A muddly mess...

 In the Island Bed.

The garden is not ready for Christmas. It is not tidy, or well weeded, and certainly not well groomed. It is a muddly mess of greeneryand flowering dahlias, roses that need dead-heading, paths that need clearing. I don't think I care, though! It is reasonably well watered, so no shrubs or trees are in distress. And that's all that matters in mid-summer.

I've had very enjoyable house visitors, so the last three days have been light on gardening duties. This morning is Christmas Eve : back to quietness and solitude (dogs and cats for company, so never lonely). I've been busy clearing the path behind the cottage, supervised by Minimus. Four barrowfuls of mess have been dumped behind the pond. I've also pulled small pieces of Renga Renga apart and continued my edge planting in the new Pond Paddock Garden.

What happens next will be fairly energetic - overgrown Carexes behind the cottage need to be dug out, and Anamanthele grass seedlings in the middle of the path scooped up carefully and replanted. I love these ornamental grasses. There are other serious diggings to be done in other garden areas, too. A Hebe behind the Stables has to come out. Two huge Phormiums nearby are to be cut down to the ground (they'll resprout). Aargh!

RIP Tiger the Cat

And a small, sensitive problem to solve. Tiger the cat's burial place in the Hump is 'lost', surrounded by huge Campion plants and roses. The visitors and I tried to have a solemn memory moment with her, and ended up lost in the dahlias, giggling. Couldn't find the metal pukeko which stands on top of her. We did the wee 'Rest in peace, where-ever you are, Tiger' speech and then wobbled our way back past the dahlias, underneath roses, and onto the Hump path. Oops.

Christmas Day

Merry Christmas! Now I remember - this is the day when the Iceberg roses get dead-headed. I've done that already - all the whites, the brilliant pinks, burgundy, and the pale pink one whose variety name I forget . Actually, I've had a very productive gardening morning.

 And the obelisk over to the left, with beans growing up it.
Flowers in the Hump

Slowly but surely. I've started spreading horse manure on another part of the Hump Garden. I've started pulling out the forget-me-nots from the Driveway Garden. They will mulch the poos and hopefully stop other weed seeds from germinating. I've cut down the dead Hebe, scooped up strings of Cleavers, and tidied the base of the Astelia and the Cordateria in the Stables Garden. Took me ages.

 All the best for the holiday break.
Merry Christmas

Last night, Christmas Eve, was musically amazing. First I sang in the industrial strength Carols concert in town, in a mixed choir accompanied by the Salvation Army Brass Band (again, was standing just behind four noisy tubas). Then my friend and I stripped off our black and red Christmas clothes, put on cream blouses and maroon choir robes, and raced down the road to the Catholic Cathedral. Phew. Arrived just in time for our next carols gig, singing in the midnight mass service, this time with an orchestra. It was groovy. And we sang all the movements of a Mozart mass. I sang three wrong notes and missed three entries. Gloria in Excelsis Deo.

Barking at Father Christmas?

Got home about 1:30am and crawled into bed - really late for me. Three hours later, just before it got light, was woken up by dog barking. On and on. Bark, bark, bark. Finally had to get up to investigate, found Pebbles by the Allotment Garden barking furiously towards the neighbours' property. She'd heard Father Christmas scooting up their drive? Tried to be nice to her, just in case she had good reason. But I suspect she simply got stuck in a continuous barking loop. Back to bed - so tired. Hmm...

 Barking mad dog.

I fancy an afternoon snooze, but I have lots more gardening work to do. And music arrangements to write. And frocks to sew for the resident teddy bears (for Christmas, you understand). And machined patchwork covers to sew for my four outdoor cushions.

What should I try and finish first?

So here's the question for the rest of Christmas Day : What should I try and finish first? Aha! A question that has plagued me all year. Merry Christmas everyone. How about I finish at least one thing and then celebrate (I'm thinking the earliest of bedtimes, oops).