. My wheelbarrow looks tiny, and my shovel is toy-sized. And as for my mini-rake - aargh! I just want to be a small gardener with small goals again. This big stuff doesn't suit me.

Wednesday 5th March

Weather-wise, it's been seriously raining (the first proper rain for two months). Roses are the perfect wet-weather photography subjects - I'm not so keen at taking puddle pictures, or photographs of the enlarged Welcome Garden. On a more serious note, there's flooding in the city, on land which the earthquake shook up a bit. The same people, in homes which are yet to be fixed because of insurance battles, have another set-back. It's not right. The storm-water drains are not working properly, and the land has sunk. Clearing up trees on my garden is nothing in comparison.

Friday 7th March

Aha! Yesterday I worked for four hours in the Welcome Garden, just raking, removing clumps of grass, and picking up pine cones. I laid out branches to be the edge of the new garden. This morning I return with barrowfuls of organic matter (oak leaf mulch, horse manure, and anything else I can lay my hands on). There's lots more mess to rake. The boundary fence is trashed, and the high tensile wire impossible to wind up. So I've just thrown it over into next-door's mess. Oops.

 My tree stumps are staying.
New Garden Raked and Ready

The work is slow and not particularly rewarding, either mentally or visually. So many of the accompanying photographs on this journal page will be off topic. A great excuse to pop in some more roses, not that any excuse is needed.


I've been reaching back to my ancient roots. This work is even slower than I ever thought possible, I'm getting nowhere, but still I stop every half hour to collect a barrowful of pine cones. I have enough pine cones to warm the house through the longest winter, but I can't help myself. I am Woman. I am Gatherer!

 Old ones, new ones...
Pine Cones

Right. The plan is to take my dog (so bored with me gardening) for a walk, and then continue raking. I won't say too much about my miniscule progress. The area in which I am creating a new garden in is huge. I will need multiple loads of top-soil and compost. But still I trundle around with a barrowful of this and that while the huge machinery next-door clatters and groans and moves mountains in minutes.

 Second blooming.
Whisky Mac Rose

Much Later...

I am so tired, and I have little to show for it. It's been one of those extremely physical gardening days where I stay in the shower for ages, expecting to be rejuvenated, but alas! I emerge as tired as ever, and fall asleep on a chair. A wander around with the camera, I think, to look at some pretty flowers. I need to see something pretty.


Aargh! This is so unfair - a tired gardener, relaxing after a hard day's work, decides to wander slowly around her garden to enjoy, admire, and retouch base. She takes some lovely photographs of her shrub roses, and then (unfortunately) she shuffles out into the orchard to look at the climbers. Several things are immediately obvious.

  1. The big southerly winds have 'rearranged' many of her climbing rose canes.
  2. The rose she thought was Abraham Darby cannot be so, unless he can be over three metres high.
  3. Parkdirektor Riggers is behaving really badly.

The two so-called climbing Uetersens are still completely different shades of pink. And is either of them climbing? Not really. Underneath the archways are weeds, weeds, weeds. And one of the archways has blown off the vertical. Humph.

 A beautiful red climbing rose.
Parkdirektor Riggers Roses

So I've come back inside to drown my mini-sorrows, and puzzle about how tired eyes at the end of the day can pick out absolutely everything that needs tidying, weeding, clearing, and so on. This is sooooooooooo unfair.

 This hangs off the the patio pergola.
Cat Sculpture

Saturday 8th March

A new day, a new attitude, and a Non-Gardening Partner to organise - what else? Gardening energy, but that's just taken for granted. Some plans for small improvements. A trailer load of top-soil compost mix for the new Welcome Garden. No time for sentences - just phrases. Less typing talk and more action. A gum-leaves clean-up around the house gardens. More raking! Yippee! (actually, another Marge Simpson sigh is more like it). And perhaps some pretty, flowery gardening - like trimming and weeding the Birthday Rose Garden amongst the beautiful roses.

Much Later...

I have had the most marvellous day, because I've been working amidst my flowers, rather than horrible pine tree branches. I never thought it could lift my spirits so, to be dead-heading and cutting down the Shasta daisies along the water race. I really am a floral softie, rather than a tree girl.

 In the Dog-Path Garden.
Sun through the Golden Elm

I didn't want to work on the new Welcome Garden anyway. The big tree-grabber next-door has been grunting and clanging close to our boundary, its big claw swinging this way and that. Its pulled out a few tree stumps, and is busily making new piles of rubbish out of an older pile (I wonder if machines feel the futility of such a task).

The Tree-Grabber :
I haven't a clue what the proper name is for this piece of machinery. Oops....

It feels dishearteningly small and hopelessly silly digging nearby with a shovel. And a bit too close for comfort. There's no point in my planting anything until the closest stumps to my new garden are pulled out. Huge holes will be created, and roots that stretch into my property will need to be sawed off, and so on. But hey! One load of 'garden mix' (topsoil and compost) has been dumped on the new Welcome Garden, and now I'm thinking about getting a truck to deliver some (I don't automatically think big). And Non-Gardening Partner has commended my clearing work. Well, that's what I think he did.

I love small scale gardening. Two hands (suitably garden-gloved), two feet, a cap to keep off the sun, and a wheelbarrow. -Moosey words of wisdom.

Deep down I love being a small gardener with small goals. Small scale gardening. Two hands (suitably garden-gloved), two feet, a cap to keep off the sun, and a wheelbarrow. That's what I really love.