Welcome to winter.

 Such a pretty colour.
Frosty Calendula

Ha! June! Welcome to winter. It is officially the first day of winter - the wise weather woman on TV said so, and I believe her. And welcome to another cold and frosty morning, with brilliant blue skies, and the prospect of a day spent outside doing things.

Dog Gardening

I am going gardening with Escher the big brown dog, and we have serious work to do. Two friends busy in the garden - nice!

A List!

I need to write a list, though, while the sun warms the garden up a bit from the 4.7 degrees (Celsius) frost. I've already taken the dogs (Escher and Rusty) for a pseudo-walk (we go around and around the driveway for an unhurried 'nature break'). Now let me see - what do I need to remind myself to do?

This is a failed list. That's all I can think of. But I know what I'm doing in theory - digging water-side weeds etc. out of one of my original dog-paths, building up its level with tree chippings, and then laying stones on the top. It's a gorgeous spot, over the water from the glass-house, and it's been out of action for years and years. There's even a wooden water-side seat to uncover.

Early Morning Frost

Oh - I've thought of two more things for the list.

That will do for now. It's very calm. Escher is back on his couch snoozing with his (unfortunate) new teddy bear, while Rusty is gazing at the remains of my breakfast. Hmm...

Not So Much Later...

Brr. Lulled (not quite the right word) into a false sense of gardening energy, I've just been outside. But it was still too cold, so I wandered around with Escher the dog taking frost photographs.

 In the morning frost.
Weeping Maiden Camellia

And then - wow! A wonderful wee surprise - one of my new Camellias flowering. My goodness, that's early! Name? No label, so I'll have to check back. Aha! Weeping Maiden! And very maidenly she is, too, and so brave to be flowering in the frosts. Thankfully she's sheltered in the back of the Septic Tank Garden.

 He loves rolling in it.
Escher in the Frost

And if you think I'm just rambling away in my journal to fill in time while the sun gets higher and the day gets warmer, well you're right!


At the dimming of the day, what better thing to do than bounce the grandbaby while TV couch-cycling up and over the Stelvio Pass (2,757m or 9,045 ft) with freshly washed hair? Experiencing (albeit passively) snow, sleet, and rain - by the rule of backwards weather ( I mean northern versus southern hemisphere), Italy should be coming into summer. Meanwhile I've had a most successful winter gardening day here in New Zealand.

Hee hee. Crunching over the frosty lawn on my way to the Hen-House Garden I noticed two huge Carex grasses behind the woodshed. I remember them as dear little fresh green spiky juveniles. I've obviously blocked them out, and they've been strangely invisible for the last few years. So I started trying to dig them up, but it was too hard for me.

An Under-Gardener with Man Muscles!

Yippee! I found an under-gardener with man-muscles who knew how to sharpen the shovel. Lovely Non-Gardening Partner dug them for me. 'They do have shallow roots' I told him, helpfully...

Poor Frosted Rose!

Then on to the dog-path area, which was equally difficult. I don't know the name of the ornamental spreading grass which is planted here, but it's spread itself too far. I made a jolly good start to clearing the narrowest of paths. Then I burnt all my rubbish lasagne-style : a layer of green Carexes, a layer of dry gum bark collected from near the Hen House Garden fence-line, and so on.

And then - well, you know the rest. I've had a wonderful first day of winter. A roaring late afternoon bonfire does have merit, too. Warm hands!

Footnote :

TV couch-cycling refers to watching live stages of the Giro d'Italia cycle race, often on fast forward, while sitting firmly and comfortably on the TV couch. Usually one hand holds a hot cup of coffee while the other pats a snoozing lap-cat. Bouncing the grandbaby and singing 'The wheels on the bicycles go round and round' is a delightful alternative...