A windy week...

 Too early!
Weeping Maiden

Our balmy (barmy?) autumn weather continues. It's far too warm, there's no rain, and hot, strong nor-west winds are forecast for the coming days. Next-door's dusty top-soil will soon be heading this way, so I've even closed the lid of the grand piano.

And just how daft is this Camellia? Weeping Maiden, a girl who does like to be early, has really jumped the gardening gun and is flowering now. Silly shrub, tricked by the warm temperatures. Hope the Azaleas don't follow suit.

Wednesday 11th May

The fire ban has gone back on (fair enough). Today when we come back from the dog park I'll start bagging up the oak leaves in the Pond Paddock. Then - who knows? I might have another try at speed-watching the final of (oops) 'The Bachelor' on TV. Last night it was rudely (and rightly, you might think) interrupted.

 And to turn into leaf mould.
Leaves to Rake

Thanks first of all to big Fluff-Fluff the cat for bringing me the fattest, healthiest, liveliest mouse, dropping it in front of the TV, and then nonchalantly washing his fluffy ginger bottom. Thanks to Escher the super-nose dog, for then following the mouse's trail : barging through bookcases, upending the TV couch, and sending books flying off the coffee table.

+10+5+5But extra special thanks to Tiger for being cat-subtle : pin-pointing the exact mouse location quietly, without fuss, and helping remove the little wriggler. All of this while 'The Bachelor' (daft programme, I know) went on pause...

Much Later...

What an odd day. It's been scary calm, and quiet, with just a few puffs of limp wind. I've tried to redeem a rather prolonged TV watching session with a hour's work in the house gardens. Now darkness has set in, so I'm inside to record a plan : a total replant of the bay window's garden, with new dirt.

Salvia :
A superb Salvia indeed! And low growing, never straggly, never woody...

That's the verdict after scratching and weeding in the dry, compacted soil. Thoughts - Perennial introductions (for example Salvia superbum, and maybe some more dahlias). Roses may have to go : Mary, I'm talking about you, you spindly weak-willed thing.

Aha! A quote from the so-called horse's mouth : 'a warning for severe northwest gales gusting between 120 km/h and 140 km/h about exposed parts of inland Canterbury and Banks Peninsula on Thursday 12 May from midday to midnight'. That's tomorrow. OK.

A Few Days Later...

Barmy wind indeed - blustering one minute, then the next minute deathly calm. Huge swirls of the neighbour's soil are now coating my garden, everything in my garage, and everything in the downstairs bathroom (window was open, oops). The implications of big wind weather - if you've scraped and cleared a paddock and haven't sown anything and/or damped it down, then layers of top-soil blow off.

Minimal Input

My input into my windy garden has been minimal. I've walked around a lot with the dogs and split some wood. Nothing else. The most exciting thing has been the mail-box.

 With Fluff-Fluff the cat in the background.
Winnie and her Moon Ball

Today Winnie's moon balls arrived by courier from Auckland. They are her absolute favourite ball for chasing, catching, and retrieving, and she (make that 'we') lost her last one. And she's very fussy - a tennis ball (even a 'dead' one) might be OK for around home, but not for the dog park. She's a little spoilt, perhaps?

 The water is getting colder.
Leaves in the Pond

Saturday 14th May

A garden maintenance home truth : it is not sensible trying to rake and bag up oak tree leaves in the wind. Leaves do not behave as a collective - they are free-spirited, each an individual with a mind of its own. And a fact, of which I need reminding : yes, leaf mould does create itself, but only if the bags have holes in them and the contents are kept damp all year. Some gardeners (me) are usually busy enough watering the plants in the garden. Solution? Don't hide the bags away discretely, dump them in the middle of a garden that gets irrigated. Yeay!


The wind's died down a bit, so I'm going outside to wheel-barrow more horse manure, then we are off to dig up some species Agapanthus from a friend's garden. They are perfect fillers for my difficult garden areas - under gum trees, in non-irrigated places, and so on. I don't really mind if they don't flower - the foliage is pretty.