Loving October...

I'm loving October. Yeay! Time for a list, no details, nouns only, and no place for the word 'weeding' : THE five things which make every late spring October day so wonderful.

  1. Irrigation.
  2. Late rhododendrons in flower.
  3. Dogwoods in bloom.
  4. Green growth.
  5. Plant and seedling production.

It's one of the nicely overwhelming and beautiful times to be a gardener. The days roll by, full of change and growth. Pity that one needs to keep on top of the weeding. But I wasn't going to mention that!

 A New Zealand native, flowers are usually red.
Cream Kaka Beak

Plant rescues...

Today I've rescued (i.e. dug up) a sad Kalmia and some dried out Bergenias. The Kalmia is in a huge pot of water, lots of dirt still attached to its root ball. The normal Bergenias have been replanted in a moister, dappled shady spot, while the hairy leafed ones (Bergenia ciliata) are spending a few months in potting mix to recover.

I've also cleared the path to Pond Cottage and repotted the big pots of Canna lilies. All this took three hours - have no idea why it took so long.


Yippee! After organising the hoses to water the Pittosporums on the boundary, I've cleaned up my mess - a very responsible way to finish my day. My friend has given me a Kaka Beak shrub with cream flowers - what a treat. A New Zealand native shrub, very pretty, this usually has red flowers.

Wednesday 25th October

Oops. Have spent all of the last two days writing music. During my breaks I've been zooming around Switzerland on Youtube freight trains. Long tunnels, and my goodness - really slow TV.

This afternoon I'm finally back in the garden, and I've been weeding and trimming edges along the back lawn. Everything looks beautiful. My fingernails are dirty again! yeay!

Dogs and Possums...

My dogs and cats continue to fill my days (and nights) with furry friendship. One night Fred brought a duckling (oops) into the house where Winnie sleeps - poor dog, it really frightened her, so sad. Sad for the duckling, too.

 One of my lovely girl dogs.

A couple of nights ago I was woken twice by a rude possum, clumping along the cottage verandah making its awful zombie noises. Possums here are not native animals but nuisance pests, and they damage the native forests.

 Hiding in the hedge.
Red Fred

Cats and Birds...

Minimus my cottage cat didn't even bother to lift her head as I armed myself with the broom and flung open the door. Roar! It was impossible to drift back into peaceful sleep after thumping a broom around in the darkness. Gave up, made a cup of tea and read my book. Minimus snoozed on.

The Fred cats work hard for their keep (sorry about that duckling). In the daytime there's always a cat on roof patrol (poor starlings, trying to nest in the spouting). I've found a few deceased starlings on Duck Lawn, too. But again, starlings aren't native, and are considered a bit of a pest.

Mallard ducks and pukekos (a midnight blue New Zealand swamp hen) have started congregating in the orchard, while the odd camouflaged pheasant snoozes in the grass. Not so much snoozing when the dogs and I arrive for one of our many orchard walks.

The Lawn Are Mowed

Thursday 26th October

I did more lovely gardening again today - trimming more edges (the lawns have been mowed) and weeding, again on the back house lawn. The shrubs and trees over the water race are stunning. Lots of oohs and aahs, lots of photographs...