Here comes the sun doo dn doo doo...

Sun Through Liquidambar Tree

An amazing sight in the early morning garden - the sun! Welcome back into the sky, deliciously golden sun. You may just be a boring ball of hot hydrogen and helium, but you make me feel powerful and happy. Winter life is good - the sun is shining again. Oh frabjous day, to quote Lewis Carroll.

Friday 13th June

And I have had such a nicely frabjous day. I watched Brazil win the opening match of the Football World Cup. I did a spot of TV couch-cycling the Rhone-Alpes region of France, and the scenery is beautiful. Then I had an early sushi lunch with my friend. I love my friend. We called into the charity shop and the lady there presented me with a huge wire cat for my collection. So thoughtful and kind.

Then home, and out into the garden. I worked until 4:30pm, and now the winter sun is streaming in my house as it sets over next door's paddock. When their pine forest was 'up' I never enjoyed afternoon sun in mid-winter. Now I am blessed. Though last September (when trees blew down and flattened the edge of my garden) I didn't feel so. Gardens are resilient, though - more resilient than their gardeners sometimes...

I've been weeding and clearing in the back of the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden. I found two roses deeply shaded underneath the rhododendrons - I believe they are white Icebergs. Anyway, I've dug and pruned them and replanted them in the sun. The sun! Wonderful sun. Thank you so much for enriching my day. And everyone and anyone else's.

 Looks great, feels great underfoot.
Mulched Path to Cottage

Saturday 14th June

Another wonderful day, and it's sunny again. People are just happier in winter when the sun shines. A friend at morning tea moaned away about all this week's wet weather. I boasted about gardening every day in the rain for at least two hours. Well - it was almost true. It's called balancing the good with the not-so-good. I don't want us to become a bunch of old-lady Eeyores staring gloomily into our coffee cups. Variety is the spice of life, weather-wise. Remind me that I said that if and when it snows...

This afternoon I've been barrowing gum tree mulch onto the paths in Middle Garden, pine tree mulch onto the Driveway Garden, and soil/compost mix (a trailer load) onto generally needy areas. I've barrowed ash off the bonfire and mixed it with soil for the 'allotment gardens' - the rectangular beds between our drive and the neighbours. I've also barrowed firewood from the outdoor piles in to dry off by the back door.

My gardener friend reminded me how easy it is to pull up weeds when the soil is wet. So I spent the last quarter of an hour weeding the allotment gardens bare-handed. It was an extremely earth-connected feeling, and you can imagine what state my fingernails were in. Are in. Oops. I just checked.

Bergenias :
Have a peep at my new Bergenia page.

These gardens are full of self-seeded forget-me-nots, and should be beautiful when I plant them properly next spring. And I shifted some creamy-white flowering Bergenias which were unhappy in Middle Garden squashed underneath things. They need half and half sun, I reckon. I love Bergenias, both their foliage and their flowers.

Sunday 15th June

More sun! Amazing. Warm. The light of garden life. A list! And stop using those silly exclamation marks, please.

Things to Do Today, and Why They Need Doing...

Dig up the striped Cannas. Why? Because they didn't flower this summer. And those beautiful striped leaves are barely knee-high. Pop them into pots for wintering over. And possibly think of a better, sunnier, warmer location to be planted in next spring. But be warned. They like water... And dig up the red hot pokers by the ram paddock. Why? Because they didn't flower this summer. Hey! This reads like a copy'n'paste of the above...

 Early this winter.
Baby Pink Camellia

Aha! The baby pink Camellia is flowering. It's usually the first Camellia I notice, and it seems to be earlier than usual this year. Maybe? Yes, it usually waits until July to bloom.


I've dug out the cannas and put them in pots. I've discarded older pieces of root. I tipped a barrowful of top-soil and compost in the garden where they were, and pruned some dead wood off the Mutabilis rose.

Mutabilis Rose :
I love this old rose.

In my latest gardening book the author visits a garden in Italy with a whole grove of Mutabilis - three hundred bushes, apparently. Wow. Now it occurs to me that I do have enough land to do exactly this. Hmm... It's a slightly bigger scale than I usually work on.

Monday 16th June

It's lunchtime. My house is warm, and I've just come in from three hours gardening, the last ten minutes spent in the water race trimming Phormiums. Brr... I've achieved a lot of little things.

 With no pine trees in the distance.
Light in the Winter Driveway

Middle Garden's paths are now roughly weeded (with lupin seedlings dug out and transplanted) and completely mulched. I've wheeled soil around, and dumped more pine mulch on the driveway garden - just like yesterday. OK, so gardening is a bit repetitive at times! Rusty the dog would agree with that...

First Jonquils

Apres Lunch...

It's gone all cold and drizzly outside. 'Blast', fibbed the Head Gardener, legs and feet still tingling, warming up after immersion in snow-melt. Oh well. I'll just have to look at plans B and C. Take my dog for a short walk down the road, then pile the wood-burner up with logs and do some TV couch-cycling. Today I'm off to Poisy in France.

Eek! My couch-cycling commitments are piling up - I still haven't finished with California, and now there's a race in Switzerland as well. I blame the Football World Cup, with the middle match of Brazil's day playing over my breakfast time, luring me away.

A Tiny Bit Later...

Yippee! We're back from our walk, not too wet, and not too cold. And I've spied some yellow jonquils in the house garden, the very first, little yellow sunshine shapes on this rather grey and gloomy day. I won't do any more gardening today - I'll try and finish my couch-cycling session. Eek! I've just realised. The second cricket test (New Zealand playing the West Indies) starts overnight. Yet another TV-couch commitment. So much to do - so many things to enjoy. That's winter for you!