The end of April - daytime temperatures still shirt-sleeves warm, nights just a little snuggly-cool. Autumn tasks are piling up like - ahem - leaves on the lawn. And those leaves, colouring beautifully, are starting to flutter down even in the lightest of breezes.

Sunday 24th April

Today Non-Gardening Partner trimmed the Olearia hedges at the back of the house. My job was to rake up and burn all the mess - scooping up armfuls of twiggy leaves, which crackled and burnt well, even though they were fresh. A once-a-year task, taking all day, always very messy, but the trimmed hedges with their straight edges now look beautiful. Rather more beautiful than the vegetable garden they border, with its straight, weedy paths. Some excitement - I found a row of edible carrots which I'd forgotten about.

 Colours, leaves...

This so-called vegetable garden is very close to retirement, because the Allotment Garden is a far sunnier place to grow crops. So I'm going to fill it with perennials and roses. There's always room for more roses. This year it only had some potatoes.

 In the Shrubbery.
Black Buster

Wednesday 27th April

Two non-gardening days - a relaxing road-trip to see the lakes (Tekapo and Pukaki) one day, and music rehearsals the next. Today is difficult, too, as I should be going to book group... Oops. But I promised the dogs we'd do some jolly fun stay-at-home things - like gardening. And they are soooooooo looking forward to that. Believe me?


I raked up smaller trimmings from the hedge, and pruned some Pittosporums by the back of the house. And this took all afternoon - strange. I must have been going extremely slowly. I also trimmed some ferns that were blocking the paths. Fair enough, I guess.

The dogs had fun barking at random things like trucks arriving next-door. The earth-moving work has started up again in next-door's front paddock. And Buster the cat kept popping out of the greenery to see what we were up to.

 Silly dog!
WInnie with her Potato

Winnie went off by herself at one stage. What was she up to? Digging up the last of the potatoes from the vegetable garden!

Thursday 28th April, Early...

Today is rather special, for we are going hiking around Mount Bradley. First we climb 400 meters to the Kaituna Saddle, then off we go on Bradley's circumnavigation. He is my favourite mountain. It's a big plodding day for me (just over eight hours), but I love this trip, and the gorse has just been cleared from the track at the back of the mountain. Non-Gardening Partner is coming to generally look after us (well, me, actually). Yeay for Mount Bradley. Go well, my sweet knees and gentle feet.

Much, Much, Much Later...

Brilliant! What a trip! Am semi-speechless. And so very proud of myself and my hiking team.

 Lake Ellesmere is in the distance
Up the side of Mount Bradley